The Second Census, Part II
Israel is at the door of Canaan. The tribes have been counted except for Levi, and Levi is next. Their counting will be in a different way and for a different purpose, but they too will be counted.
As for the division of the land, that will be by lot. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, was a big fan of casting lots. He would cast them for all making all kinds of decisions, including both marriage and settling tough theological issues. I wouldn’t recommend lots for either – for sure.
If you are planning on finding a wife, and you are set on casting lots, I wish you well in your misery. If you are casting lots for settling a theological debate, you might see where John Wesley landed on some rather important points of doctrine, meaning on the wrong side of them.
However, all things fit the purposes of the Lord, including someone stuck in a bad marriage who will hopefully honor the Lord – even through it. And, His purposes are realized in people with good, as well as bad, theology. Unfortunately, those who follow teachers with bad theology get sucked up into their bad theology as well.
John Wesley leaned towards the view of Jacob Arminius concerning depravity and loss of salvation. His conclusions for both of them are entirely incorrect. Today, there are still teachers out there who follow his doctrine on these issues.
Lots served a purpose at certain times in redemptive history, and they brought about the will of the Lord as He intended, but they are also never mentioned after Acts 2. At that time, the Holy Spirit was given, and in the span of a few short years, the books of the Bible were complete. What on earth do we need lots for now?
Text Verse: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13, 14
Paul says that when we trust in the word of truth, meaning believing the gospel of our salvation, the sealing of Holy Spirit of promise is the guarantee of our inheritance. Do we need to cast lots in order to know if we are saved? Do we need to cast lots in order to know if we are saved once for all time? Do we need to cast lots to determine what the effects of our salvation will be?
No! The Bible, in just those two verses tells us the answer to those (and quite a few other) questions. But, there is something about the idea of the lot, which is found right in the sermon verses we just read, that you might not be aware of.
What does a second census of Israel, just prior to their entry into Canaan, have to do with the idea of lots? Well, stick around and you might find out… pretty sure you will. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. The Land Shall Be Divided as an Inheritance (verses 52-65)
52 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
The Lord is carefully and methodically detailing His intent for Israel. In verses 26:1 & 2, which occurred after the plague, the Lord told Israel to take a census. Think of it! Israel had wandered in the desert since leaving Sinai, and all of that generation had died. The first census would have been no good to them. The number of some tribes had changed dramatically in those intervening years.
Further, some of the greatest changes of all were inferred to have come just a short time before in the plague which resulted from the incident at Peor. The Lord knew that a new census was needed, and now this is the perfect time for it to occur. And this is because they were preparing to enter into their long-awaited inheritance, Canaan. The stage has been set, and that is now explicitly stated…
53 “To these the land shall be divided as an inheritance, according to the number of names.
There are three requirements of the division of the land which will be seen. The first is that of the inheritance “according to the number of names,” meaning individual people. Thus, the size of the land will be in accord with the size of the tribe…kind of. This is then further defined by the Lord with the words…
54 To a large tribe you shall give a larger inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a smaller inheritance.
The words are second person, singular. The Lord is speaking to Moses – “You shall give.” However, with the exception of land east of the Jordan which will be granted before entry into Canaan, the land division doesn’t actually take place for quite some time after his death. It shows that the census under Moses is the deciding factor for those future divisions of inheritance.
As far as the size of the inheritance being larger for a large tribe and smaller for a small tribe, this seems obvious, but it is not what is being referred to. Rather, the word “tribe” is inserted by translators.
This is not referring to the land given to the tribes, but to the land within the allotted portion which is to be given to the families within the tribes. This must be so because the Lord will divide the land by lot for the tribes as is noted in verse 55. That means that the size of the lot per tribe is given by the Lord, not according to total population, but according to location regardless of size.
Despite this, one must also look at the wisdom of God in how this comes about. First, this is the official accounting of the names. And yet, the land will not be divided up according to these names until the land is subdued. That will take over seven years from this point in time as is recorded in Joshua 11 –
“So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war.” Joshua 11:24
How many will die in battle? How many will die of natural causes? How many sons are, or will be, born to each of these groups during those seven years? And of those sons, how many will turn into adults during those seven years?
Those statistics are irrelevant. The census now will determine the land grant to each tribe after the land is subdued. This is certain, because of the words to Moses, “you shall give,” and by the fact that no census is later directed for the land division. If another census was conducted, it would have been recorded. Instead, the numbers now are the determining factor.
