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December 19, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Hebrews 7-10
Audio: Hebrews 7-10

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Numbers 4 (ESV)

The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their clans and their fathers’ houses,from thirty years old up to fifty years old, all who can come on duty, to do the work in the tent of meeting. This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the tent of meeting: the most holy things. When the camp is to set out, Aaron and his sons shall go in and take down the veil of the screen and cover the ark of the testimony with it. Then they shall put on it a covering of goatskin and spread on top of that a cloth all of blue, and shall put in its poles. And over the table of the bread of the Presence they shall spread a cloth of blue and put on it the plates, the dishes for incense, the bowls, and the flagons for the drink offering; the regular showbread also shall be on it. Then they shall spread over them a cloth of scarlet and cover the same with a covering of goatskin, and shall put in its poles. And they shall take a cloth of blue and cover the lampstand for the light, with its lamps, its tongs, its trays, and all the vessels for oil with which it is supplied. 10 And they shall put it with all its utensils in a covering of goatskin and put it on the carrying frame.11 And over the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue and cover it with a covering of goatskin, and shall put in its poles. 12 And they shall take all the vessels of the service that are used in the sanctuary and put them in a cloth of blue and cover them with a covering of goatskin and put them on the carrying frame. 13 And they shall take away the ashes from the altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 And they shall put on it all the utensils of the altar, which are used for the service there, the fire pans, the forks, the shovels, and the basins, all the utensils of the altar; and they shall spread on it a covering of goatskin, and shall put in its poles. 15 And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry.

16 “And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering, and the anointing oil, with the oversight of the whole tabernacle and all that is in it, of the sanctuary and its vessels.”

17 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 18 “Let not the tribe of the clans of the Kohathites be destroyed from among the Levites, 19 but deal thus with them, that they may live and not die when they come near to the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in and appoint them each to his task and to his burden,20 but they shall not go in to look on the holy things even for a moment, lest they die.”

21 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 22 “Take a census of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers’ houses and by their clans. 23 From thirty years old up to fifty years old, you shall list them, all who can come to do duty, to do service in the tent of meeting. 24 This is the service of the clans of the Gershonites, in serving and bearing burdens: 25 they shall carry the curtains of the tabernacle and the tent of meeting with its covering and the covering of goatskin that is on top of it and the screen for the entrance of the tent of meeting 26 and the hangings of the court and the screen for the entrance of the gate of the court that is around the tabernacle and the altar, and their cords and all the equipment for their service. And they shall do all that needs to be done with regard to them. 27 All the service of the sons of the Gershonites shall be at the command of Aaron and his sons, in all that they are to carry and in all that they have to do. And you shall assign to their charge all that they are to carry. 28 This is the service of the clans of the sons of the Gershonites in the tent of meeting, and their guard duty is to be under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

29 “As for the sons of Merari, you shall list them by their clans and their fathers’ houses. 30 From thirty years old up to fifty years old, you shall list them, everyone who can come on duty, to do the service of the tent of meeting. 31 And this is what they are charged to carry, as the whole of their service in the tent of meeting: the frames of the tabernacle, with its bars, pillars, and bases, 32 and the pillars around the court with their bases, pegs, and cords, with all their equipment and all their accessories. And you shall list by name the objects that they are required to carry.33 This is the service of the clans of the sons of Merari, the whole of their service in the tent of meeting, under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.”

34 And Moses and Aaron and the chiefs of the congregation listed the sons of the Kohathites, by their clans and their fathers’ houses, 35 from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who could come on duty, for service in the tent of meeting; 36 and those listed by clans were 2,750. 37 This was the list of the clans of the Kohathites, all who served in the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron listed according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses.

38 Those listed of the sons of Gershon, by their clans and their fathers’ houses,39 from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who could come on duty for service in the tent of meeting— 40 those listed by their clans and their fathers’ houses were 2,630. 41 This was the list of the clans of the sons of Gershon, all who served in the tent of meeting, whom Moses and Aaron listed according to the commandment of the Lord.

42 Those listed of the clans of the sons of Merari, by their clans and their fathers’ houses, 43 from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who could come on duty, for service in the tent of meeting— 44 those listed by clans were 3,200.45 This was the list of the clans of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron listed according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses.

46 All those who were listed of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chiefs of Israel listed, by their clans and their fathers’ houses, 47 from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who could come to do the service of ministry and the service of bearing burdens in the tent of meeting, 48 those listed were 8,580.49 According to the commandment of the Lord through Moses they were listed, each one with his task of serving or carrying. Thus they were listed by him, as the Lord commanded Moses.

