Today’s Chapters: Numbers 29-33
God covers the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Notice that for the feast of Trumpets and Tabernacles the Lord says, “You shall do no customary work.” It is only for the Day of Atonement that God tells them not to do any work. When reading the New Testament, it is easy to assume that God commanded that no work be done on any of the high feast days. Yet that is not the case, they were not to do their customary work – their daily grind (work). These days were to be set apart for celebration and worship.
Vows were an important thing to God. His word never changes because He never changes. If He promises us one thing today, He will hold to that promise tomorrow. God wants us to be like Him. He wants us to hold fast to our word and to our vows. To often people make a decision to do one thing but when something better comes along they completely forsake their first vow. If we do this with the trivial things of life, how much more so we be inclined to forsake our vows to God?
The nation sent an army out to attack the Midianites. After winning the battle, the spoil was divided in two – one half for the nations as a whole and one half for the soldiers who fought in the battle. I think it is very fitting for the men who actually risked their lives to have a larger part of the spoils. What I think is even more fitting is that when they counted themselves after the spoils had been dispersed and found that none of them were missing from the battle (i.e. killed), they got together and freely gave an offering to God from their spoils for His good favor in the battle. It’s amazing what takes place when we follow the commands of God.
The tribes of Reuben and Gad wanted to split their portions of land – one half on the east-side of the Jordan river and one half on the west-side (the Promised Land-side) of the Jordan river. Moses allowed this under the condition that these two tribes would continue on to the Promised Land and help fight in the battles there before settling their land.
This chapter recaps the journey of the nation of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. They are camped near the Jordan river and are about to go over. It is here that they receive instructions for the conquest and here that they recap their history until now.