After the plague the Lord said to Moses and Eleazer son of Aaron, the priest, “Take a census…” (Numbers 26:1-2).
- The book of Numbers starts with a census.
- In the middle of the book, the Israelites sin by distrusting God.
- Every one of those adults recorded in the first census—who distrusted God—died.
- The book of Numbers ends with a census.
“The total number of the men of Israel was 601,730. … Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai [in the first census]…EXCEPT Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun” (vv. 51, 64-65).
God doesn’t see crowds or masses of people; He sees individuals. He knows each individual by name. He knows me and you too. I cannot hide my sin, I cannot use “the crowd“ to justify my disobedience. He sees my heart. He sees my obedience and my disobedience.
God said, “Because they have not followed Me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—not one EXCEPT Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly” (Numbers 32:11-12).
God had a plan for each and every person recorded in that first census. They all could have entered the Promised Land. But all of them sinned and forfeited their opportunity—EXCEPT Caleb and Joshua.
God has a plan for my life and for your life. Each of us has to choose obedience for ourselves. Despite the sin everyone else around you may be committing, let God say of you, “There is an EXCEPTion!”