Numbers 18:15


The Bible says in Numbers 18:15-20, “Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem.[16] And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.[17] But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savour unto the LORD.[18] And the flesh of them shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are thine.[19] All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.[20] And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.” One of two things happened to the firstborn: They were either killed or they were “redeemed” as it says in verse fifteen. If you were redeemed, a price was paid for you and you were not killed. That is exactly the status that we have who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We would have died in our sins and had judgment against us, but the bloody death of Christ is applied to our souls, and we are allowed to go free. We are redeemed, and Jesus is our Redeemer.


Notice that it says in verse nineteen, “have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever.” The Bible treats men and women equally. It always has. These verses were written 3,400 years ago. Too bad that some countries of the world have not studied and applied the Bible to their ways and customs. In some countries girls and women are still treated very unequally and are even used as mere property. That is not God’s will.


The Bible says in Numbers 18:21-24, “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.[21] And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.[22] Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.[23] But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.[24] But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.” The children of Israel paid the tithes because that is what supported Aaron and all the sons of Levi and their families. Aaron and the sons of Levi were not given a geographical area like the rest of the sons of Jacob. They were given only their homes to dwell in because their work was to take care of the tabernacle and the sacrifices and the rituals. Notice that God said to Aaron in verse twenty-one, “Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.” This has a spiritual meaning for all Christians. Material possessions are to have no importance to us, other than how can we use them to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, we need a place to live and we need to take care of our families, but the Lord has promised to provide for all this when He said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” We know the attitude of the early Christians in all of their zeal and desire to serve the Lord Jesus. It says in Acts 4:32-35, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.[33] And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.[34] Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,[35] And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need


Under the law the money and material things given by other believers was used to support those who served in the tabernacle and later in the temple. We are not under law, but a similar principle should be in effect. Christians should gather in local congregations, and money should be given to support the preachers and all the needs of the church building and property for the sake of the gospel of Christ and the preaching of the Word. Of course, we are in the last days. Many believers do not gather in the congregations and do not give anything to support the work. It is left to a few who understand to take up the slack and stand in the breech for the material needs. The falling away that Jesus spoke about is taking place. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 24: “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” My advice to the youth who are called to preach and teach the Word: as you study the Word, also study a skill that you can use to supplement your material needs later on. You cannot count on the weak and vacillating believers in the day in which we live. It is as in the days on Noah. They get married and become family people, but that is all that they are. Their family is more important than God. Because of their wrong priorities, and because they have stretched their budgets so much, they have nothing left to give to the work of the gospel.


The Bible says in Numbers 18:25-32, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[26] Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.[27] And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress.[28] Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD's heave offering to Aaron the priest.[29] Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.[30] Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.[31] And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.[32] And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.” Because Aaron and the Levites did not own any land, they did not have any fruit of the land to pay tithes on. Their income came from the tithes that the other Israelites paid. And so God told them that they still needed to pay a tithe from the tithe. In other words the leaders had to live by the same rule that everyone else had to live by. Our country was set up on the principle that the leaders would come from the normal citizens, and after serving for a while would return to their previous life. That is why George Washington served only two terms as president willingly. Happily, all presidents are now limited to two terms by law. Unfortunately, congressmen, senators, and judges do not have such limitations; and our government is corrupted because of the lack of term limits. There is a ruling class of elites in Washington, DC who have made their own rules for themselves that are different and better than the rules and parameters that the average citizens live by. The elite have the best health care, the best retirement, the best security, the best office buildings, the best fringe benefits, and the list goes on. They give themselves automatic pay increases, and they often exempt themselves from the laws they pass for everyone else. There is a way to fix a lot of this: follow the example of the Old Testament and have everyone in government live by the same rules as all the citizens.


The Bible says in Numbers 19:1-10, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,[2] This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:[3] And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face:[4] And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times:[5] And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn:[6] And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer.[7] Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even.[8] And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even.[9] And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin.[10] And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever.” The key phrase in these verses is at the end of verse ten that says, “it is a purification for sin.” Man’s greatest problem is the sin problem. God has a solution to the sin problem: blood. “The life of the flesh is in the blood.” ”Without the shedding of blood is no remission.” “We were not redeemed by silver or gold, but by the precious blood of Christ.” The Israelites were told to find the best red heifer that they could for this sacrifice: one with no blemish. The blood of the heifer is sprinkled seven times. The number seven is seen many times in the Bible, and probably because God created life on earth in seven days. There are seven days in every week. Our lives are defined by week after week after week: seven days after seven days after seven days for the entirety of our existence on earth. And we sin in every one of the seven days. We need forgiveness that covers every day and every sin. God gives us through Christ “purification for sin.” That is complete purification. Once you are forgiven, you go from being impure to being totally pure and clean. That is why there was all the washing with water in the verses above: the washing with water symbolized the forgiveness that made you totally clean. Water does not cleanse you from sin: it symbolizes the cleansing from sin that came when you found forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ. And the forgiveness of sin is only possible because Jesus shed His blood on the cross of Calvary.



Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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