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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Numbers 27

Verses 1-23

  1. THE NEXT LEADER! (Ch.27)
    1. THE DAUGHTERS OF ZELOPHEHAD! (1-11)
    2. New problems give us new opportunities to seek God’s wisdom & learn new truths.
    3. Here we see James 4:2 played out here...you do not have because you do not ask.
      1. Supremely confident that God would give them the land, they ask if they could inherit their father’s land since they had no brothers. (usually got dowry if married)
        1. The 5 daughters had the courage to ask for their fathers inheritance, & they got it.
      2. God rules & says, “yes” & instructs Moses to grant this request, but with one qualification. The daughters must marry men within their tribe of Manasseh (ch.36).
    4. They also had a part in establishing a law that helped other families get their inheritance. (see ch.36)
      1. Out of the millions of Israelites, I love that God cares for this one family.
    5. JOSHUA, THE NEXT LEADER! (12-23)
    6. In our last Olympics, both our men & women 4x100 relay teams lost their race by???
      1. They failed to pass the baton!
        1. [Darvis Patton to Tyson Gay & Tori Edwards to Loren Williams 1/2 hour later; same curve]
      2. Businesses, Christian ministries, churches, must learn pass the baton to the next generation. No one knew this better than Moses.
    7. (12-14) Moses ordered to die!
    8. The man who parted the Red Sea couldn’t cross a little river.
      1. ​​​​​​​Moses saw but didn’t enter the promise land...well, until he appeared with Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mt.17)
    9. What did he do again that was so bad?
      1. He dishonored the Lord by deviating from His plan to provide water for the people at Meribah.
      2. He had drawn attention to himself instead of to God.
      3. He obscured God’s holiness & glory.
      4. He allowed his frustration with the people to momentarily weaken his faith.
    10. Was this hard for him? Did he ever beg for it?
      1. See Deut.3:23-29.
    11. Was God being mean by “dangling a carrot” in front of Moses? Take a look, you can’t go!
      1. No, it was in fact an act of mercy. Moses was able to see with his own eyes:
        1. Canaan really did exit [2] God did bring them all the way there as promised
        2. and to know that the last 40 years of his life wasn’t spent in vain.
    12. Canaan doesn’t represent heaven, but of the believers inheritance “He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
      1. A whole generation died & never saw the land.
      2. 10 of the spies saw the land for 40 days & then died in their unbelief.
      3. Moses saw the land but could not enter it.
      4. The new generation, along with Caleb & Joshua, entered the land & claimed their promised inheritance. (Warren Wiersbe; With The Word; pg.101.102)
    13. (15,16) Selfless - As always Moses’ greatest concern was the people & not himself.
      1. He doesn’t leave grudgingly.
      2. He doesn’t host a pity party.
      3. His staff didn’t need to be pried from his hand.
      4. He accepted God’s decision with obedience & humility.
      5. He even let God select his successor.
    14. (17) 3 requirements of leadership:
      1. By Example - A brief, simple, but expressive eulogy was pronounce by Martin Luther upon a pastor at Zwickau in 1522 named Nicholas Haussmann. “What we preach, he lived,” said the great reformer. I would not give much for your religion unless it can be seen. Lamps do not talk, but they do shine.
      2. By Leading - Matthew Henry went to London, met a young lady of the nobility, who was also wealthy, and they fell in love. She went to ask her father if she could marry him and he said, “He’s got no background, you don’t know where he’s come from.” She said, “Yes, I know, but I know where he’s going and I want to go with him.”
      3. By Shepherding
      4. Joshua was: a son (of Nun); a slave (Egypt); a soldier (we all remember Moses hands raised & Aaron/Hur holding arms up...who was fighting the battle?); a servant (to Moses); a spy (A good one); a savior(Moses represented the Law, brought the people to the border of the land, but it took Joshua to take them into the land); a statesman; a saint (He was filled w/the Spirit of God; He enjoyed the presence of God; He was indwelt by the word of God; He was ever obedient to the will of God)
    15. (18-23) Joshua’s inauguration or commissioning service!
    16. The next leader would need to be a military leader & warrior! - Joshua becomes God’s general who would conquer the land & give the people their inheritance.
    17. By laying his hands on Joshua, Moses conferred his authority on him.
      1. Note in front of the priest & them all (22).
    18. Timeless Principles for Transferring Leadership:
      1. When God removes, He replaces!
        1. God never runs out of potential servants.
        2. We should be open & sensitive enough to recognize His replacement.
      2. When God appoints, He approves!
        1. God wants to bless the work of His new leaders.
        2. Shame on us when we won’t give them a chance. (They’re too young; to green; to whatever) Be careful!
        3. We may struggle to adapt to a new leaders personality & methods.
        4. We need to remain open-minded, flexible, & hardworking.
        5. We should pray & work for the success of that person’s ministry.
      3. When God sustains, He gives success!
        1. As long as they submit to His Spirit, their work will bear fruit for Him.
    19. Have you seen God remove, appoint, or sustain a Christian leader?
    20. He is a type of Jesus Christ (Joshua = Jehovah is salvation) who conquered our enemies for us & opened the way for us to claim all the blessings God had for us.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Numbers 27". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/numbers-27.html. 2017.