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Next: Numbers 5

Back: Numbers 3

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Characteristics of Genuine Christians

    The Apostle Paul warns the church in Galatia (as he did previously) of the works of the flesh: "sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these" and then adds, "those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21). 

    Paul then goes on to describe the fruit of the Spirit in Christians:

    1. Love
    2. Joy
    3. Peace
    4. Patience
    5. Kindness
    6. Goodness
    7. Faithfulness
    8. Gentleness
    9. Self-Control

    Paul ends chapter 5 saying, "And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit" (Galatians 5:24-25). 

    While no one achieves complete perfection in this life, our lives should be marked by keeping in step with the Spirit of God which includes putting to death the deeds of the flesh. 

    When the Apostle Peter wrote to the "elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia" in 1 Peter, he began his letter speaking of the preciousness of our salvation and exhorts them (and us) to:

    1. Prepare our minds for action (1 Peter 1:13)
    2. Be sober-minded (1 Peter 1:13)
    3. Set our hope fully on the grace that we will be brought to at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13)
    4. Not be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance (1 Peter 1:14)

    Then in 1 Peter 1:15-16, Peter writes, "As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'"

    In 1 Peter 2, he continues his exhortation by expounding the character traits and proper attitudes and behavior of those who are born again.

    1 Peter 2:1 says, "So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander."

    1 Peter 2:5 says believers are, "like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

    Then Peter brings the identifying marks of true Christians to a crescendo as a master conductor leading a divine orchestra, saying, "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). 

    What a glorious image of followers of the Lord Jesus!

    When Peter exhorts the elect exiles (and us) to be holy because God is holy, this would not have been a new concept for them. This phrase was used repeatedly in the Old Testament. It was a reminder to them because like us, they needed to be reminded that holiness is not optional or only for "serious Christians" or leaders in the church.

    Our holiness is not achieved by us trying to do good. It's the work of God through the Holy Spirit making us more like Christ as we love Him more and desire His glory over our sin.

    When Peter writes that we are a holy nation, this doesn't mean there are territories in the world that are holy with only perfect citizens but rather, we as God's people are holy (and are to BE HOLY) in our actions and attitudes.

    It's interesting what's not on list of character traits in Paul's exhortation to the church in Galatia or Peter's letter to the elect exiles? What defines us is not a great sense of humor, an outgoing personality or being charming. These are character traits that appeal to people in the world and although Christians can be funny or have great personalities, our character in Christ should define us – including holiness.

    As Peter said, we are "like living stones…being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." We are a "holy nation, a people for his own possession, that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light!

    Our love for God and for others should be reflected in how we interact with people, how we communicate with others and how we conduct our lives as living representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

    This view is seen in Numbers 4 for those chosen to "come on duty, to do the work in the tent of meeting" (Numbers 4:3) which is "the most holy things" (Numbers 4:4). 

    Numbers 4:15 says, "When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die."
     
    Numbers 4:18 says they can't even go near the holy things and Numbers 4:20 says they, "shall not go in to look on the holy things even for a moment, lest they die."

    This is the context of the four times the word "holy" appears in Numbers 4. 

    This reminds me of Isaiah 6:1-5, "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

    Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
    the whole earth is full of his glory!

    4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!'

    In his commentary on Numbers, Dennis Cole writes, "The holiness of God and the assertion that the collective people of God must maintain standards of purity and holiness are emphasized severally in the Pentateuch, usually in the context of standards of cleanness and uncleanness (the sacred and the profane) with regard to dietary restrictions (Exodus 22:31; Leviticus 11:44; Deuteronomy 14:2) and matters of idolatry and immorality (Leviticus 20:7, 26). Though special restrictions are placed upon those holding a priestly office in the community, ultimately the entire community was to function as a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6) who could function as God’s priesthood on behalf of world kingdoms, calling all nations to the One True God and to holiness."

    Cole, R. D. (2000). Numbers (Vol. 3B, p. 108). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

    What is our response when we think of the holiness of God?

    What is our response to God's command for us to be holy?

  2. "And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry." v. 15

    "…they shall not go in to look on the holy things even for a moment, lest they die." v. 20

    I like what the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says about this grave warning: "This stern denunciation was designed to inspire a sentiment of deep and habitual reverence in the minds of those who were officially engaged about holy things."

    Fear of death would certainly have been on the minds of those charged with the care of the holy things of God. But with the fear of God declining so rapidly in this present age, is it any wonder we've lost our reverence for Him, and our desire for holiness?  

    The call to holiness has not changed for those the Lord has chosen and set apart for His own! 

    "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9

    "But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'" 1 Peter 1:15-16

    "[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began." 2 Timothy 1:9

    "Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1
     

    "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." Romans 12:1

    ******************

    A lot to think about in my own walk with the Lord.

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