After the plague, the Lord said to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron, the priest, “Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers’ houses, all in Israel who are able to go to war.” …
Reuben, the firstborn of Israel…
This was the list of the people of Israel, 601,730.
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Among these the land shall be divided for inheritance according to the number of names.” …
These were those listed by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who listed the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. But among these there was not one of those listed by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had listed the people of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. For the Lord had said of them, “They shall die in the wilderness.” Not one of them was left, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
Then drew near the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, from the clans of Manasseh the son of Joseph. The names of his daughters were: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. And they stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the chiefs and all the congregation, at the entrance of the tent of meeting, saying, “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah, but died for his own sin. And he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be taken away from his clan because he had no son? Give to us a possession among our father’s brothers.”
Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, “The daughters of Zelophehad are right. You shall give them possession of an inheritance among their father’s brothers and transfer the inheritance of their father to them.”
1. Do you agree that there is a growing pessimism about the future? Do you feel it? What is the cause do you think?
2. Was Israel prepared, and did they deserve, to enter the Promised and receive it? Why did they ultimately?
3. Can you trust God with society and the course of history? Do you believe by his grace he will preserve the world and his people to the end? Should that impact how you live now? If so, how?
4. If you have children, do you feel the pressure and insecurity of being a parent?
5. If you have children, what are your deepest hopes for them? How much control do you have over achieving those hopes?
6. Can you leave your children in God’s hands, trusting his disruptive grace?