Please read this Bible Passage Numbers 34:1-29
When considering this topic, the question that comes to my mind and perhaps your mind is that, “Why does God have to instruct Moses about the division of the Promised Land to the twelve tribes of Israel? We may think aloud and say, after all God had appointed His servant Moses as trustee to administer over the estate He wanted to give to Israelites, and therefore, the way the Promised Land is distributed supposed to be the prerogatives of the appointed leaders. Some of the facts that we need to know about Israel’s inheritance in the Promised Land includes:
The precious gift was not the idea of man, it began by promise unto Abraham. “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
It was manifested from the thoughtfulness of Almighty God by covenant. “And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” Genesis 15:7 The covenant was reaffirmed in Genesis 17:8 “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
The covenant relating to the inheritance was authenticated with a sworn oath. “And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:16-18)
Perhaps we are yet to fully understand why God should guide the administrators of the inheritance of Promised Land. Think of a landlord that is about to allot a portion of land to a person, the landlord will be there to show to the new owner the boundaries of the land and all the landmarks. The deed of ownership of the land will be released to the new owner by landlord after purchase agreement and change of ownership document had been signed and completed. We can now understand why God had keen interest in ensuring that the inheritance of the Israelites, that began by promise to Abraham, affirmed by covenant with him and authenticated by a sworn oath to him was appropriately allotted to Israelites—the offspring of Abraham.
THE PORTION OF ISRAEL’S INHERITANCE
As at the time of this passage in the Bible, Israel had not conquered the Canaanites in the land. Yet God Almighty provided them with assurance that they will surely possess the land. You will notice that passage we read emphasized about the boundaries of the Promised Land. The portion of the inheritance of Israel in the Promised Land is demarcated by boundaries in all the four walls of the precious land. God Almighty as the Landlord of the Promised Land gave detailed descriptions of the boundaries as well as the relevant landmarks that clearly separated the land. Whenever God do anything, He does it for a purpose. The description of the boundaries is like the survey and the title deed of the land.
The detailed boundary descriptions that God handed down to Moses, among other things includes:
- Conveying of the authority and the right of ownership of the Promised Land to Israel
- Impliedly it means that by faith, all the Canaanites that occupied the land became squatters that are subject to be kicked out at the will of Israel, the new owner of the Promised Land
- It is expected that the Israelites will secure the land, physically and spiritually when they finally occupied it so that the idolatrous Canaanites that were kicked out of the land will not be able to penetrate into their midst of the people of God to desecrate and defile the land. “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.” (Numbers 33:55) We are also warned in New Testament, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
- When God give you a gift, like the inheritance of the Promised Land, please jealously guard and secure it because at the point of receiving the gift, we do not know the underline hidden treasures and blessing inherent the in the land. The Promised Land is described as a land that is flowing with milk and honey, it is described as the glory of all land. As at the time that God gave the inheritance to Israel, nobody knew about crude oil in the land. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthian 2:9)
- The boundaries were provided so that, Israelites, the children of God, will not alter the old-landmark that separated their land from others, so that they will not be tempted to use their power to encroach on the land that was not allotted to them. “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.” (Deuteronomy 19:14) “Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless.” (Proverbs 23:10)
- If the Israelites desired that God should watch over their inheritance they must operate in obedience to the law of God as He instructed them concerning their inheritance. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)
THE PEOPLE THAT WILL ALLOT ISRAEL’S INHERITANCE
There are three categories of leaders chosen in the passage
- Proven spiritual leaders—Eleazer the Priest and Joshua
- Tested Leaders—Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh
- Proven secular leaders—One leader each from the nine and half tribes
These leaders are proven spiritual leaders, they are princes among their tribes and lastly Joshua and Caleb were tested leaders. The fear of the Lord was in the hearts of these faithful leaders. Of course, the leaders are endowed with the Spirit of God. One of the amazing important things we need to learn about the chosen leaders are: God knew every one of them by their names, secondly He knew their abilities and integrity of their hearts.
These leaders were appointed ambassador of God to do the blessed will of God in dividing the God giving inheritance of the Israelites to the remaining nine and half tribes. The nature of their assignments are selflessness and uprightness. The Lord chose these proven leaders because of the importance of the assignments they will undertake for the Lord according to His prescribed standard.
“And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.” (Numbers 33:54) (Numbers 26:52-56)
- The land shall be divided by lot, this was the prescribed standard ordained by God
- Every man shall receive his inheritance in the place where his lot falls
- Tribes that are many numerically shall have more inheritance and tribe that are few shall have less. There must be equitable distribution of the wealth of the inheritance of Promised Land.
- All the tribes must receive their inheritance. The inheritance must not be shared to enrich one percent of the population of Israelites as it is in our present day.
- Impliedly, the Lord was saying that no family should be omitted without receiving inheritance
What can we learn from this? Relating this thought to the leaders that God appointed over His ministries in our time, these leaders were appointed for work of the ministry, because the Lord knew their abilities, therefore faithfulness, uprightness and diligence are required of them. To the youth in our midst today, it may look like you are idle now, but the Lord look forward unto you to take over the work of the ministry from the current leadership in future. The question we need to ponder on today is, “Can God entrust you with the high responsible duties in His vineyard?” “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30) We shall engaged in righteous work and faithfully discharge our duties and responsibilities diligently for the glory of God. We shall not be found wanted in the vineyard of God, in Jesus name, Amen
Prayer: O Lord, prepare me in your mercy and give me the grace to spiritually qualify to receive my portion of inheritance in your Kingdom in Jesus name, Amen. Make me to be a vessel of honor in your vineyard in Jesus name, Amen