"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 36 - Conclusion

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez, and James Fire

NUMBERS 36: “KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY” by Sonny Islas, check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: We are now at the very end of the Book of Numbers! Numbers 36. At this point in the narrative, The Twelve Tribes of Israel are at the threshold or doorway of Canaan (aka Israel) - the Land God Promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The following Book which is the Book of Deuteronomy – which means Double Law or The Law Repeated is just that – the Law repeated. Seeing that the parents of all these Israelites died in the wilderness, they were going to need a reminder of God’s Laws – The Ten Commandments and all the wonderful things that the LORD had done for them and their parents. A solid reminder of God’s faithfulness etc.

We can call this chapter LAWS CONCERNING WOMEN HEIRS

NUMBERS 36:1-13
1 Now the chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near and spoke before Moses and before the leaders, the chief fathers of the children of Israel. 2 And they said: "The LORD commanded my lord Moses to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters. 3 "Now if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and it will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so it will be taken from the lot of our inheritance. 4 "And when the Jubilee of the children of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers." 5 Then Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying: "What the tribe of the sons of Joseph speaks is right. 6 "This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, 'Let them marry whom they think best, but they may marry only within the family of their father's tribe.' 7 "So the inheritance of the children of Israel shall not change hands from tribe to tribe, for every one of the children of Israel shall keep the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.

8 "And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel shall be the wife of one of the family of her father's tribe, so that the children of Israel each may possess the inheritance of his fathers. 9 "Thus no inheritance shall change hands from one tribe to another, but every tribe of the children of Israel shall keep its own inheritance." 10 Just as the LORD commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad; 11 for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to the sons of their father's brothers. 12 They were married into the families of the children of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father's family. 13 These are the commandments and the judgments which the LORD commanded the children of Israel by the hand of Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho.

Zelophehad was a man from the Tribe of Manasseh (Joseph) who died in the wilderness, during the 40 years of wandering. He had no sons to give his inheritance to (that is a piece of the Canaanite pie), a piece of land or property allotted to him. But he did have five daughters and these daughters petitioned for their deceased dad’s inheritance to go to them. Their petition was granted (back in Numbers 27).

The new rule or law was that if these sisters wanted to Inherit their piece of land, they would have to marry into their own family – they would have to keep it in the family. They would have to marry a man from the same Tribe – The Tribe of Manasseh. Because if they marry a man from another Tribe, that Tribe would eventually end up with their father’s property.

This command for these sisters to (as verse 6 says) “Let them marry who they think best, BUT they may ONLY marry within the family of their father’s Tribe.” Reminds me of a New Testament commandment regarding marriage.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:39 regarding Christian widows says,
“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, ONLY in the Lord.”

Just as Zelophehad’s daughters could marry whoever they’d like, but only into the same Tribe – the single Christian can marry whomever they wish BUT only in the LORD. Christians too have to keep it in the family - the spiritual family of God.

Reason being, God does want us unequally yoked (tied together) with unbelievers – especially in marriage, which is the greatest relational earthly bond – if it can be avoided at the start.

2 CORINTHANS 6:14 says,
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

A yoke is an instrument that farmers placed on two oxen working the filed. The instrument united them in the work. But if the farmer placed the yoke on say an ox and a donkey, they would go in circles or make crooked lines in the fields.

In the same way a Christian and a non-Christian have very little in common when it comes to truth and biblical convictions that can eventually cause lots of pain, regret or something even worse. God wants to spare young single believers from this potential future mess.

One loves God while the other loves the world = constant clashing. One wants to go to church, the other not so much. One wants to give to God’s work the other gets angry. One wants to raise their children in the ways of the LORD while the other can care less etc.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:10-16 (If married to an unbeliever - stay married)
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. 12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

~ ~ THE END ~ ~ 

For more on this final chapter of NUMBERS, check out David Guzik on NUMBERS 36!

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