Numbers 8:20


The Bible says in Numbers 8:20-26, “And Moses, and Aaron, and all the congregation of the children of Israel, did to the Levites according unto all that the LORD commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did the children of Israel unto them.[21] And the Levites were purified, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them as an offering before the LORD; and Aaron made an atonement for them to cleanse them.[22] And after that went the Levites in to do their service in the tabernacle of the congregation before Aaron, and before his sons: as the LORD had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did they unto them.[23] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[24] This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation:[25] And from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more:[26] But shall minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of the congregation, to keep the charge, and shall do no service. Thus shalt thou do unto the Levites touching their charge.” Israel had a great start as a nation because initially they followed God’s will. As the years went by after the rule of King David and King Solomon, they got further and further away from God’s will. This passage of scripture shows us one of the good things that the Israelites did initially: they ordained the Levites as God commanded them. This is how it works: God calls a believer to preach and teach the Word of God by giving that man the gift of pastor-teacher. Once a believer realizes what their gift is, they look for opportunities to use their gift: some people call that knowing that you are “called” to preach the Gospel. God gives the gift for the benefit of other believers. If you are a believer there is a preacher-teacher somewhere that you should be listening to. We call that going to church to hear the preacher-teacher. They have been gifted for your benefit. If you do not find such a preacher-teacher, then you are missing out something very important that God has given for your benefit.


The Bible says in Numbers 9:1-14, “And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,[2] Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season.[3] In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.[4] And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the passover.[5] And they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.[6] And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day:[7] And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in his appointed season among the children of Israel?[8] And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.[9] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[10] Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD.[11] The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.[12] They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.[13] But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.[14] And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.” This passage of scripture is an emphasis on the Passover. The Israelites already knew the significance of the Passover. It involved the last of the plagues that God used to make Pharaoh let the children of Israel go out of Egypt. Remember the phrase: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” The Israelites were told to kill an innocent animal, and put some blood over the door posts of their dwellings. Those who believed God and obeyed God were saved from the death angel when He came to kill the firstborn. Of course, that was an extremely significant event: similar in greatness to the parting of the Red Sea that happened a little while later when God delivered the children of Israel from the Egyptian army as the Israelites left Egypt. Here is the most important truth about the Passover and why God reminded the Israelites to always keep the Passover and to never forget its meaning: the Passover was all about Jesus, the Lamb of God, who would come as the innocent Lamb to offer His blood so that we could be saved. As a matter of fact Jesus Himself was killed on the Passover. The Last Supper was the Passover meal. O the marvels and wonders of God’s eternal plan! One thousand four hundred years before Jesus died on the cross, God instituted the first Passover and then emphasized here in this passage of scripture that the Israelites should never forget it under any circumstances.


The Israelites had an initial question about any exceptions to keeping the Passover. What if someone touched a dead body? In verse seven they asked if that would mean that because the law said they had to go through a period of cleansing that such a person would be an exception and should not keep the Passover. But God said basically, “No. There are no exceptions.” The Passover was too important for anyone to miss for any reason. God said in verse ten, “yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD.” To emphasize the fact that there are no exceptions, God said that if anyone at all failed to keep the Passover, they would  be killed. God said in verse eleven, “even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people.” This is symbolic of the fact that if Jesus is not your Passover through faith in Christ, then you will suffer eternal death in the fire the burns forever. This is not only true concerning the Jews but also concerning the Gentiles. It is a truth for the whole world. That is why God told the Israelites that if anyone was visiting them from another country, that the visitors also should keep the Passover. That is why God said in verse fourteen, “ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.” It is basically the same message when Jesus told the disciples in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”


The Bible says in Numbers 9:15-23, “And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.[16] So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.[17] And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.[18] At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents.[19] And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not.[20] And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed.[21] And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed.[22] Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.[23] At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.” The cloud by day and the fire by night were used by the Lord to guide the children of Israel. This is what the Lord does for every believer. He leads us and guides us. We are His sheep and Jesus is our Shepherd. After you accept Jesus as your Savior, make sure that you do the following: find out which way God is going, and go with Him. Sometimes He will speak with a still small voice, but He will let you know if He wants you to move or if He wants you to stop. Some of the biggest mistakes of your Christian life will be if you ignore or resist God’s attempts to lead you.


The Bible says in Numbers 10:1-8, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[2] Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.[3] And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.[4] And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.[5] When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.[6] When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.[7] But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.[8] And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.” We see a very practical need for these trumpets. There were probably over a million Israelites at this point who were on a journey that would last forty years. Almost every day they would move, and it requited coordination. There is a practical side to Christianity as well as a spiritual side. It is not enough to pray and then wait and see what God will do, but He wants us to do our part and work. Even if you are old or sick and bed-ridden, you can speak to whomever comes your way or you can write to others. It is true that “they also serve who only stand and wait,” as John Milton wrote in On His Blindness, but only if you are in a situation where all you can do is stand and wait.  


Notice in verse three that one of the uses of a trumpet was so that “all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle.” God has always liked it when believers assemble together. The final gathering will take place when we are all together serving the Savior in heaven. Why should Christians gather together? We all know the same Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus created the church. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Believers need each other. We each have one or more gifts, and we all benefit from each other as we fellowship in the name of the Lord. We need to hear sermons and teachings from the Christians who have the gift to teach and to speak to a congregation. We need to pray for one another and hear one another’s prayer requests. We need to sing the songs of Zion together and rejoice in the Lord together. That is God’s will and that is one of the reasons that Jesus established the church.





Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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