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11. Census, Justice, and Change

August 14, 2009

Text:      Numbers 26:1-27:23

Outline:      I. The Second Census           Numbers 26:1-51

                         II. Inheritance Rules            Numbers 26:52-27:11

                        III. Israel’s Next Leader      Numbers 27:12-23


     God instructs Moses to conduct another census of men 20 years and older who are available to fight. The census is taken and Israel’s fighting men total 601,780.

     The number of fighting men by tribe will also determine the amount of land each tribe will inherit when they cross the Jordan River. The number within a clan within a tribe will also determine how much land is granted to each clan within the tribe’s inheritance. Levi was also counted and totaled 25,000 males one month old and older but they were excluded from the division of land. None of the Israeites who were numbered at Mt. Sinai exist now on the Plains of Moab. All had died except Caleb and Joshua.

     Five daughters ,whose father died in the Korah uprising and whose sons do not exist, question Moses concerning an inheritance for themselves. The question raised is that of gender discrimination. Moses brings their request before the Lord who agrees with these daughters and decrees all families with no sons shall inherit according to their daughters, then according to their father’s brothers and/or nearest relative. All Israel is to receive an inheritance of land except for the Levites.

     Moses is told to go up on a mountain and view the land he cannot enter because of his sin in getting water for Israel at Kadesh Barnea. Moses asks God to appoint a man who has the capability to lead Israel into the Promised Land and be a shepherd to the people. The Lord tells Moses to lay his hands on Joshua and have him stand before Eleazar, commissioning him before all Israel. Moses is to give Joshua some authority immediately so Israel can get used to obeying him. Moses obeyed God and commissioned Joshua before all Israel.


1. Review your congregational members often to know who is able to serve and who is unable to serve. Assign those who are able to active duty as servants for God’s Kingdom.

2. God refuses to exclude any from inheriting His Kingdom who have proven faithful to Him. God is fair and He is just.

3. When decisions need to be made regarding the body of Christ, be patient, bring them to Jesus, and wait to hear His wisdom and direction. See Philippians 4:4-9.

4. Look to your spiritual leaders to articulate God’s vision for your congregation. Let them play a role in the choosing of your new leader [s]. Look for leaders who will shepherd, i.e. guide, provide, care, and protect God’s people. Look for leaders who possess a strong faith. Access the quality of their faith, not quantity. Quality, not quantity, sets ones roots deep in our heart’s soil making one more steadfast and able to persevere when times are tough.


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