Reading Numbers 1 – 3 today.
Today I want to consider verses 11 – 13 of chapter 3,
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, ‘And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be Mine; because “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, ‘And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be Mine; because all the firstborn are Mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto Me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: Mine shall they be: I am the LORD.'” Numbers 3:11-13 (KJV)
In beginning the book of Numbers we find that it is named correctly for they are numbering or counting the people. In particular they are counting the males of each of the twelve tribes from the age of twenty up. The total number comes up to 603 thousand plus. That is only males 20 years of age and above. By looking at these numbers we get an idea of the multitude of people who were being led through the wilderness following their deliverance from Egypt. If we were to just think of each male having a wife that would equal 1.2 million people. If we add only one child, then, we are nearing 2 million people. Moses and Aaron had a large task and work to do.
Now, let’s get to the above verses.
Back in Egypt on the day of deliverance the Passover had begun with the shedding of the blood of many lambs; their blood put on the door posts and lintels of each Jewish home as commanded by the LORD. The Word of the LORD was that every firstborn in the land of Egypt would die. Israel would not be untouched by this, unless, they obeyed God and applied the blood in God’s prescribed manner. In doing so the firstborn of Israel were saved from this angel of death.
God redeemed the firstborn of Israel. They are His. In order not to take every firstborn for Himself; He took the Levites as the tribe which would serve Him as priests and servants to the people in the tabernacle. This was an honor and a burden for the Levites. They were consecrated to the LORD for the task. They were assigned their duties in raising the tabernacle, and in taking it down; and transporting it when they moved by God’s leadership through the cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night.
One thing that stands out clearly in the above text is that God states, “The Levites shall be Mine”. Of the firstborn the LORD says, “All the firstborn are Mine”. As we read the Scriptures; especially the Old Testament; we will find and emphasis placed on the firstborn son.
Jesus Christ is not just the firstborn Son of God, but His only born Son. It is through this only born Son that we have a High Priest, eternal in Heaven, seated at the Father’s right hand, interceding for His own.
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 8:1-2
Remember to read Numbers 1 – 3 for today.
-Tim A. Blankenship