And it came to pass, after the plague, that the Lord spoke to Moses and Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying: “Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel from twenty years old and above, by their fathers’ houses, all who are able to go to war in Israel.” (Numbers 26:1-2)
Nearly forty years had passed since the first census of the people and the time had come for them to enter the land, therefore, it was necessary to number the families of Israel. This particular census was necessary considering they were preparing to conquer a land filled with the enemy and, so then, they needed to know how many were able to go to war. Its’ importance is emphasized when we take into account a plague had just swept through the camp. In other words, this census numbered those who had endured and overcome the hardships and temptations that had been encountered during their trek through the wilderness. I would also add that, because it was intended to number those who could go to war and fight for the land, this census served to number the tribes for the sake of dividing the land among the tribes.
So let us meditate on what we can glean from this scenario. First, it is important to realize that the Kingdom of God is something we have been given the responsibility to fight for — we are soldiers in an army waging war against a determined adversary. If we are going to possess the land we must be prepared to fight and contend for it. Secondly, as the time approaches for God’s purpose and will to come to pass, we should expect that the Adversary will try everything he can to disrupt, deceive and destroy — so be on guard lest we find ourselves removed from the roster, so to speak.
In Revelation there is a people who, in my estimation, fall into the category of those who have endured and overcome the hardships and temptations that life — and the enemy — has thrown at them. It is written that, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Revelation 12:11). This is the formula (for lack of a better word) required if we intend to overcome the Adversary and possess the land: be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, have a worthy testimony and, just as importantly, not think too much of self but be prepared to dedicate our entire being to His service. This is a lofty standard but, by His Spirit and Power, we can be those who overcome.
Blessings and Shalom,