Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday - Numbers 34 - National Borders & New Leadership

When America was growing west in the 1800s, there was a supposition popularly known as our Manifest Destiny. Even before the land of the free stretched from sea to shining sea, there was an understanding in the minds of many that attaining that goal was inevitable. This was true for the Jews as they crossed the Jordan River too, but they had a little more clarity in their destiny. God actually told them where their borders would be. If you are familiar with the modern borders of Israel, they are roughly related to the ones which God drew.  However, for our purposes, I'm not sure the location of the borderlines is as important as is the fact that God was the one who declared them. Modern arguments about who gets what land over there should be settled (for Bible believers) after reading Numbers 34.

There are two things about the covenant that God made with Abraham that seem abundantly clear. It was a land agreement and it was permanent (Genesis 13:15). Now, all of the tribal chiefs who could, would and should have inherited the various plots in Canaan (Numbers 1) died without entering, so, obviously the new chieftains received that honor. Eleazar (the spiritual head) & Joshua (the head of state) received (as one of their first orders of joint business) the responsibility of dividing the land among 9 tribes. Reuben, Gad and Levi are not mentioned in this list because they didn't receive any regions in Canaan.

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