Because the casting of the lot will determine the actual selection of land for each tribe, the size of tribe, though seemingly a factor in deciding land division, is not what is being spoken of here.
Instead, the decision by the lot means that each tribe is to be satisfied with its inheritance as determined by the Lord. A larger family will have a larger inheritance within the confines of its land, and a smaller family will receive a smaller inheritance. Thus…
54 (con’t) Each shall be given its inheritance according to those who were numbered of them.
The numbers apply to each family which comprises the tribe as seen in the counting of the first 51 verses. If you have forgotten that, we can repeat last week’s sermon. Or, we can simply note that the sons of Jacob, with the exception of Levi, were numbered. And the numbering of Joseph was divided into his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, who were adopted by Jacob.
Thus, there are ten natural sons, plus the two adopted sons in place of their father Joseph, making twelve tribes, and thus twelve land divisions. Within those divisions, individual families will be granted their portion according to their size.
However, whatever inheritance is given to the tribe as a whole, will be called by that name from that time forward. Thus, the land given to Judah would forever be known as the land of Judah.
From the time of the initial division, this is then seen. For example, in Isaiah 9, it notes “the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.” The land is known according to the name of the father. As such, there is never a land spoken of as “Levi.”
Though there will be cities known as Levitical cities, there is no specific land named for him. This will be understood as we continue on. Levi means, “Attached,” and he will be attached to the other tribes in his own unique way.
55 But the land shall be divided by lot;
akh b’goral yekhaleq eth ha’arets – “Surely, in lot shall be divided the land.” This is now the second requirement of the division of land. It is to be divided by goral, or lot.
So far, the only passage where the lot has been mentioned was in Leviticus 16. That lot was used to determine the status of the two goats brought before the Lord – one for sacrifice, and one as azazel, or scapegoat. As noted then, so it is to be understood now –
“The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the Lord.” Proverbs 16:33
This then is a sign that the Lord is the ultimate determining factor of where each tribe will be situated. Though there may be greater numbers of people in a smaller parcel of land, the Lord determined that “each shall be given its inheritance according to those who were numbered of them.” In this, another proverb is to be considered –
“Casting lots causes contentions to cease,
And keeps the mighty apart.” Proverbs 18:18
One can see that the lot is given to determine what the particular situation of the land which is chosen for each tribe will be. In other words, Judah will be given land to the very south in Israel. As can be seen by the rest of Scripture, and even by prophecies which have already been made, such as by Jacob upon his sons, this is obviously by the Lord’s design.
The situation of Judah, meaning where it is located, will become a point of fulfilling those prophecies. The northern tribes will be situated where the majority of their people will be taken away in permanent exile.
However, Judah will be preserved, returning to her land after an exile of seventy years, thus allowing for the Messiah to come as prophesied. What may seem uninteresting to read actually turns out to be marvelous to the mind when properly contemplated from the larger perspective. The division of lot is next further explained…
55 (con’t) they shall inherit according to the names of the tribes of their fathers.
This confirms what has already been deduced and it forms the third requirement concerning land division. The term, “the tribes of their fathers,” indicates the named tribes of the sons of Israel, minus Levi, and inclusive of Manasseh and Ephraim who represent Joseph.
56 According to the lot their inheritance shall be divided between the larger and the smaller.”
al pi ha’goral – “according to the mouth of the lot.” It is an interesting expression which personifies the lot. As the lot speaks out, so shall the inheritance be. And again, it says, “between the larger and the smaller.”
As the larger in number may get a smaller parcel of land, or vice versa, it means that whatever the division for the size of land, so shall the decision of the lot stand according to divine providence. Once that determination is made, from there the land will be divided by family size.
What is interesting, and what speaks of the providence of God over the nations, because – as the proverb notes – the decision of the lot is from the Lord, the scholar Keil, who lived in the 1800s, notes the following –
“On this ground not only was the lot resorted to by the Greeks and Romans in the distribution of conquered lands (see the proofs in Clericus, Rosenmller, and Knobel), but it is still employed in the division of lands.” Keil
In other words, what may seem as arbitrary in the establishment of the borders of nations in history, is actually a work of God as He directs those borders. He did it first through language, separating people accordingly. However, the nations have continued to have an unseen hand which has kept them aligned according to the will and purpose of God, and this is leading everything to history’s end goal and purpose.
