1 Chronicles 21-22

1 Chronicles 21-22

Chapter 21: David Numbers Israel

David commands that a census be taken, to “number” Israel. This is prompted however by Satan who has his own reasoning for doing things. God allows this temptation to move David into numbering Israel because God wants to chastise David. So why was it so bad to “number” Israel? In these times a man would “number” only what belonged to him. David did not own Israel or its people, God does. If God were to command a “numbering” of his people, then the motive would be service to the Lord and doing as He had commanded. However in this instance David was only concerned with protecting and putting his trust in a “multitude” of hosts, or in other words putting his trust in numbers of a manmade army over the trust of God.

In our daily lives we can see this happen to us on a daily basis. How often do we put our trust in something manmade or putting our trust in another man (or woman) over God? I would say quite often. We must put our trust in God. That, however, does not mean that we are free to do as we please, or to simply sit back and say that we are putting our trust in God, without any actions! To trust, or have faith in God, we must ACT. We must do all that we can in following the commandments and working hard for what we feel is right, and then and only then will the hand of God be shown in our lives.

Joab objects to the numbering and asks David to reconsider his foolish ways. Joab knew that David’s reasoning was built up in pride, wanting to know how powerful he was, perhaps to conquer a neighboring nation. In Samuel 24:4 we read that it was not only Joab who objected to the numbering, but also the captains of the army, but David however prevails in his desire to number Israel, and he was immediately sorry for doing so.

Joab comes back to David with the census complete and finds that there are 1.3 million fighting men among the twelve tribes, which is a small portion of the 6 million people living in Israel. Although Joab did not count the tribes of Levi and Benjamin, for fear that God would strike them down and all that would remain would be those who were not numbered. God would have struck down all of Israel, but God had already done so with the deeply afflicted heart of David. David, wasn’t perfect, but when he knew that he had sinned his heart was very sensitive to sin and therefore was very remorseful of his ways. David admits that he has been foolish and asks God for, forgiveness.

God sends a messenger to David and gives him three options of Judgment to forgive his sin:

#1: 3 years of famine.

#2: 3 Months until you are defeated by your enemies.

#3: For 3 days a plague would engulf the land.

 

God gave David these three options to test David’s heart and wisdom:

 

#1: 3 years of famine would surely kill most of Israel, the wealthy and resourceful would survive by depending on neighboring nations for food.

#2: 3 Months until you are defeated by your enemies would surely mean the death of most of the soldiers, and would probably result in new enemies.

#3: For 3 days a plague would engulf the land, this would cause a great deal of death among all of Israel, no matter whom; rich, poor, military…etc.

 

David chooses to have 3 days of plagues. This is important, because had David chose war; his family and himself would have been protected. Had David chosen famine, his wealth would have sustained him. Therefore he humbled himself and accepted of God’s punishment by choosing something that could ultimately affect himself and his loved ones. By choosing 3 days of plague he was also in the hands of God, whom he knew would be more merciful than man.

The destroying angel comes and kills 70,000 men of Israel and as the destruction is happening, God steps back and relented of the disaster and commanded the angel to restrain from continuing. David seeing the destructions laments to God asking him why he had killed so many of his innocent sheep and had refrained from touching him. God then commands David to erect a altar to the Lord. So
David does as he is commanded.

David goes to Ornan and asks him to build an altar where his threshingfloor stands. David buys the land for 600 shekels of God, the full price of the property. David offers peace and burnt offerings there, as a tribute to his understanding of God and his ways in destroying 70,000 of his sheep.

 

David finally knows where the Lord wants his temple to be built, right there on the threshingfloor.

 

Chapter 22: Solomon Is to Build the Temple

David is commanded to gather men who were foreigners in the land of Israel, which were about 70,000 slaves to build the temple of Solomon. David gathered the finest materials, cedar trees from Lebanon. The house of God would have to be magnificently built unto the Lord, so David made preparations for his son Solomon to continue building the temple after his death. David charges (gives blessing) to Solomon to complete this great work of building the House of the Lord after his death, in a sense if Solomon failed in building the temple, David failed as well. David warns Solomon to stay faithful to God and his word, in accomplishing the construction of the temple. David counsels Solomon to;

“…be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.” (1 Chronicles 22:13)

This is something that we can all appreciate and place in our hearts in our daily activities. Life, after all, is tough. Our challenges we face on a day to day level are not easy ones, but if we put our trust in God and don’t worry about the future or how something will come about, then we can have that courage and strength that we need to continue fighting towards our righteous individual dreams and desires.

