God instructed Moses to gather 1000 men from each of the tribes of Israel in order to settle accounts with Midian in Numbers 31. As they obeyed that Lord's commandment, they killed all the males, as well as, the 5 kings of Midian and Balaam, the son of Beor too! In vs 16 Moses revealed that it was through the counsel of Balaam that the Israelites were stumbled by the Midianite women, which eventually resulted in the plague among the Lord's people! Ultimately, all who sinned and refused to repent met with God's judgment! However, those who repented or kept themselves pure, and fought the Lord's battles, ended up with a huge amount of the spoils, from which they were able to give generously to the Lord as well! Thus we see that no matter how badly one falls, repentance always brings blessings and exaltation!
Numbers 33 reveals how they wandered in the wilderness instead of entering into the land when God wanted them too!
Numbers 34 reveals how wonderfully God had already planned for the distribution of the land of Canaan among the 12 tribes of Israel, long before He would have even called their Father Abraham, because they were His chosen people. Jeremiah 29:11 reveals that God has plans for our welfare too, provided, we don't fall by the way side because of reacting in unbelief and disobedience, (Hebrews 3:18,19) even as we pass through the wilderness phases of our lives! So, a trial may take longer than usual to end, when we don't respond rightly in obedience to God's commandments, and if we continue in rebellion, we may never enter into rest in our personal lives nor fulfill the calling that God actually intended for us to walk in here on earth!
Finally, in Numbers 35, we see God making precise provisions for the Levites who were dedicated to the service of the Lord, thus ensuring that when God choses us to do a particular work for Him, He will provide for us and for the work too, because, He is no man's debtor. So, incase we have to stress and struggle in providing for ourselves or for the work that God has given us to do, over a long period of time, then we seriously need to seek God to find out where we may be going wrong, for a godly man once said that, 'God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's funds!' So, let us learn from these examples how God works, and seek to know Him, not by His acts alone, but by His ways too, so that we will not go astray in our hearts, but, continue in faith to the preserving of our souls, Hebrews 10: 39.
Numbers 32:12 Caleb.... and Joshua.. followed the lord wholeheartedly
Only Caleb and Joshua out of the 12 spies believed God would give the might they needed to conquer the land.
Joshua was a key aide to Moses and after Moses,Joshua led the Israelites to conquer lands in Canaan. A book in the Bible bears his name.
But it was Caleb who first spoke up about people's dismal disbelief. Num 13;30 says Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said that they would go up and take possession of the land,for they can certainly do it.
Both Caleb and Joshua tore their clothes and said.....If the lord is pleased with us,He will lead us into that land,a land flowing with milk and honey and will give it to us,Num14:8
The crowds wanted to stone them.Despite crowd's violent threats,Caleb and Joshua never doubted God,clung to His promises,believed in His power to overcome difficulties and dangers.
God was pleased with them because they followed Him wholeheartedly.God rewarded them by allowing only them and people below 20 years of age to enter the promised land.Following God wholeheartedly,is what saved them and enjoy many years in Canaan.
Blot out the memory of Amalek
Numbers 24 In v20 Balaam uttered his oracle as revealed by the Lord that Amalek will come to ruin at last.
Amalekites were the descendants of Amalek the grandson of Easu (Gen.36:12).
Given below are three references to what God and Moses said about Amalek.
1.The Lord said, " I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven" - ( Exo. 17:14)
2. Moses said, " The Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation- (Exo.17:16)
3. You shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven (Deu.25:19).
Above verses make it clear that the Lord is at war against Amalek constantly and he will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven and commands us to do the same.
Why does God want to finish off Amalek?
Amalek represents a type of flesh since his grandfather Easu put fleshly desire, his natural hunger before the spiritual heritage, the birth right of first born.
Amalek also embodies the lack of fear of God(Dt.25:18) by attacking the Israelites when they were weary and worn out and cut off all who were lagging behind in their journey from Egypt. Therefore Amalek represents the power of darkness and evil in the world which try to thwart God's plan..
Fight against Amalek is equal to our ongoing spiritual warfare against the evil one in our life. When we nourish our fleshly appetites we enthrone Amalek. When we crucify our fleshly appetites we enthrone Christ in our life.
Who is upon the throne of our life?
Christ or Amalek.
Amalek, the flesh has no claim over us when Christ is enthroned in our life
How do we dethrone Amalek in our life?
1. By taking captive every thought to make it obey Christ ( 2 Cor.10:5) since all our fleshly desires begin in our thoughts and in the motive behind such thoughts.
2. By our complete obedience to the word of God (2 Cor.10.6)
3. By having an Accountability partner who will be allowed to question our motives behind our fleshly desires and acts.
Let us blot out the memory of Amalek, the flesh.
Final Acts of Moses
The Lord had already told Moses that he could only see the Promised Land from the mountain in Abarim range before his death.
The Lord declared that the war against the Midianites was one of Moses' last actions before the end of his life.
The war was the Lord's Vengeance (Num 31:3) for the Midianites part in seducing the Israelites to engage in sexual immorality and idolatry (worship of Baal). Balaam was the principal instigator of the seduction.
The battle was the Lord's. 12,000 Israelites carried out this war. Phinehas son of Eleazar went along with them. All the men including 5 kings and Balaam were killed. Not one Israelite was missing.
They brought back captives, spoils and plunder to Moses and Eleazar the priest. They had not killed the women. Moses was very angry because they were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the cause for Israel turning away from the Lord.
Leaving the virgins who were innocent all the women and boys were killed. All those who went for war had to clean themselves for 7 days and then enter the camp.
Another aspect of this war was fair distribution of the spoils of the war among those who went to battle and those who stayed back. Appropriate shares were given to the Lord whose battle it was.
Before entering the Promised Land the Lord gave the boundaries of Canaan. This was not for mere information but also to display again the dimensions of God's great gift to His people.
Reuben, Gad and half tribe of Manasseh would settle in east side of Jordan. The list of new tribal leaders, towns for the Levites cities of refuge were all listed. No inheritance can pass from tribe to tribe. Each tribe had to keep the land it inherited.
These are the commands and regulations the Lord gave through Moses to the Israelites before they crossed the Jordan.
God expects us to abide in Him and His word must abide in us. And we are required to be doers of His word to enter our Promised Land of Eternal Life.
Mrs Caroline Chellappa