MARCH 11 READINGS…Numbers 34:1-36:13.
In today’s readings the Lord sets the boundaries of the land that He is giving to the nation of Israel. Interesting it is not the full of the land given in the Abrahamic Covenant…but the borders given to Moses are very similar to the borders of modern day Israel. The question may arise, as it has down through the ages, what claim does Israel have to the land? The simple answer would be that the land belongs to the Lord, and He can give it to whoever He chooses. This “retaking” of the land is in accord with the covenant that God made with Abraham…and in fulfillment of the promised prophecy that the Lord spoke to Abraham about his descendants being in Egypt for four hundred years and then be brought back into the land. It is clear both historically, and prophetically, that God has a special plan for this land…and for Israel being in the land. Even today 4000 years after Moses this land is still the center of the world’s attention…and I would say the center of God’s prophetic promises.
As the different tribes of Israel are given their assigned land, the Lord gives instruction to Moses concerning the cities of the Levites and the cities of refuge…He also gives instruction for women who have inherited land. The Levites would not be given a tribal land…instead they were to build cities throughout the whole of Israel…forty-eight cities in all. This would enable the Levites, who were the priestly tribe, to minister to the whole nation of Israel. Moses also appointed six cities of refuge…three on each side of the Jordan River. These cities were places for someone to flee to if they accidently killed another person…they would be kept from being killed by the avenger from the family of the person they accidently killed. These cities were not a safe place for murderers…all people convicted of murder, by two or more witnesses, were to be put to death. Right from the beginning of the nation of Israel capital punishment was required for those guilty intentionally murdering another person.
Please share any thoughts or insight you have from today’s readings. We finish the book of Numbers today…tomorrow we move into reading the book of Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy we will read Moses’ final words and instructions to Israel, as we move to the time of transition of leadership from Moses to Joshua.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Deuteronomy 1:1-3:20.