Deuteronomy 30:19-20

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Numbers 8:5-9:14

Numbers 8:5-9:14

The rest of Numbers 8 looks at the dedication of the Levites to the service of the tabernacle under Aaron. God wanted the entire nation of Israel to come out to lay hands on the Levites as they were being set apart for their special service at the tabernacle. In doing so, God showed the Levites the importance of their ministry, for these were the people that they were going to serve. He also showed the Israelites who it was that would be serving them in the tabernacle so that they would know that this tribe had been set aside for this particular service. No one from any other tribe was allowed to serve in this capacity. But the Levites would not serve in the tabernacle for their entire life. They were only allowed to serve from 25 to 50. After that, they were commanded to step down from their service.

Numbers 9 shows the Israelites celebrating Passover. God had previously given Moses clear instructions on what to do on Passover. He had also given Moses instructions on who was clean and unclean and what the consequences were for uncleanliness. This was all put to the test during this Passover, which served as a test for Moses and the Israelites to see if they were ready to actually follow the commands that they had been given. Two men who were unclean knew that they were not allowed within the camp, around the people, or in the tabernacle. So their question was how they were going to celebrate Passover. Moses knew that according to the commands given they could not, but God made an exception for this celebration. One month later, they would be allowed to participate in the celebration (a delayed Passover). God had already created the previous commands and could not go against those, but since it was also commanded that everyone participate, God made sure that they had another opportunity to do so. Failure to celebrate the Passover meant that they would forever be cut off from the people of Israel.

These two men recognized their uncleanliness (similar to recognizing the sin in our lives) and knew that they had to set things right with God. But at the same time they did not want to end up breaking another command because of their uncleanliness. Remember how we have seen on several occasions before that typically one sin will just lead to another, and it can become a cycle of sin. These two men realized those dangerous possibilities, so they sought out Moses to figure out what they could do, and God provided a way for them to still celebrate the Passover. God takes care of His children, and in a similar fashion, He still provides a way for us today. When we recognize our sin and want to turn our lives around, God gives us that solution as well, Jesus. It is far better to recognize our sin and seek forgiveness than to know what is right and yet fall into temptation and a pattern of sin. That is why in this passage these two men are seen as being more righteous than those who would break the Passover. These men are the ones recognizing their sin and seeking forgiveness whereas anyone who breaks Passover would be doing so after already knowing what was expected of them.


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