57 And these are those who were numbered of the Levites according to their families:
With the census of the first twelve tribes complete, the counting of the Levites is next recorded. The Levites are counted separately because they are set apart to the Lord. He is their inheritance, and so no land division is to be made for them. Rather, they will be counted for the service of the Lord and of the people.
As a point of generational history, Levi lived to be 137 years old. He went down to Egypt with the family and died there. He is the father of the tribe, and the counting is made first by family according to the sons of Levi…
57 (con’t) of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites; of Merari, the family of the Merarites.
These are the three sons of Levi. As a point of generational history, the age of Kohath is specifically given at his death. He was 133 years old when he died. It is from him and his brothers, Gershon and Merari, that the next division of families is to be made…
58 These are the families of the Levites: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, and the family of the Korathites. And Kohath begot Amram.
These are the next generation of Levites which became families in their own standing, and who are all listed by name in the earlier census in Numbers. As a point of generational history, the age of Amram is specifically given at his death. Like his grandfather Levi, he was 137 when he died.
59 The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt;
Now comes a rare occurrence in Scripture where the name of a wife is included in a genealogy. The name of Amram’s wife is Jochebed. The only other time she is mentioned is in Exodus 6:20 in the counting of the listing of the family of Levi. There it said –
“Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father’s sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven.” Exodus 6:20
Here now, she is again noted as Amram’s wife, but instead of calling her “his father’s sister,” here she is called “the daughter of Levi who was born to Levi in Egypt.”
The specificity is not to be missed, and the importance of calling her both “his father’s sister,” and “the daughter of Levi,” is to ensure that no mistake is made concerning the generations of Moses. For example, the scholar John Lange says –
“We notice a significant fact which forms the central point in this narrative, and has occasioned some difficulty. Kohath’s son is called Amram, the father of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam bears the same name. This illustrious family is through the identity of names brought back closely to its ancestor Levi. [The recurrence of the same names constitutes no difficulty. But Jochebed could not have been the daughter of Levi in the strict sense. Generations have come and gone between Levi and the mother of Moses. She was a daughter of Levi in the sense that she was a descendant. The term does not necessarily determine the nearness of the relation.” John Lange (incorrect analysis)
John Lange, like many scholars – and as is implied in many translations – assumes that Jochebed could not be the daughter of Levi and yet the mother of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. He believes this is impossible because, as he said, “Generations have come and gone between Levi and the mother of Moses.”
But this is incorrect. This is why the age of Levi was given at his death (137). The only other son of Jacob whose age at death was recorded was Joseph, and that because it was necessary to know.
Next, of the three sons of Levi, only the age at death is given for his son Kohath (133). And then, for all the sons of Kohath, only the age of Amram is given at his death (137). As the Israelites dwelt in Egypt for 215 years, these ages are given to show us the reliability of God’s promise to Abraham, and thus the reliability of the word of God itself. This is evidenced by the next words…
59 (con’t) and to Amram she bore Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam.
Jochebed is Levi’s natural daughter, and Kohath is Levi’s natural son. Amram is Levi’s grandson who married his aunt, Levi’s daughter. It is to this union that Aaron, Moses, and Miriam, Levi’s great-grandchildren, were born.
The special record of this line is given first to establish a direct line from Abraham to Moses and Aaron, through Isaac and Jacob. That is clearly evident when compared with the other sets of genealogies already given in the Bible. This is also recorded because God made a promise to Abraham in Genesis 15 concerning his descendants –
“Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Genesis 15:13-16
This specially recorded set of years of life, and the special note of Jochebed as being both the daughter of Levi and sister of Kohath, is given to show that the Lord’s words are both true and fulfilled.
Jacob went to Egypt with his family which included his son Levi and Levi’s three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. In Egypt, Kohath had a son named Amram and Amram had a son named Moses.
Thus, Moses is the fourth generation from Jacob who went to Egypt. And the sons of Aaron and Moses are the fourth generation from Kohath, Levi’s son, who also went to Egypt. As they will enter Canaan, the prophecy has been fulfilled.
This listing is a proof of the fulfillment of covenant promise. Moses, the fourth generation of Levi, has brought the people to the doorstep of the Land of Promise, even if he himself will not enter, and his sons are the fourth generation of Kohath.
