Numbers 26: A new generation is going ahead with the mission

Image source: CollegeChurchofChrist

When reading the life story of a famous person, like Billy Graham, we don’t read one page, or read the book about him for just one day, and believe we know all about him. When we read the Bible, we want to understand all of it, just by reading a little of it. We want to understand all of the Bible the first day we open it.

The Bible teaches us about God’s plan for all of humanity; the revealing of this plan starts in Genesis and continues until the book of Revelation. Understanding the plan requires patient continuous learning one day at a time. As we study the book of Numbers, ask yourself, what do we learn about God’s plan?

Adam and Eve walked away from God in Genesis; God then promised of a son who will walk back to him; Abraham inherited that promise of the son who will heal our relationship with God; Israel as Abraham’s descendants were the people to deliver the son of promise, Jesus. All the laws, rules, blessings, and testing, that Israel experienced, happened because they were the nation to deliver the messiah.

In Numbers Chapter 1, Israel had been delivered from Egypt; they had been at Mt. Sinai in the desert for 1 year; it was time to get organized and march to the promised land. The men able to go to war (20-49 years old) were counted, and Israel was asked to start the move to the promised land (Numbers 10); the mission was to occupy the land. They were so fearful they rebelled; God then passed the mission to their children (Numbers 14). Consequently, the men counted in Numbers Chapter 1, except for Joshua and Caleb, died without entering the promised land.

In Numbers 26, almost 40 years after leaving Egypt, God ask Moses to do a second count, of men able to go to war. The total was 601,730; slightly lower than 603,550 from the first count. Numbers 26:64-65 (NIV) says: “Not one of them was among those counted… when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai. For the Lord had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.”

Christianity moves on because God is persistent in his purpose. We all can be part of the mission for our generation, and like Joshua and Caleb believe that the God who has given the mission has also given the resources to succeed. God is moving on to accomplish his vision laid out from Genesis to Revelation. Don’t end your days on earth without knowing your small part and making it happen.

Lord, show us your vision, and teach us our mission, Amen!

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