Numbers 5 - Day 164 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Numbers 5:29-31
Observation: God prescribes an elaborate test for married women who were accused by their jealous husbands of being unfaithful.
Application: We could easily become distracted and run off on numerous tangents about the unfairness of the test, what about the male partners, or how archaic society was at the time so let me get to the point.
Obviously, marital unfaithfulness was a problem that needed to be addressed so God included this test. The point is that God is Holy and in order to have a relationship with Him, the Israelites needed to at least pursue God's holiness. I can't stress this enough, without Jesus' sacrifice, we would need to follow all of these rules to have a relationship with God.
Prayer: Lord, thank you...
Numbers 4 - Day 163 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Numbers 4:17-20
Observation: The Lord delineates the duties of each tribe within the Levites. The Kohathites were required to care for the most sacred objects within the tabernacle.
Application: The Kohathites were like the specialty movers of their day. Even though they cared for the sacred items, their duties were specific and their lives depended on following God's instructions. They couldn't even "look" at the sacred objects for even a moment, or they would die.
We've come a long way since then. Take the time to appreciate the fact that we can approach the throne room of God without the supervision of Aaron or his sons.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner. Thank you for your blood that covers me and allows me to approach your Father.
Numbers 3 - Day 162 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Numbers 3:40-51
Commentary: In compensation for His having spared the firstborn … males of Israel at the time of the Exodus, the Lord declared that all the firstborn of men and animals should belong to Him (see comments on vv. 11–13). This would not involve their deaths, but their lifetime service. A further development of this principle was the arrangement whereby the tribe of Levi would be given in service to the Lord as a substitution for all the firstborn of the other tribes.
The number of Levites to offer this vicarious service was 22,000 (v. 39) whereas the firstborn males in all Israel amounted to 22,273 (v. 43). This meant that there were insufficient Levites. Therefore, the 273 firstborn Israelites without Levitic redemption had to be redeemed in another way. The solution was to exact five shekels for each of the 273
Merrill, E. H. (1985). Numbers. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 220). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Application: Everyone needs to be accounted for and those without "Levitic" representation were redeemed with a monetary value. All of this goes to show us that every person is valuable and worth their weight in "silver."
Prayer: Lord, thank You for redeeming me.
Numbers 2 - Day 161 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Numbers 2:1-4
Commentary: This section contains detailed information about the organization of Israel in camp. The Tent of Meeting is at the center, and the twelve lay tribes are arranged around it in a square, with three on each side. There is a Judah group to the east, including Issachar and Zebulun, a Reuben group to the south, including Simeon and Gad, an Ephraim group to the west, including Manasseh and Benjamin, and a Dan group to the north, including Asher and Naphtali.
Budd, P. J. (1984). Numbers (Vol. 5, pp. 23–24). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
Application: There are longlasting consequences for our actions. Judah was Jacob's (Isreal's) 4th oldest son but here is listed in the prominent position of being mentioned first. The reason being that hundreds of years earlier, Reuben and Simeon disqualified themselves by disobeying their father, while Levi has been promoted to the priesthood.
What are you doing today that will affect your descendants?
Prayer: Lord, please remember my offspring and be merciful to them.
Numbers 1 - Day 160 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Numbers 1:48-54
Commentary: Having established the dimensions of the lay community the author introduces one of his major preoccupations—the distinctiveness of the Levites in relation to the rest of the community. Because of this they are not to be counted along with the other tribes, and they have special responsibilities with respect to the Tabernacle. They, and they alone, erect it, take it down, and carry it. When in camp they, and they alone, pitch their tents around it. It may well be that the author has drawn in older Levitical tradition to the effect that members of the tribe of Levi were not to be counted. For him this means that they are not to be numbered as a mere component of the larger mass of lay tribes. Moreover any lay person who dares to engage in their ministry must be put to death. Israelites at large must be aware of the cruciality of Levitical ministry for their own safety and well-being.
Budd, P. J. (1984). Numbers (Vol. 5, p. 18). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
Application: Pitching and disassembling tents, moving furniture, and managing crowd control are all part of ministry. Just because it's not glamorous and doesn't get as much attention as burning incense or splashing the blood of atonement on the altar, it's still part of the job and needs to get done. Everyone is important and needed.
Prayer: Lord thank You for including me in Your priesthood.