The Lord provided great victory for the Israelites over the Midianites. Verse 49 seems to indicate they did not lose a single man in the battle. They knew this victory could only be from the Lord. They were victorious because they obeyed the Lord. In victory, they similarly obeyed the Lord in dividing the booty according to His instruction rather than their own.
We do well to learn to obey the Lord and seek His specific instruction for our lives. He does provide specific instructions to His people for their lives. He is more than just His written word, which helps us to know Him and understand how He relates to His people. He spoke to the people about this specific event and how they should handle it. He offers us this relationship today as His children. He provides the Spirit to dwell within believers and guide us. We need to take time to be still and quiet and focused in His presence to continue building our relationship with him so that we better understand His voice when He speaks to us.
Division of the Booty
25Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 26“You and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the fathers’ households of the congregation take a count of the booty that was captured, both of man and of animal; 27and divide the booty between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation. 28“Levy a tax for the LORD from the men of war who went out to battle, one in five hundred of the persons and of the cattle and of the donkeys and of the sheep; 29take it from their half and give it to Eleazar the priest, as an offering to the LORD. 30“From the sons of Israel’s half, you shall take one drawn out of every fifty of the persons, of the cattle, of the donkeys and of the sheep, from all the animals, and give them to the Levites who keep charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.” 31Moses and Eleazar the priest did just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
32Now the booty that remained from the spoil which the men of war had plundered was 675,000 sheep, 33and 72,000 cattle, 34and 61,000 donkeys, 35and of human beings, of the women who had not known man intimately, all the persons were 32,000.
36The half, the portion of those who went out to war, was as follows: the number of sheep was 337,500, 37and the LORD’S levy of the sheep was 675; 38and the cattle were 36,000, from which the LORD’S levy was 72; 39and the donkeys were 30,500, from which the LORD’S levy was 61; 40and the human beings were 16,000, from whom the LORD’S levy was 32 persons. 41Moses gave the levy which was the LORD’S offering to Eleazar the priest, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
42As for the sons of Israel’s half, which Moses separated from the men who had gone to war— 43now the congregation’s half was 337,500 sheep, 44and 36,000 cattle, 45and 30,500 donkeys, 46and the human beings were 16,000— 47and from the sons of Israel’s half, Moses took one drawn out of every fifty, both of man and of animals, and gave them to the Levites, who kept charge of the tabernacle of the LORD, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
48Then the officers who were over the thousands of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, approached Moses, 49and they said to Moses, “Your servants have taken a census of men of war who are in our charge, and no man of us is missing. 50“So we have brought as an offering to the LORD what each man found, articles of gold, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces, to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD.” 51Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from them, all kinds of wrought articles. 52All the gold of the offering which they offered up to the LORD, from the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, was 16,750 shekels. 53The men of war had taken booty, every man for himself. 54So Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold from the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it to the tent of meeting as a memorial for the sons of Israel before the LORD.
I appreciate in particular what is recorded in verses 48-54. They had already brought to the priests what YHWH required. Still the soldiers recognized that the victory was from the Lord. There was no man missing. They were thankful and brought an additional voluntary gift to the Lord… and it was significant.
We should ask ourselves… even if we obey with giving to the Father what He asks from us, how often do we bring extra gifts just out of a joyful and thankful heart? It may be money, it may be time, it may be our talents… but how often to we give back to Him more than He asks? Truly He provides all we have. Let us be joyful and thankful.
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