One way or another God will get his way. When Jehovah determined to give the Promised Land (full of milk and honey and many other blessings) to Israel, he chose 12 men to stand with Moses and Aaron to help him distribute the blessing. Unfortunately, all of them proved unworthy to carry out God’s plan, so he essentially fired a whole generation (including Moses and Aaron) because of their varying degrees of disobedience. This allowed him to do a reboot or revamp of sorts so the next generation could reap the benefits he wanted to give out.ctr_alt_del

Moses and Aaron were replaced by Joshua and Eleazar the priest (Numbers 34:17) and the previous 12 men (one from each tribe) were replaced by 10 men from 10 of the tribes since Gad and Reuben decided to settle in land that was a bonus or addition to the Promised Land. That bonus land came about simply because people whom God did not intend to displace attacked Israel without provocation and lost, so the two tribes plus half the tribe of Manasseh won it as spoils of war thanks to the Lord. Sometimes bonus blessings happen for God’s saints in our times also, due to someone else’s lack of wisdom and bad decisions.

The new men God chose, just like the previous 12 men they replaced, had God’s blessings and capabilities alongside their own character in their birth names as an encouragement not only to each other, but also to Joshua, Eleazar, and the whole nation of Israel. Their names, listed in Numbers 34:16-29, were as follows:

Caleb (tribe of Judah): meaning “faithful, wholehearted, devoted.” He was the only one other than Joshua who gave a positive report when Israel spied out the Promised Land and he was ready to take it without hesitation. His total devotion and belief in God’s abilities are how he and Joshua ended up being the only ones of the previous generation to settle the land.

Shemuel (tribe of Simeon): a variant of the name Samuel meaning “asked of the Lord” or “heard of God.” Reflects a person who knows God hears and answers their prayers of faith.

Elidad (tribe of Benjamin): meaning “loved by God.” When someone knows they’re loved by God, they are confident God is always looking out for their best interest as they desire to display their love for him.

Bukki (tribe of Dan): shortened form of Bukkiah meaning “Jehovah has laid waste.” A type of person who knows God is victorious and will help them conquer their challenges and challengers.

Hanniel (half tribe of Manasseh): meaning “the grace, mercy, and favor of God.” This is a person who knows how they got salvation and how they keep it as well as how they are able to accomplish things for Jehovah.

Kemuel (tribe of Ephraim): meaning “raised of God.” Characteristic of a saint who knows that God has exalted them because of their humility and that God will raise them from the dead in the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14).

Elizaphan (tribe of Zebulun): meaning “God protects” and/or “God treasures.” Knowing that God treasures those he saves, this kind of saint knows that God ultimately protects his own from their enemies who rise up against them (Psalm 59:1).

Paltiel (tribe of Issachar): meaning “deliverance of God” because Jehovah “delivered us from so great a death [past], and doth deliver [present]: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us [future]” (2 Corinthians 1:10).

Ahihud (tribe of Asher): meaning “brother of mystery” or “brother of majesty” which speaks of being spiritually related to someone in the mysteries and majesty of Jehovah as revealed in his Son.

Pedahel (tribe of Naphtali): meaning “redeemed, ransomed of God,” denoting an awareness that Christ hath redeemed us from the law, being made a curse for us (Galatians 3:13).

Their names testified at that time to what God had done and was going to do. In our time they testify to what he did through Christ, and is doing for us in the present, and what he will do for us in the future. For their testimonies to advance, God had to move some people and situations out of the way. So it is with us.

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