Morning Light – Numbers 26

[Numbers 26] Are You Able to Go to War? In this chapter, God instructs Moses to tally the number of able-bodied men. It was necessary to know this number after a time of plague and significant loss of life. The men had to be a certain age, and it had to be known what tribe they were of. This speaks of maturity and placement. God wants you to know your tribe in the kingdom. He wants to bring you as Eph. 4:11-12 says to the full stature of Christ – because there is a conquest for you because you are ordained to take the territory of the enemy and establish the kingdom.

[Num 26:1-65 KJV] 1 And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, 2 Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers’ house, all that are able to go to war in Israel. 3 And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them in the plains of Moab by Jordan [near] Jericho, saying, 4 [Take the sum of the people], from twenty years old and upward; as the LORD commanded Moses and the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt. 5 Reuben, the eldest son of Israel: the children of Reuben; Hanoch, [of whom cometh] the family of the Hanochites: of Pallu, the family of the Palluites: 6 Of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites: of Carmi, the family of the Carmites. 7 These [are] the families of the Reubenites: and they that were numbered of them were forty and three thousand and seven hundred and thirty. 8 And the sons of Pallu; Eliab. 9 And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This [is that] Dathan and Abiram, [which were] famous in the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the LORD: 10 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign. 11 Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not. 12 The sons of Simeon after their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites: of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites: of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites: 13 Of Zerah, the family of the Zarhites: of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites. 14 These [are] the families of the Simeonites, twenty and two thousand and two hundred. 15 The children of Gad after their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites: of Haggi, the family of the Haggites: of Shuni, the family of the Shunites: 16 Of Ozni, the family of the Oznites: of Eri, the family of the Erites: 17 Of Arod, the family of the Arodites: of Areli, the family of the Arelites. 18 These [are] the families of the children of Gad according to those that were numbered of them, forty thousand and five hundred. 19 The sons of Judah [were] Er and Onan: and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. 20 And the sons of Judah after their families were; of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites: of Pharez, the family of the Pharzites: of Zerah, the family of the Zarhites. 21 And the sons of Pharez were; of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites: of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites. 22 These [are] the families of Judah according to those that were numbered of them, threescore and sixteen thousand and five hundred. 23 [Of] the sons of Issachar after their families: [of] Tola, the family of the Tolaites: of Pua, the family of the Punites: 24 Of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites: of Shimron, the family of the Shimronites. 25 These [are] the families of Issachar according to those that were numbered of them, threescore and four thousand and three hundred. 26 [Of] the sons of Zebulun after their families: of Sered, the family of the Sardites: of Elon, the family of the Elonites: of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites. 27 These [are] the families of the Zebulunites according to those that were numbered of them, threescore thousand and five hundred. 28 The sons of Joseph after their families [were] Manasseh and Ephraim. 29 Of the sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites: and Machir begat Gilead: of Gilead [come] the family of the Gileadites. 30 These [are] the sons of Gilead: [of] Jeezer, the family of the Jeezerites: of Helek, the family of the Helekites: 31 And [of] Asriel, the family of the Asrielites: and [of] Shechem, the family of the Shechemites: 32 And [of] Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites: and [of] Hepher, the family of the Hepherites. 33 And Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad [were] Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 34 These [are] the families of Manasseh, and those that were numbered of them, fifty and two thousand and seven hundred. 35 These [are] the sons of Ephraim after their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthalhites: of Becher, the family of the Bachrites: of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites. 36 And these [are] the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the family of the Eranites. 37 These [are] the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those that were numbered of them, thirty and two thousand and five hundred. These [are] the sons of Joseph after their families. 38 The sons of Benjamin after their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites: of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites: of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites: 39 Of Shupham, the family of the Shuphamites: of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. 40 And the sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: [of Ard], the family of the Ardites: [and] of Naaman, the family of the Naamites. 41 These [are] the sons of Benjamin after their families: and they that were numbered of them [were] forty and five thousand and six hundred. 42 These [are] the sons of Dan after their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These [are] the families of Dan after their families. 43 All the families of the Shuhamites, according to those that were numbered of them, [were] threescore and four thousand and four hundred. 44 [Of] the children of Asher after their families: of Jimna, the family of the Jimnites: of Jesui, the family of the Jesuites: of Beriah, the family of the Beriites. 45 Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites: of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites. 46 And the name of the daughter of Asher [was] Sarah. 47 These [are] the families of the sons of Asher according to those that were numbered of them; [who were] fifty and three thousand and four hundred. 48 [Of] the sons of Naphtali after their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites: of Guni, the family of the Gunites: 49 Of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites: of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites. 50 These [are] the families of Naphtali according to their families: and they that were numbered of them [were] forty and five thousand and four hundred. 51 These [were] the numbered of the children of Israel, six hundred thousand and a thousand seven hundred and thirty. 52 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 53 Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. 54 To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him. 55 Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. 56 According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few. 57 And these [are] they that were numbered of the Levites after their families: of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites: of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites: of Merari, the family of the Merarites. 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, the family of the Korathites. And Kohath begat Amram. 59 And the name of Amram’s wife [was] Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom [her mother] bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister. 60 And unto Aaron was born Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 61 And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD. 62 And those that were numbered of them were twenty and three thousand, all males from a month old and upward: for they were not numbered among the children of Israel, because there was no inheritance given them among the children of Israel. 63 These [are] they that were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan [near] Jericho. 64 But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 65 For the LORD had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

