Numbers 3-4: Guards
March 2, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
These chapters consist of more organizing and logistics. This time there is some extra particular theological rationale: as God redeemed his people at the Passover, so his people are to live like redeemed people. The firstborn son which is, in a sense, Israel, redeemed by God, is God’s, and the Levites operate as token of that in their special service to God in the temple.
What is striking about this part of the organization is the necessity for guarding the tent of meeting from God’s people. There is a barrier, and unholy things cannot touch the holy. Moses and the priests camp on the east (3:38), the Kohathites to the south (3:29), the Merarites to the north (3:35), and the Gershonites to the west (3:23) (those being the sons of Levi, 3:17). Special guard duties are assigned to the Levites (3:5-39), and as each side of the tabernacle court and the tent of meeting are guarded, Israel is protected.
By such instructions the holiness of God is underlined and emphasized. Ever since Genesis 3, there has been an angel guarding the entrance into paradise, and that barrier remains—until Christ comes, who at his death the curtain separating God from us is torn down, and through Christ and by faith in him all may enter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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