YOUR MESSAGE THIS WEEK
Instructions About The Inheritance – The Promised Land
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land of Canaan, this is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance; the land of Canaan to its boundaries.” (Num. 34:1-2)
Our reading for this week taken from Num. 34-36; God was about to describe the borders of the “Promised Land” to Moses and the children of Israel. Although two and half tribes had settled on the eastern side of the Jordan, those lands were not considered to be the “Promised Land”, a reference reserved for Canaan. This was going to be their inheritance!
There is something peculiar about this inheritance! Israel was going to have to take control of the Promised Land by conquest! They would have to drive out the Canaanites to take possession of the Land. In Num. 26:1-4; God ordered Moses to “take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel from twenty years old and above, by their fathers’ houses, all who are able to go to war in Israel.” Despite their involvement, Israel never considered that the land was given to them because they earned it. It was given to them by God as an inheritance. Inheritances are freely given, not earned. 38 years earlier, Israel was organized enough; they just did not have enough faith to take their inheritance. Organization is good, and the work of God can suffer from a lack of it; but the best organization can never replace faith in God!
The Land Distribution
The process of distributing the promised land among the children of Israel was very important to God. He chose the most prominent Israelites of the day in Moses (the prophet) and Eleazor (the high priest). The land was to be distributed according to the numbers in each tribe. The larger the tribe, the larger the portion of land they received ( Num. 26:52-56). Except for Caleb and Joshua, none of those counted in the first census by Moses and Aaron were counted in the second. That was the old generation, the generation of unbelief, died in the wilderness. They had no inheritance in the Promised Land! ( Num. 26:63-65) That is the price of unbelief!
The Levites numbered by themselves. They were not numbered in either the first or second census, because the men of their tribe were not to go to war. They were to receive no inheritance of land as the other tribes; their inheritance was greater than property – the Lord Himself ( Num. 18:20). However, the Levites were also catered for. In Num. 35:1-3; God ordered Moses to command the children of Israel to give the Levites cities to live in from their inheritance and land around the cities for grazing their livestock. The result was that there would be a Levitical presence in all the cities of the Israel!
The way “The Promised Land” was partitioned is very significant! God gave the land to the other tribes of Israel, but He gave Himself to the Levites. There is such a thing in the Christian life as an inheritance from the Lord, and there is such a thing as having the Lord Himself for our inheritance. For example, we are set apart to a sacred purpose by the Lord, in the process we are made holy for His service, which is of immense value, but along the way, we get entangled in worldly affairs which taints our lives! Some individuals on the other hand have learned the higher lesson of taking the Lord Himself to be their keeper and their sanctity, and abiding in Him. They are kept above the difficult times that we all go through such as sickness, job loss, grief and sorrow or any other unwelcome episodes in life.
Some receive from the Lord large measures of joy and blessing and times of refreshing. Others, again, learn to take the Lord Himself as their joy. Some people are content to have peace with God, but others have taken the peace of God, which passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). Some have faith in God, while others have the faith of God.
In this New Year, let us embrace the Higher Inheritance; THE LORD HIMSELF in our lives.