Numbers 1** This book is called NUMBERS from the several numberings ofthe people contained in it. It extends from the giving of thelaw at Sinai, till their arrival in the plains of Jordan. Anaccount is given of their murmuring and unbelief, for which theywere sentenced to wander in the wilderness nearly forty years;also some laws, both, moral and ceremonial. Their trials greatlytended to distinguish the wicked and hypocrites from thefaithful and true servants of God, who served him with a pureheart. * The numbering of the Israelites. (1-43) The number of thepeople. (44-46) The Levites not numbered with the rest. (47-54)1-43 The people were numbered to show God's faithfulness inthus increasing the seed of Jacob, that they might be the bettertrained for the wars and conquest of Canaan, and to ascertaintheir families in order to the division of the land. It is saidof each tribe, that those were numbered who were able to goforth to war; they had wars before them, though now they metwith no opposition. Let the believer be prepared to withstandthe enemies of his soul, though all may appear to be peace. 44-46 We have here the sum total. How much was required tomaintain all these in the wilderness! They were all provided forby God every day. When we observe the faithfulness of God,however unlikely the performance of his promise may appear, wemay take courage as to those which yet remain to be fulfilled tothe church of God. 47-54 Care is here taken to distinguish the tribe of Levi,which, in the matter of the golden calf, had distinguisheditself. Singular services shall be recompensed by singularhonours. It was to the honour of the Levites, that to them wascommitted the care of the tabernacle and its treasures, in theircamps and in their marches. It was for the honour of the holythings that none should see them, or touch them, but those whowere called of God to the service. We all are unfit and unworthyto have fellowship with God, till called by his grace into thefellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and so, being thespiritual seed of that great High Priest, we are made priests toour God. Great care must be taken to prevent sin, for preventingsin is preventing wrath. Being a holy tribe, they were notreckoned among other Israelites. They that minister about holythings, should neither entangle themselves, nor be entangled, inworldly affairs. And let every believer seek to do what the Lordhas commanded.
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