Reading: Numbers 1:1-54
Focus Verse: Numbers 1:50
Put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with all its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and all its furnishings as you travel, and they must take care of it and camp around it.
On first glance, the whole book of Numbers seems to be a pretty straightforward set of instructions for the newly freed Israelites. Counts, statistics, instructions, and a very detailed camping strategy… why do we need to know this?
Numbers is written by Moses, who, at the outset of the chapter is instructed to conduct a census of all men over twenty years old who are worthy of battle. Because Moses had the respect of his people, they complied quickly to this order. On that very day, in fact. That’s impressive… 603,550 names recorded in one day, In the desert. Without Facebook.
Remember God’s promise to Abraham and Jacob that he would multiply their descendants? God has certainly been faithful to this promise. The census count only included men over twenty who were able to serve as warriors… it didn’t include women, children, the infirm, or the disabled. The approximate number of descendants here is just shy of 2,000,000 (wonder if Abraham could count that high). God keeps his promises.
The census number also omitted the Levites. They were chosen, likely as a result of their behavior in the golden calf debacle (Exodus 26), to not only be in charge of the tabernacle, but also to protect it. Their obedience gave them privilege; they were called into service by God.
If you are a follower of Jesus, you have also been called into service by God. “We are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16), which means we are dedicated to serving God and He will dwell in us. The glory of God that once shone in the tabernacle protected by the Levites now shines through you!
You know, God continues to keep a census. He knows more than your name and your family; He knows how many hairs you have on your head (Luke 12:7). He wants to reward your obedience with privilege, and He wants to shine through you, His temple. Are you seeking God’s will? Are you familiar with His voice? Are you protecting your tabernacle from evil and sin? God is calling you to stand with Him.
Father God, you have called me to obedience. Sometimes I let the world shut You out, but I want to protect who You’ve called me to be. I want You to shine through me! Help me to hear You and choose You, even when it’s hard and goes against what the world says. I know you keep Your promises. In Jesus’ name, Amen.