Today, as I read through Numbers 3,4 I had to stop and think. It’s all about how God sets aside certain parts of the Levite tribe to be his servants in the temple. It’s a lot of numbers (hence the name of the book), and assignments for who is supposed to carry the poles to the tent, and who is supposed to cover what piece of furniture, and how much cloth they are supposed to use.
So, I had to stop and ask, “God, what’s in this that I need to see?”
He’s so funny. When you ask Him that kind of stuff, He’ll answer it. He’s so funny.
Here’s what I saw. God tells Moses to set aside the tribe of Levi to serve Him. They would be a kind of sacrifice from the nation to God. Instead of God asking everyone for their first born son to come and serve Him, He would just have the tribe of Levi stand in for them and be a sacrifice for the whole nation. In fact, the Bible says they count how many Levites there were. There were 22,000 even. Then they count how many first born sons there were. Want to guess? 22,273. So God lets the nation pay a cash payment for the other 273.
He asks for the Levites as this unique kind of national offering. He doesn’t want to kill them. He wants them to be a living sacrifice.
So God appoints people to be a living stand in for the rest of the group, as this sacrificial group serves Him, the rest of His people are declared okay and equal, and everything is good.
Do you see it too, or is it just me?
The Levites, being set aside as a substitute for every first born son, is a lead up to God giving up His Son to be a substitute for the people. It’s the story of Jesus, thousands of years earlier. Levites = picture of Jesus.
God is painting the picture way before anyone is even looking for it.
I love that! I love how He works over thousands of years, even though we think in terms of minutes. He paints huge murals across history telling His story, and leaves them there for us to look for. One big treasure hunt. That’s awesome. That’s how creative He is. That’s how awesome our God is. That’s how much our dad loves us.
He’s so funny that way….