In EXODUS 30:11-16, 28:25-26; and NUMBERS 1:2, 26:2 and 31:50 we find the Israelite men over twenty years old requiring to be numbered and to pay a redemption price. Women and children were never counted in a census. This was not because they were unimportant. Wives were one flesh with their husbands. Unmarried virgin daughters were hidden until married. Children were not counted because they were not of fighting age or at the age of accountability, that is, twenty years. Obviously the number of men that could be mustered–for that is the true meaning of the word numbered–needed to be known in case they were required for defence of the nation. The allotment of the land was also determined by the census.
The atonement price to be paid at the time of a census is to remind the men of their need of YHWH for their salvation, especially when they may be going to war. It also shows how important each individual is to his Heavenly Father.
An accurate rendering of EXODUS 30:12 is:
When you lift up the head of the sons of Israel to draw them up in troops for marching or battle, each one shall give the ransom of his soul to YHWH when mustering or drawing them up, and there shall not be stumbling, affliction, punishment (i.e. a mortal blow or fatal disease) among them.
It appears from EXODUS 23:28, DEUTERONOMY 7:20, and YOSHUA 24:12 that it was never Father’s will for Israel to engage in warfare. YHWH promised to drive out the Canaanites by sending hornets ahead of His people. At some point Israel may have cursed herself by going to war against the peoples of the land instead of allowing YHWH to deal with them miraculously as He had promised. As He had previously done in Egypt, the Red Sea crossing, then later at Yericho.
A righteous nation should find it unnecessary to go to war or even defend itself, for YHWH will do it for them as is made clear in LEVITICUS 26:6-8:
And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid…neither shall the sword go through your land. And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
If no sword is to pass through, presumably the chasing will take place outside the righteous nation’s borders, or the edge of it.
However if a nation lifts their hand against another outside YHWH’s perfect will, then the ransom will cover this and allay any curse they may bring upon themselves by violently taking other men’s lives.
YHWH commanded Moses and the Israelites to destroy the Amalekites because they had attacked the stragglers of the Israelites as they journeyed through the wilderness. Obviously by doing so the Amalekites had committed an unpardonable sin and cursed themselves unto death. But one must wonder why Israel allowed her old, young, weak, and sick to lag behind the rest of the group. These people should have been in the middle of a group where they could be assured of due attention and care. It is little different today in many societies: we relegate the sick to hospitals lacking in necessary spiritual care and love; our old people go to aged care facilities; and our children to day care centres and public schools where they are taught and cared for by strangers with who knows what moral standards and beliefs.
There is a warning in this: nothing is to be done lightly. YHWH’s Law must be obeyed to the seemingly smallest detail or even a whole nation can curse itself with just a word. This Israel did in EXODUS 20:18-19 when they pleaded with Moses to speak to them instead of YHWH, for the people were so afraid they thought they would die. This curse resulted in DEUTERONOMY 18:15-19 in which YHWH commanded the people to listen to the prophets He would raise up to speak to them. If they refused to listen to Him, they would still be required to listen to those He sent to speak for Him.
To this day this curse continues on all who refuse to hear YHWH. He will send them someone to speak for Him so they are without excuse. A humble person will receive Father’s prophet (HEB. 12:25; ACTS 3:23) and receive a prophet’s reward (MATT. 10:41). A proud person will say, “YHWH will tell me Himself,” and receive nothing. (I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard these foolish words from Christians who are ignorant of the Scriptures in this matter.)
Another instance where a curse was placed on the people of ancient Israel because of their words refusing YHWH Himself was in I SAMUEL 8:4-8 when they demanded Samuel appoint them a king. From that point on until this present day a monarch has reigned on the earthly throne, after Saul, that of David’s as promised by YHWH (GEN. 49:10). This is a little known fact discussed in a series of previous posts starting from One King Shall Be King to Them All, and essential to a full and correct understanding of past and future prophecy.
As hard as it may be to accept, according to such Scriptures as DEUTERONOMY 12:2-4, 13:12-15, 20:17, there is no–or should not be–place for any false religion in a Christian nation. In Israel in ancient times, aliens were allowed into the country and accepted as citizens so long as they made YHWH their Father and obeyed His Laws. Not one iota has changed. Yet we accept and even welcome to our shores Islamic mosques, Buddhist temples, and altars and images to false gods on high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, including satanic sects, Wicca and witchcraft.
On my way to church one day the path I was taking led through a particular recreation area of my city in which was set up all the paraphernalia to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. This was a mere man, dead and buried in his grave. I often wonder if Buddha himself would have been aghast at the pointless adulation he receives. There are Buddhist prayer flags atop Mount Everest! No wonder so many lose their lives there, for these places and images sacred to false gods curse a nation and its people. The same applies to false ‘Christian’ religious establishments and their doctrines. They all need to be examined closely by the Church at large. Are they teaching and preaching doctrinal purity and truth according to YHWH’s Word? Or are they threatening their adherents’ salvation with a false message?
Of course to change the laws concerning these things we need righteous political leaders and judges like Moses, Samuel, Joseph, David, and Daniel. We need people who are willing to be politically incorrect, persecuted, slandered, imprisoned, and killed for truth’s sake. Where are the Eliyahus (Elijahs), the John the Baptists, the Daniels of our day and nations? Remember, god-worshipers were meted out the same punishment as murderers, rapists, and adulterers. Eliyahu righteously killed the 400 prophets of Baal. No, I am not advocating murder. Never. But the Church can defeat these invasions of our Promised Land if it comes together as a spiritual force–as was done recently to stop the bombing of Syria by the West, which has in some ways become the enemy of love.