Among these were not one of those enrolled by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had enrolled the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai. Numbers 26:64 NRSV
Wait, didn't we just take a census a couple of days ago? Well, we are really speeding through the Bible at this point but not that fast! The Bible doesn't cover the 40 wilderness years in real time. We get a snippet of what it might have been like (manna, quail, no water, complaints, etc.). I am getting tired of all the complaining, although I think I would have been pretty tired of the same diet as well.
The purpose of this census is to take account of the next generation, to prepare the people for war and to divide the promised land. The only ones still living at this time are Moses, Joshua and Caleb. Everyone else has perished in the wilderness.
I have often thought of the wilderness years as a time when God's people had to learn what it was like to be a free people. They had known only slavery. They still acted as slaves. They still acted as though they had no God and no savior. I think that the slavery mentality was too difficult for the adults to unlearn. So, in order to become the people God was calling them to be, they had to die out and let the next generation be the people of God.
Makes me wonder what in our lives we must let die in order to be the people God calls us to be.
God, you call us to be your people. You have saved us from slavery to death and sin, yet we constantly still act as slaves. Help us give up, to allow all that is in bondage within us die. Then we will truly be your people. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims