• William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 12, 2021

Daily Reading: Numbers 3-4

Numbers 4:49

According to the commandment of the LORD they were numbered by the hand of Moses, every one according to his service, and according to his burden: thus were they numbered of him, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Within the tribe of Levi, which is the tribe of Israel from which came the priests, there were various families. These various families were given specific responsibilities by the Lord. Not only that, but they were appointed a specific place to camp in relation to the Tabernacle. They were also given a specific length of service, twenty years from thirty years old to fifty years old. It is easy to see therefore that the Lord is interested in the specifics.

The Tabernacle was labor intensive. It had to be constructed, set up, taken down, transported, cared for, repairs had to be made from time to time, every detail was important. It was a big job, one that took planning, energy, skill, and perhaps most importantly obedience to God commands. The Levites were not permitted, for example, to set the furniture inside the Tabernacle wherever they wanted. They could not just do that which was convenient, or practical, or according to their design or personal taste. They had to place the furniture exactly. The curtains, the dishes, the garments, the staves, everything had a place and a purpose which was specified by God and must be kept, positioned, and transported accordingly.

Why? One reason, perhaps the most meaningful to us today, is that the Tabernacle was their Bible. It told the story of sacrifice for sins, the Lamb of God, the love of God, the majesty of God, and revealed a glimpse of the coming of the Son of God. The ritual washings, the sacrifices, the garments, the Ark, the size, even the "gate" that was always to be positioned facing the east (just as in old time all graves were positioned east to west with the head of the decedent being placed on the west so their faces would be positioned toward the east anticipating the return of Christ). All of these told a story. The story of redemption, the story of the coming Messiah, the story of the love of God, the Gospel story.

Just as God was specific about the Tabernacle worship, so too is He specific about worship today. Of which we will learn much later this year.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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