Numbers 34 Commentary: Size of the Promised Land and the new leadership team.
This book is about numbers. One figure has reduced significantly. It is the size of the Promised Land. The LORD’S promise to Abraham saw us looking at a much bigger portion of land. In this chapter we have seen a much reduced portion of land. Later we shall see that the land that Israel eventually and actually occupied is much smaller.
We can learn one thing: the promises of the LORD are always bigger than our human capacity. What we eventually achieve is less than what the LORD offers. What is on display in your life is actually less than what the LORD has given!
Take a look at the names of leaders. Joshua is commissioned to lead the community in matters of the state, while matters relating to Sanctuary worship are left in the hands of Eleazar the priest. It’s a new cast. It reminds us of the many difficulties encountered in the wilderness. It is a moment one stops to count the losses. The leadership team at the start of the long trip is completely gone.
We do well to remind ourselves of the LORD’s name. “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Exodus 34 verses 6 and 7.
It is a fatal mistake by mankind to want to diminish the name of the LORD by ignoring the justice part of the LORD’s character. Indeed the LORD is one.
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