Thirdly, because the specific ages of Levi, Kohath, and Amram are given, there is no need to debate the approximate length of time which the Israelites dwelt in Egypt. This dating can be checked against other dating and it confirms that there are no missing generations in the genealogies.
In other words, the line goes directly from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Levi, to Kohath, to Amram, and then to Moses and Aaron without any interim generations being left out. The line is complete and unbroken. Moses is the 7th from Abraham; from Promise to Deliverer. When his sons enter Canaan, they will be the 8th generation, the generation of new beginnings.
The name Jochebed, or Yokeved, carries the abbreviated form of Yah, or Yehovah. Her name means either “Yehovah’s Glory” or “Glory of Yehovah.” It is a fitting and appropriate name indeed!
Her son, Moses, was the one who led the people of Israel as they saw the glory of the Lord in the most astonishing ways. Her husband’s name, Amram, means “A People Exalted.” Looking at this union there is a picture of what was coming. Israel, A People Exalted, have been united to the Lord of Glory.
As usual, what seems like a tedious and unnecessary listing of names which could only excite someone who had just come out of coma, or maybe put him back into one, is really a marvelously given set of hints and clues to the majesty of what God has tucked away in His superior word.
60 To Aaron were born Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
Now, the specific line of Aaron, the priestly line, is given. As a point of generational history, the age of Aaron is recorded at his death. Numbers 33:39 will show that he was 123 when he died. Thus, the generations recorded are reliable, the dating is reliable, and the promise is fulfilled. His sons, the fourth generation from Kohath, who had entered Egypt with Jacob, would enter the land of Canaan, even if not all of his sons entered Canaan…
61 And Nadab and Abihu died when they offered profane fire before the Lord.
Aaron’s two oldest sons were excluded from entry into Canaan because they transgressed by offering profane fire before the Lord. Thus, they died and their bodies were buried in the wilderness near Mount Sinai.
Their actions stand as a witness to the holiness of the Lord. Because of their deaths, only the two younger sons would enter into the promised inheritance. But they did enter, and therefore, the promise of God, made hundreds of years earlier, that the fourth generation would enter, was fulfilled exactingly. It shows that God is not limited to time, but sees all of history open before Him.
62 Now those who were numbered of them were twenty-three thousand, every male from a month old and above;
Unlike the census for the rest of Israel, which was males twenty and above, the counting of the Levites is of all males, one month old and above. The other tribes were counted from twenty because they were reckoned as men of war.
The Levites are taken in place of the firstborn of the other tribes. Because there were firstborn of all ages when that original exchange was made, all ages of Levites are counted, regardless of their ability to serve.
The tribe of Levi increased by 1000 since the first census which was recorded in Numbers 3:39. Such a small increase in number shows that the Levites probably suffered rather large losses in the rebellion of Korah.
This can be inferred because in Numbers 3 there are families – those of Shimei, Izehar, and Uzziel – who are not even listed here. Either these families died off naturally, or they may have died off in the rebellion. Whatever the case, if there were any remaining, they were probably assimilated into the other families listed here.
62 (con’t) for they were not numbered among the other children of Israel, because there was no inheritance given to them among the children of Israel.
These words are based on what was recorded in Chapter 18. First for Aaron, meaning the priests –
“Then the Lord said to Aaron: ‘You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.’” Numbers 18:20
And next, it applies to the non-priestly Levites –
“But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 24 For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.’” Numbers 18:23, 24
Those words are now confirmed at this census. The tribe of Levi, or “Attached,” is counted separately because they will be attached to Israel in a unique way. That will continue to be seen as the pages of Scripture unfold in the days ahead.
63 These are those who were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho.
These words take us back to verse 1 where the Lord addressed both Moses and Eleazar. They were instructed to take a census of Israel. There it mentioned those “twenty years old and above,” meaning the tribes of war-aged men. However, this now is inclusive of the census of Levi as well.
The entire congregation is numbered in the plains of Moab, or “From Father,” by the Jordan, meaning “Descender,” which is across from Jericho, or “Place of Fragrance.” One can sense a picture of the people who are accepted by God because of Christ, the Descender. Such was not always the case though…
64 But among these there was not a man of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest when they numbered the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Sinai.
