Today’s passage: Numbers 1
- God was continuing to fulfill his promise to Abraham. With the Law of God communicated to the people, it was now time to take a census (To number the people) as they moved forward as a new nation.
- The number of able-bodies men 20 years old and upward in every tribe but the Levites was 603,550. This was the size of Israel’s military. Adding the Levites and all the younger and older men, and all the women and children would have totaled somewhere close to 2 million!
- This should have given Israel reason to trust in their God, being a faithful keeper of promises.
- This should have given Israel a head’s up concerning what God was going to tell them to do. They were going to be sent in to conquer Canaan.
- The Levites were not to be counted among the fighting men in the census. To know their number would be a temptation to pull them away from their greater task, the service of the Lord.
- Israel was not to take find their confidence in the number of warriors they possessed, but in the Lord who redeemed them and would protect them.
Questions to consider:
- What would the world think (Or, what would the news be reporting) if there was a group of 2 million freed slaves wandering around in open country today? How would the surrounding countries respond? How might they be preparing for the potential arrival of these “migrants?”
- If Israel were to count the Levites in the census, what would they be saying about their confidence in warfare? Who was their true safety and shield? Who was their defender? Why was the Levites’ role more significant than to send them to the battle field to boost the number of soldiers?
- What are some things we might cling to today, before the Lord, to make us feel safe and secure? How can we put what is most important first?