Looking To The Future

Numbers 36:7
“So the inheritance of the children of Israel shall not change hands from tribe to tribe, for every one of the children of Israel shall keep the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.”

The children of Gilead, from the tribe of Manasseh, brought an interesting case to Moses. The father of one of the families had died without having any sons, as a result they were concerned with what would become of the family inheritance if the daughters married outside of their tribe. If the land became the property of the husband’s tribe, it would not be long before some tribal inheritance was lost. Moses sought the Lord and determined that an ordinance be put in place where the land would not pass from tribe to tribe. To ensure this, a woman without brothers would need to consider her inheritance and marry within her tribe.

Clearly, this particular rule is not in play under the New Covenant. As a follower of Jesus, we have no promise of receiving land, nor of that land being passed on as an inheritance to our children. That being said, I think this passage brings to light a much bigger principle; when we are determining who we should marry, we need to keep our inheritance in mind.

Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers that they would know the hope of their calling (Ephesians 1:18). This is an important truth for all of us. We need to know that we have been called to leave the world behind,  to follow Jesus, and serve Christ. When it comes to determining who we will date and ultimately marry, we must keep our calling in mind. Too often, we find believers neglecting their inheritance for the sake of a relationship. They pursue a person because they are attracted to them physically, without giving any consideration to that person’s walk with God, or calling. The Bible clearly teaches that a follower of Jesus should not be in a relationship with someone who is not following Christ; but there are other things to keep in mind as well. What evidences does this person show that they are a disciple of Christ? How are they currently serving Jesus? What part does the Word of God play in their decision making? Do they have the same long term goals of serving the Lord that you have?

We can avoid a lifetime of difficulty if we keep our inheritance in mind, before entering into a relationship.

Pastor Jim

 

What’s In It For Me? 

Deuteronomy 32:9
“For the Lord’s portion is His people; 
Jacob is the place of His inheritance.”
 

I am sure we have all heard the phrase, “What’s in it for me?” In fact, in all likelihood we have probably used the phrase ourselves. We might ask this as it relates to an investment or work related opportunity. Some suggest, the most important principle in business marketing, is to be sure to let the consumer know what’s in it for them. When it comes to salvation, the answer includes, but is not limited too: forgiveness of sin, restored relationship with God, a transformed life, and the free gift of eternal life. Without doubt, we would be exercising the height of folly to fail to receive all that is offered to us through a relationship with Christ. 

 

That being said, Moses is focussing on the other side of “What’s in it for me?” He is referring to that which God gets out of the deal. Because we accepted Christ, we get Him, and in return He gets us. 

 

“For the Lord’s portion is His people;

Jacob is the place of His inheritance.”

 

God hand-selected Abraham, miraculously worked in his life by providing a son, put his protection upon the children of Israel, delivered them from Egyptian bondage, and carried them through their wilderness journey. As a result, they belonged to Him. They were His possession and His people. In the same way, Christ hung on Calvary’s cross, bore the weight of human sin, breathed His last, was laid in a cave, and rose from the dead, all to provide atonement for sin, and bring us into relationship with God. The result is, we belong to Him, we are in fact, His inheritance. The proper response is, we understand the great value He places upon each of us, and we seek to live all out for His glory and purposes. 

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

 

Pastor Jim 

 

 

Inheritance 

Numbers 26:54
“To a large tribe you shall give a larger inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a smaller inheritance. Each shall be given its inheritance according to those who were numbered of them.”

Israel’s inheritance in the Promised Land was determined by two factors. First, where they would live was chosen by the Lord. Second, how much land they had was determined by the size of the tribe. One of the main factors affecting the size of the tribe was how much they grew during the wilderness years. These same factors will determine what our experience of the Lord will be as well. 

Much of life is outside of our control. Like Israel having to trust God with what part of the land they would inhabit, we have to trust God through the things in life that are beyond our control. When we lose our job, come down with an illness, or are impacted by the decisions of political leaders whose ungodly practices directly affect our livelihood, we must trust that the Lord will care for us, regardless of what the land is like in which we find ourselves living. Some of the tribes lived in desert-like surroundings, and would have to struggle to provide for themselves in an arid climate. Others lived among the mountains, and found them to be strongholds for the enemy. Reliance upon the Lord was necessary, regardless of where the lot took them. 

While much of life is outside of our control, there remains a great deal that we do control. The decisions each tribe made during the difficult years in the wilderness  directly impact the size of the land they inherited. Those who grew received a larger portion than those who shrank or stayed the same. None of us can control what life throws at us, but all of us can control how we react to it. If we choose to take the godly route, we will find that no matter how challenging the circumstances become, we will be growing closer to Christ and experiencing more of His grace. 

Pastor Jim