The disobedient generation is gone, consumed by time and their wanderings. This included all of the congregation, including those of Levi, who rejected the Lord some thirty-eight years earlier. And that even included Aaron who is named here as participating in the original census, but whose son has taken his place in this census.
The hope and anticipation of the people at Sinai ended in futility. It is for a new generation to enter into the promised inheritance.
65 For the Lord had said of them, “They shall surely die in the wilderness.”
This final verse of the chapter shows us that the word of the Lord was fulfilled, exactly as He had spoken. The people had rebelled, sentence was pronounced, and the execution was completed one day at a time until all of the disobedient were gone with but two exceptions.
Interestingly, there is an acrostic found in the words, ki amar Yehovah lahem mot yamutu, or “For said Yehovah of them dying they shall die.” The last letters of four of those words spell out hemtu – “They were killed.” It is an additional emphasis in God’s word concerning this disobedient generation. The Lord promised that dying they would die, and – in fact – He killed them off to the last disobedient man.” That left just two of the entire generation…
*65 (fin) So there was not left a man of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
The words here confirm the words of Numbers 14 –
“Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised.”
As noted then, Joshua and Caleb were given as types of those would enter the promise. Caleb, or “Dog,” pictures those Gentiles who are of faith and who receive the promise. Joshua, who is also a type of Christ elsewhere, here pictures those Jews who are of faith and who receive the promise. In this typology, the promise was made, and it reflects the notion of entering into the inheritance based on one’s faith in the promise of the Lord. For the others who lacked faith, they met their end apart from the promise of God.
The final words here do not bode well for Moses. Only two names are given as to those who will enter Canaan. Moses is not one of them. Though still alive in order to complete the Torah, he will die outside of the land of promise. The law is not of faith, but of works. The typology was set before time began, and Moses happened to be the one selected to fit the typology. The law has no part in the inheritance.
The lot to help me decide is cast into the lap
In hopes of telling me what to do
After I settle the matter of divine election I’ll take a nap
After I cast the lot, this is what I will do
I don’t have to think the matter through
Because I have the lot to make the decision for me
Soon I will take my nap, so I will do
When I cast the lot, the truth of the matter I shall see
It must be the right way to handle such matters
It worked when the Lord told Israel to do this very thing
But so many people’s doctrine are found in tatters
Surely only good doctrine will casting the lot bring
II. The Casting of Lots
The land of Canaan was to be portioned out to the tribes according to goral, or lots. That word comes from an unused root meaning to be rough like a stone, and thus it signifies a pebble. Figuratively, the word signifies a portion, or a destiny. That is seen, for example, in Jeremiah where the word goral is used in this figurative way –
“‘This is your lot,
The portion of your measures from Me,’ says the Lord,
‘Because you have forgotten Me
And trusted in falsehood.’” Jeremiah 13:25
Interestingly, the same idea is seen in the Greek. The kléros, or lot, is seen in both its literal and figurative sense in the New Testament. Figuratively, it means a portion, or inheritance, just as in the Hebrew. Lots were cast for Christ’s garment at the cross. Likewise, kléros, or lots, were cast for choosing an apostle to replace Judas who once had his own kléros, or “portion” in Christ’s ministry. The irony there is palpable.
In Acts 8, Simon the Sorcerer was told he had no kléros, or “portion” in the matter of the Holy Spirit because he was not right in the sight of God. However, Jesus’ said this to Paul at in his conversion –
“I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18
Paul, that same apostle, later wrote this to those at Colosse –
“…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:12-14
The word kléros, in turn, comes from klaó, to break – specifically bread. It is used fourteen times in the New Testament, and always in relation to the breaking of bread, implying fellowship. The bread, however, is given as a symbol of Christ’s body which was broken, just as bread is broken. But that was, again, in order to grant fellowship.
Without the breaking of His body, there would be no fellowship with God, because He is the only conduit through which fellowship with God could come about. Without Him, meaning what He did and how He did it in the giving of Himself, such could never be.
Understanding these things, we can see that the matter of the lot concerning Israel’s inheritance is only spoken of now, after the time of the wilderness wanderings. Though a census was made at the beginning of the book of Numbers, nothing was said of a division of the land at that time.
And yet, that was before any rejection of the Lord by, or sentence upon, the offenders. The Lord already knew that Israel would reject Him, and so there was no explanation given to them concerning the lot and the land division at that time, because there would be no inheritance for that generation.
