As we close out the Book of Numbers and begin reading the Book of Deuteronomy, we see how the Lord specifically directs women in the tribes of Israel to marry men within their tribes so that land rights would not be lost (or moved) to another tribe (Num. 36:9). God was preserving His divine allocation of territories for the entire nation in order to keep things in balance.
As Deuteronomy opens, we see Moses giving the Israelites a history lesson. He begins a lengthy reminder of how God had blessed the nation but also reminds them how they had rebelled and suffered a 40-year penalty. Though God had graciously brought them out of Egypt and led them in the wilderness to the promised land, they refused to enter the land as He had directed. Consequently, an entire generation (most of the nation) died in the wilderness.
As Christians, it behooves us to learn a lesson from Israel’s mistakes. When God gives us direction, follow it; when He say obey Me, obey Him – otherwise, we will find ourselves under His discipline and there will be consequences.
Hundreds of years after Moses wrote Numbers and Deuteronomy, the Psalmist reiterates the history of Israel: “Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles He does for His people! He made a dry path through the Red Sea, and His people went across on foot. Come let us rejoice in who He is. For by His great power He rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance.” (Psalm 66:5-7)
Let us rejoice in the awesome and mighty One!