As we wrap up Leviticus and dive into Numbers, it’s important to remember all we’ve learned. In fact, just as the LORD stated in Leviticus 26, how Israel follows theses laws will determine all their future blessing and curses from here on.
There’s an example of this in today’s reading as well. As the LORD prepares the people to move on from Mt. Sinai, He tells Moses to count the men who qualify for war.
There are a lot! I always imagine neat little camps (kind of like the illustrations from the video), but these must have been massive! Fighting men are a small amount of any people group, maybe a fourth! Now considering the grand total of their army was 603,550 we could assume the total number of this group of nomads is more than 2.5 million (which is approximately the amount of people living in the Portland metro area)! Also, remember there is an absurd amount of livestock traveling with these folks. Now imagine the logistical headache of sending everyone on a hike together.
Notice 1:49, where the LORD tells Moses not to count the Levites or general population. A census is on the LORD’s terms. It’s not for military pride, which is why in Samuel 24, David’s census was wrong. How does Joab know this is wrong in 24:3? He knew the law of Sinai.
The LORD is not random or unpredictable. He makes Himself clear along with blessings and consequences. In fact, He is most surprising when it comes to His abundance of grace and mercy. But is it really a surprise? It is His nature.
“The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6)
He is truly glorious. Is there something causing you to struggle with the goodness of the LORD? Talk to Him about it. Although you may know it in your head, may He surprise your heart with His lovingkindness today.