The inheritance is granted based on faith in the Lord, not works of the law. Levi was given no inheritance because the Lord is said to be their inheritance. Levi represents the law, and thus the Lord is the law’s inheritance. It was He alone who would come and fulfill the law. In His fulfillment of the law, and in His death which is that final fulfillment of the law, the law received its portion.
Only after that came about could the inheritance, the kléros, be portioned out. The amazing details of the first census, which seemed so dull and unpalatable before we started into it, is eclipsed by the magnificent concepts and details which are found in this second census, which certainly must have seemed even more dull and more unpalatable before we entered into it.
But such is not the case. God is, in these difficult accounts of recorded history, revealing His plan and the glory of what He would do, and has done, through His Son, Jesus.
As we saw from Proverbs 16, there is nothing arbitrary about the casting of lots. Rather, when the lot is cast, the decision is from the Lord. And in the casting of the lot, the inheritance is given, whatever that may be.
Christ Jesus broke the bread and said, “This is My body.” And then Christ Jesus gave of His body so that we could obtain the inheritance; our portion among the saints. Just as the Lord knew that the first census would not result in an inheritance, and just as the Lord knew that it would be the fourth generation of those who entered into Egypt that would then enter into Canaan, God knew that the law could not save, apart from the giving of His Son.
Today, I would appeal to you to refrain from attempting to please the Lord through self. Give up on self, and come to Christ. Why do I feel qualified to give you this advice? Because I am a member of kleroi, or clergy – one appointed to a lot or inheritance. In this life, my portion is – by the grace of God – one who has been appointed to serve you through the word. And I assure you that my solemn duty is to inform you of your need for Jesus. Come to the Bread which has been broken in order to secure your inheritance with the saints of God. Come to Christ, and receive your allotted, heavenly portion.
Closing Verse: “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance (kléroó – to cast lots), being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:11, 12
Next Week: Numbers 27:1-11 The girls get an inheritance! Isn’t that rad!… (The Daughters of Zelophehad) (52nd Numbers sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. It may seem at times as if you are lost in a desert, wandering aimlessly. But the Lord is there, carefully leading you to the Land of Promise. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
The Second Census
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
These words to him He was then relaying
“To these the land shall be divided as an inheritance
———-according to the number of names
To a large tribe you shall give a larger inheritance, so shall it be
And to a small tribe you shall give a smaller inheritance
Each shall be given its inheritance according to those who were
———-numbered of them, as directed by Me
But the land shall be divided by lot
They shall inherit according to the names of the tribes
———-of their fathers, one by one
According to the lot their inheritance shall be divided
Between the larger and the smaller, is how it shall be done
And these are those who were numbered of the Levites
According to their families is how it shall be
Of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites
Off Kohath, the family of the Kohathites
———-of Merari, the family of the Merarites, as directed by Me
These are the families of the Levites:
The family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites as well
The family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites
And the family of the Korathites, so the record does tell
And Kohath begot Amram
The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, so was she
The daughter of Levi who was born to Levi in Egypt
And to Amram she bore Aaron and Moses
———-and their sister Miriam, so we see
To Aaron were born Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar too
And so died – when they offered profane fire before the Lord –
———-Nadab and Abihu
Now those who were numbered of them were
Every male from a month old and above, as the record does tell
For they were not numbered among the other children of Israel
Because there was no inheritance given to them
———-among the children of Israel
These are those who were numbered by Moses and
———-Eleazar the priest, as the counting did go
Who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab
———-by the Jordan, across from Jericho
But among these there was not a man
Of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest
When they numbered the children of Israel
In the Wilderness of Sinai; from the greatest to the least
For the Lord had said of them
“They shall surely die in the wilderness; each and every one
So there was not left a man of them
Except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun
Lord God, we are even now in a wilderness
And we are wanting to be led by You
Without You to direct, our lives would be a mess
And so be our guide, O God; You who are faithful and true
We long for the water in this barren land
May it flow forth from the Rock, our souls to satisfy
Give us this refreshing, spiritual hand
And may we take it, and to our lives daily it apply
And we shall be content and satisfied in You alone
We will follow You as we sing our songs of praise
Hallelujah to You; to us Your path You have shown
Hallelujah we shall sing to You for all of our days
Hallelujah and Amen…