I’ve begun reading through the book of Numbers as I follow my daily Bible reading plan. I will say at the outset that I’m getting a great deal more out of my daily readings than I did last year. It does amaze me as I watch facts jump out at me that I certainly read last year but didn’t really notice.
Numbers starts out with a call by God to Moses to number all men ages 20 and up so that there would be an accounting of how many men from each tribe could be called up for military service. Why? Plainly because it was God’s intent to use Israel as an arm of His judgment against many nations in the Land that God promised to give to Israel.
Isn’t that interesting? So, God actually supports the use of the “military” in specific conditions? Yes, He does and that much is very clear from Numbers alone. God’s use of the Israelite military is specifically righteous. It is not meant to be a “complex” or dynasty in and of itself. It was to be used solely as God’s mercenaries in ridding the Land of evil groups of people. This may sound really like demagoguery to people who don’t understand the purpose. In most cases, God had given the many cultures living in Canaan and throughout the Promised Land many warnings. God had rightly grown thoroughly tired of all the evil He saw.
We live in a society where millions of unborn babies are aborted yearly. Those on the Left firmly believe it is a woman’s right to choose. Of course the woman has a right to choose, but her right to choose should be responsible and it stops when another human life is involved. In fact, in today’s “scientific” age, there is really no excuse at all for so many abortions to be occurring except for the fact that both men and women are too lazy to use some form of protection. In fact, many abortions are repeats in that the same woman often heads to an abortion clinic to have yet another unborn baby aborted. This is tragic and it was just as prominent during the days when Israel began their move into the Promised Land.
Of course, even though we know that ancient civilizations like Egypt knew how to do abortions and even tried (to their credit) to come up with ways that kept women from becoming impregnated in the first place, we all too often forget about the fact that these ancient civilizations and cultures were extremely idolatrous and superstitious. Because of this, many live babies and young were often dedicated to “gods” like Moloch/Molech. As we’ve discussed before, this was done by placing the live infant or child in the arms of the statue representing the god over which a fire blazed. As a group of musicians played in front of the idol, the infant/baby would be lowered and dropped into the pit of fire. The musicians’ job was to play loud enough to cover the agonizing screams of the child.
This is the type of thing that Israel was raised up to eradicate in the Land. They had numerous jobs and often failed to live up to their calling. Fortunately for the world, the one very important thing they managed to accomplished is the birth of Jesus, their Messiah and the Gentile’s Savior. God gets His work done.
So Numbers breaks it down for us letting us know that in total there were 603,550 men who were at least 20 years of age and up, ready for battle (Numbers 1:46). That’s a lot of military-ready men! Of course, God did not need that many at all. I’m sure that number was intended in part to make the Israelites feel better about their potential power and it would also send a message to those Israel came against that they were not messing around.
The military might of Israel was astounding and when things were going well (when the Israelites were in obedience to God), nothing could stand against them. However, when there was sin in the camp, everything stood against them. The Levites we are told were exempted from being called up for military service. God did not want them to have blood on their hands. They were “owned” by God Himself, but the military faction within Israel was absolutely needed.
This is what is interesting about many politicians today who seem not to care about America’s military at all. It is clear from the Bible and from history itself that a country or empire that fails to have a strong military is easily taken advantage of and defeated. Many on the Left would have us believe that America does not need a military. That it’s outmoded and not useful for the pursuit of peace. Yet, these same politicians and others often live behind walls, with many locks on their doors. When they drive, they are often escorted by armed security. The doors on their cars are locked. Why? Because they clearly know that there is a potential element of danger whenever they are in public. We lock our doors at night to keep criminals out of our homes.
God raised up a military in Israel for the purpose...