Tag Archives: Numbers 26

Legacy

The line of Korah, however, did not die out.
Numbers 26:11 (NIV)

As a dabbler in genealogy it fascinates me how people react and respond to their family histories. I live in a small town founded by Dutch settlers in 1847. I have on occasion run across individuals who wear their family name with honor, attributing social weight to being the descendant of one of the original settlers. Likewise, I will occasionally run across an individual who exhibits a certain amount of shame when discussing their family because of some old scandal or something an ancestor did generations ago. Memories can be slow to die out in a small town.

This morning’s chapter is a genealogical list of the Hebrew tribes and clans. Whenever I encounter one of these chapters in my journey through God’s Message (and there area  a lot of them!), I always pay attention to the things that the writer found important to note along with the rote recitation of names and numbers.

Today I noticed that the line of Korah did not die out. Korah was leader of the rebellion against Moses back in the 16th chapter. Despite Korah’s actions, his line was not wiped out. This made me curious about what became of his line. Doing a little digging I discovered the prophet Samuel was from Korah’s line. Despite his ancestors rebellion, Samuel became the last Judge of Israel and an important prophet who oversaw the establishment of David’s reign.

This morning I’m thinking about family and legacy. Our first grandchild is scheduled to come into the world in December. It makes me think about his family, his legacy, and what he will know and learn about his family. I hope he will learn that each person’s journey is his or her own. Yes, we inherit DNA and we may be influenced by our family system. The truth is, however, that each person can make his or her own way, follow his or her own path, and seek his or her own relationship with God.

People are people no matter the family tree from which you stem. Korah and Samuel attest to that. Dig back into any family tree and you’ll find good and bad fruit. Every peach of a person and every rotten apple made their own choices. I get to make mine. My grandson will make his. I hope to share a little wisdom that might prove beneficial to the little man, but he’ll have to walk his own path just as I have to walk mine.

Have a great day.

Chapter-a-Day Numbers 26

Last Will And Testament
Image by Ken_Mayer via Flickr

God spoke to Moses: “Divide up the inheritance of the land based on population. A larger group gets a larger inheritance; a smaller group gets a smaller inheritance—each gets its inheritance based on the population count. Numbers 26:52-54 (MSG)

Along the journey I have had the experience of walking families through the death of a loved one and the accompanying grief process. Death is a subject most of us try to avoid, and therefore it is a stretch of life’s journey that few individuals – not to mention entire families – are prepared to walk through.

What has been extremely sad for me to witness is the descent into conflict and bitterness that often occurs after the funeral of the deceased loved one. Family members position themselves for shares of the family inheritance. Sometimes the conflict is over large sums of money and land, but it I have often witnessed just as much conflict over small material possessions of little worth.

Looking back, I recognize that the issues and conflicts which arose while dividing the inheritance were the fruit of relational and emotional seeds planted within the family system years, sometimes generations, before the argument took place.

In today’s chapter, God gives Moses instructions for the division of the land in which the people are going to settle. The will is being drawn up. The inheritance is going to be divided among the 12 tribes representing numerous family clans and 600,000 men and their families. If you think there’s conflict in dividing the inheritance among a relatively small nuclear family, imagine the conflict that’s going to occur among the tribes, clans and families of the millions of Israelites.

The largest tribe, according to the census was Judah. This meant that Judah would received the largest amount of land as an inheritance. It’s interesting to note that Judah would eventually secede from the other tribes, establishing its own kingdom and entering into civil war with the other tribes. Were the seeds of that eventual discord planted in this process of dividing the inheritance of the land?

Today, I’m reminded that this world, with all that it possesses, is not my home. I’m reminded that the things of true value cannot be bought, sold, divided, or acquired by legal inheritance. I’m thankful for family and friends who value love more than any material object this world could possibly contain.

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