TOPIC: Privilege of Service
Text: Numbers 18:1-7 (KJV)
18 And the Lord said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.
2 And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness.
3 And they shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die.
4 And they shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle: and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you.
5 And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.
6 And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the Lord, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
7 Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for everything of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
KEY VERSE: “Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.” – (Numbers 18:7)
Serving the Lord is not a cheap thing. There are specific duties that God demands from those who will serve and minister to Him. The Israelites, after witnessing the awful consequences of the rebellion of Korah and Abiram, expressed words of alarm and bewilderment about dealing with God: “And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish” (Numbers 17:12).
In today’s text, God reassured Aaron of His choice and that of the Levites to serve as ministers in the tabernacle. He stated their general and specific duties within and outside the tabernacle. Aaron and his sons, and the entire house of the Levites were to have full responsibility for carrying out all the requirements of the sanctuary. Both he and his sons were to have the full responsibility of the whole system of offerings and sacrifices.
The passage warns strangers to keep off the tabernacle. They were not to join the priests in their hallowed assignment “that there be no wrath anymore upon the children of Israel” and to prevent unnecessary deaths.
Today, God is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and truth, and serve Him with their whole hearts. Because God is holy, it is important that we do His work in the way that He authorised and not for the sake of vainglory. It is not even enough to have good intentions like Uzzah, which was carried out in a way He does not approve and turned out to be a tragedy.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God’s work must be done God’s way.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Job 31-36