The question before us today is how many can go to war? In our chapter, we see it was the priest’s responsibility to number the warriors. Why not number those who can’t or won’t go to war? Because they don’t count! There are three roles of leadership in the kingdom: Prophet, Priest, and King. The priest ministry equates to that of the pastor. The priest stood before God for man, but he also stood before man for God. The pastor’s role is to operationally bring God’s purposes and the people together to fulfill the agenda of the kingdom. The heart of a pastor always tracks, “who’s with us”? The pastor needs to know the maturity level and the people’s fitness for conquest in the kingdom.

In v. 2, we see that a fit soldier had to be twenty years or older. The number twenty speaks of maturity and experience. Ten is the number of testimony, and two is the number of witness. A soldier of God is one who has stood up to the test and won’t run in the face of battle. A soldier of God is one who has the witness of God in his life and knows by the witness of God the confirmation of the call of God on his life.

What does maturity look like? The apostle Paul described Christian maturity and how it is attained in Ephesians 4:11-15:

[Eph 4:11-15 KJV] 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:

There are many ideas about what that maturity looks like but suffice to say that in the mind of God, He has a template for spiritual adulthood and the fulness of Christ in you. Part of cooperating with God’s plan to grow you up is seeing that t is necessary to have all the five-fold ministries in your life to see that maturity brought forth. God wants you to grow up before you grow old. In his teachings, Bob Mumford decries what he calls “the eternal childhood of the believer.” One of the problems in Christianity is a leadership bottleneck around the pastor. Pastors are recognized and established, but the apostle, prophet, etc., are often regarded with suspicion and doubt. God’s purpose is to change this. This requires cooperation from the people and the pastors specifically. Pastors complain about the poor quality and lack of maturity in the people, but until the pastors humble themselves and realize they don’t have it all – there will be the pernicious problem of immature Christians. Moses stood before the people as a prophet. Who is the prophet in your life? Who is the apostolic influence in your life? If you don’t know, then you have not come to the full measure of maturity in Christ that these ministries were given by Jesus to facilitate.

Starting in v. 4, you will notice as the numbering took place, it was according to the tribes. The tribes traveled and warred under banners specific to their families. There are tribes in God. When you find yourself where you know you don’t belong, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong other than the fact that you need to find your tribe. You will know when you find your spiritual sod – your spiritual place. God sets the solitary in families.

Notice in v. 10, there is a reference to Korah and his family when he rebelled and was punished. The observation is made that though Korah was penalized, his extended family line was preserved. Even in judgment, God is merciful and kind.

In v. 7-62, the tribes are numbered, and the totals are given in this God-directed census. What was the timing of this numbering of the armies of Israel? The season of wilderness wandering is drawing to a close. There was no need to count those who were going to die in the wilderness. They counted those who were going to cross over Jordan. The word “Jordan” means the “going down place” or “to go low.” This speaks of humility. Prideful people – don’t matter. Only the humble are valuable when it comes time to take territory in God.

The people are now preparing to return to Jordan and make conquest of Canaan. The first generation had accused God of bringing them to the wilderness to die. According to the confession of their mouth, their bones bleached in the wilderness. Now a new generation was raised up. The first generation said that their children would come to nothing in the wilderness. We do this much the same by criticizing the younger generation. God mocks our unbelief, raising them up and causing our younger generations to enter in where we failed. The exception to this was Joshua or Caleb. They were able to stay relevant and engaged when every other person in their generation died out. Are you a Joshua or a Caleb? They were two men out of 700,000 that had faith to believe God for the conquest of Canaan.

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