Introduction: How do the lives of your parents affect your life?
Some children blame their parents for their faults and repeat the
parents’ mistakes. Others look at the good and bad in their
parents, and determine to do better when it comes to the bad. Moses
stands as a parent figure to both the first and second generation.
How did Israel do when it came to the second generation? How did
Moses do in dealing with his mistakes and theirs? Let’s dive into
our study of the Bible and find out!

  1. New Generation, New Opportunities

    1. Numbers 26 recounts the census taken by Moses and
      Eleazar. Read Numbers 26:63-65. Who was not counted?
      (Those who were adults and who refused to enter Canaan
      the first time.)

      1. Is this sad? Do we get just one chance in life to
        be successful? (Just to be clear, we are not talking
        about salvation. However, important, life-altering
        decisions are often made when we are young. These
        decisions can affect the entire course of our life.)

    2. Read Numbers 26:51-56. Is casting lots an appropriate way
      to divide the land? Why not give the best land to the
      best fighters? Why not give the best to those who are

      1. How would you describe the system being used? (It is
        pragmatic. It keeps families together and turns on
        the number of people needing land.)

      2. Read Acts 1:23-26. Do you think this is pure chance?

      3. Read Joshua 15:13-17. Is Caleb’s portion the result
        of chance? What kind of method did Caleb use to
        encourage bravery? (Caleb was promised the land
        occupied by giants because he wanted that land. He
        chose his son-in-law by bravery. The allocation was
        not pure chance.)

    3. What spiritual lesson do you find in God’s system of
      apportionment of the land? (In some situations we find a
      merit system, in others a pragmatic system.)

    4. What important fact does this apportionment decision
      assume? (That the second generation were going to succeed
      where the first generation did not.)

  2. Equal Opportunity God

    1. Read Numbers 27:1-4. What is the historic answer to the
      question posed in Numbers 27:4? (You will be surprised.
      Read 1 Chronicles 2:34-36. We find here that the
      inheritance passed through the daughter. This took place
      before the time of Moses. Unfortunately, even in modern
      times there are countries which deny women the right to
      own property.)

      1. Were these early advocates of women’s liberation?
        Where did they get such ideas? (The Wycliffe Bible
        Commentary tells us that in Egypt the inheritance
        passed through mothers.)

    2. Read Numbers 27:5-7. What is God’s answer? (God agrees
      with the women. They should be able to inherit their
      father’s land.)

    3. Read Numbers 27:8-11. As a result of these women standing
      up for their property rights, what happened? (They set a
      precedent! From that point on daughters would inherit
      before any more distant relative.)

  3. The Beginning of the Transition

    1. Read Numbers 27:12-14. How would you react to this if you
      were Moses? God shows you the goal of your lifetime, and
      then says “You can’t go because of your sin.”

      1. Would you have excuses? Arguments that God should
        not be so harsh?

      2. What spiritual lesson do we find here? Is God being
        harsh? (We know that Moses went to heaven (Matthew
        17:3), so God gave him the ultimate promised land.
        But, we should not forget that God is both our
        Father and our Judge. He has high standards for us.)

    2. Read Numbers 27:15-17. What kind of reaction does Moses
      have? (He is simply looking out for the people. Note
      these are the same people that provoked him and caused
      him to enter into the sin which barred him from the
      promised land.)

      1. How great a man is Moses?

    3. Read Numbers 27:18-20. Why was Joshua chosen? (“A man in
      whom is the Spirit.” Even in Old Testament times being
      Spirit-filled is essential to leadership.)

    4. Read Numbers 27:21-23. Does Joshua have the same status
      as Moses? What do you notice that is different? (God
      spoke directly to Moses. But, Joshua is to learn of
      God’s opinion through Eleazar, the High Priest, who will
      obtain them from the Urim.)

      1. What is the “Urim?” (Read Leviticus 8:8. The Bible
        never clearly tells us what are the Urim and
        Thummim. It is commonly believed that they are
        stones on the breastplate of the High Priest which
        would in some way signal God’s decision in a matter.
        However they worked, no one is now having a
        conversation with God.)

  4. Oaths

    1. Read Numbers 30:1-2. How many times has the leader of
      your church asked you to pledge something before God?
      Have you been asked to raise your hand or stand up with
      everyone else?

      1. If so, how serious is this pledge? Does it depend on
        how the request is worded? (I recall our pastor
        asking people to pledge to read the Bible all the
        way through in the next year. If you have never read
        the Bible, you absolutely should do it.)

      2. Why would someone be tempted to break a vow to God?
        (God will not sue you? Somehow we think of our
        obligations to God and the church as less pressing
        than our obligation to make our house and car

  5. Still Reluctant?

    1. Read Numbers 32:1-5. What motivated these two tribes to
      want to stay on the desert side of the Jordan? (The land
      was suitable for livestock and they did not want to take
      them across the river.)

      1. Can you think of any other reasons they might not
        want to cross the river? (They had conquered the
        people on their side of the Jordan, but not on the
        other side!)

    2. Read Numbers 32:6-8. How did Moses react to this plan?

      1. What is his historical concern? (That forty years
        ago their ancestors did not want to cross the Jordan
        and that led to forty years of wandering! They
        should not make the same mistake.)

      2. Is this second generation like the one who refused
        to enter Canaan? (Several Bible commentaries report
        that this is very good land – better than some on
        the other side of the Jordan.

    3. Read Numbers 32:14-15. Does it seem inconsistent that
      Moses was saying that to these people, even when he knew
      he was not entering Canaan? (Notice that Moses is taking
      not just about their welfare, but the welfare of all. As
      a leader, that is his job. He is not being hypocritical.)

    4. Read Numbers 32:16-19. Is this a reasonable counter-offer? Does it cure the objections raised by Moses?

      1. Do you think that the Reubenites and Gadites had
        this in mind when they made their first proposal? (I
        suspect they were hoping to just stay on their side
        of the Jordan.)

    5. Read Numbers 32:20-24. What about the land selection by
      lot system that we discussed at the beginning of this
      lesson? (It was apparently subject to modification. Moses
      saw that they were not being cowards, they were not
      distrusting God, and that they really wanted this land.
      So, he agreed to allow them to keep this land based on
      the conditions stated.)

      1. Notice again Numbers 32:21. Who is doing the
        fighting? (“The Lord … has driven His enemies out
        before Him.” God is the one is who doing the heavy

    6. Read Numbers 32:28-30. What is the most important aspect
      of our service for God? (To show up ready to work. So
      many people talk, but not so many actually do anything.)

    1. Friend, whatever life your parents led, do you take your
      obligations to God seriously? If you do, God is willing
      to fight your battles and reward you generously!

  1. Next week: Cities of Refuge.