David prepares the construction by leaving Solomon in charge of a great deal of money and resources to ensure that the temple does get built and with all its magnificence.

Summary of Numbers

Summary of Numbers

Chapter by Chapter:

Numbers 1-2:  Each Tribe is Numbered/ Order and Leaders are Established
Numbers 3-4: Aaron and his sons administer/30+ Years
Numbers 5-6: Sinners/ No Wine of Strong Drink
Numbers 7-8: The Lord Speaks to Moses/ Washed and Consecrated
Numbers 9-10: Commanded to Keep the Passover/ Ark of the Covenant
Numbers 11-12: The 70 Elders of Israel/Speaking to Moses; Mouth to Mouth
Numbers 13-14: Twelve Spies to the Land of Canaan/Israel Murmurs Against Moses
Numbers 15-16: Garments/Israel Murmurs
Numbers 17-18: Almonds= Token Against Rebels/Levites are Called to Service
Numbers 19-20: Sprinking Water = Clean Sin!/ Water from a Rock
Numbers 21-22: Serpent of Brass/Balak Offers Money and Cattle
Numbers 23-24: Balaam Blesses Israel/Vision of Balaam
Numbers 25-26: Worshipping False Gods/The People in Moab
Numbers 27-28: Law of Inheritances/Sacrifices; Morning and Night
Numbers 29-30: Sacrifices During the 7th Month/Law of Vows and Oaths
Numbers 31-32: Moses sends 12,000 Warriors/Conquering of Canaan
Numbers 33-34: Journey from Egypt to Canaan/Borders of Israel
Numbers 35-36: Murderers/Marry in your Tribe

Summary of Numbers:

God, in the wilderness of Sinai, commands Moses to get an accounting of all men twenty years and older, who are able to bear arms. Moses appoints princes over each tribe and finds that 603,550 Israelites are fit for warfare. Everyone is required to serve in the military, except the tribe of Levi, who are exempt because of their service in the Tabernacle. The Levites are divided into three families, the Merarites, Gershonites and Kohathites who are all headed by Eleazer (the son of Aaron) and the High Priest. The Levites are commanded to build/take care of the Tabernacle, then to prepare for the march into the Promised Land.

While marching towards the promised land the children of Israel start to murmur, those who murmured are consumed by fire. Moses goes to God and asks him for help, because he cannot bear being the leader anymore. So God gives him the authority to call 70 Elders of Israel who can assist him in the duties of the Lord. Miriam and Aaron insult Moses at Hazeroth, which angers God and punishes Miriam with Leprosy (according to Israelite Law, banishing Miriam from the camp for 7 days).

In the Desert of Paran, twelve spies are sent out to Canaan and come back to report to Moses. Two of the spies say that the land is fit for the taking, describing it as “flowing with milk and honey”, while the other spies tell of giant humans who dwell there. The Israelites refuse to enter into the land, and for their lack of faith, the Lord causes them to wander in the desert for 40 years.

Moses is commanded to make plates to cover the altar with the 250 censers (containers to burn incense) left after the destruction of the band of Korah. The Children of Israel, again murmur. God causes a plague to come down on them and 14,700 perish.

Miriam dies at Kadesh Barnea, and the Israelites set out for Moab (which is on the western border of the land of Canaan). While in this area, the Israelites start to moan about the lack of water. They blame Moses for being a poor leader and believe that they would have been better off as slaves in Egypt than to perish in the desert.

As a solution to the water, God commands Moses to speak to a rock, when Moses disobeys… the Lord tells him that he will not enter into the Promised Land. The Israelites continue their journey, asking the king of Edom for permission to pass through his land. The king of Edom refuses, so they go around his land. While on this journey, Aaron dies on the mount of Hor. For speaking out against Moses and God, the children of Israel are plagued with Fiery flying serpents, a bronze serpent however is constructed to horde-off these serpents.

When the congregation of Israel arrive in the plains of Moab, they gather a new census of males 20 years+ who are fit for war. The new number is 601,730; 1,820 less than the first census taken almost one generation before. The Levites are again not included in this census, but counted separately at 23,000. Zelophehad, having only daughters are to receive his inheritance. The laws of Inheritances are also given.

Joshua is called as the successor to Moses and is given the authority by the laying on of hands, by the power from God. God commands the Israelites to kill all of the people of Midian, and they do it. The land east of the Jordan River is divided by Lots among the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh.

Moses explains why they had to wander for 40 years in the desert and gives command to exterminate all the Canaanites and their idols (because they caused them to sin). The land of Canaan is to be divided under the supervision of Eleazer, Joshua and the twelve appointed princes of the twelve tribes of Israel.