Archive for October 11th, 2014

Numbers 8

Numbers 8 has the instruction from God to Moses about getting the Levites ready for service.  First God gave instruction to Aaron on how to prepare the lampstands that had been created.  Scripture often uses lampstands and light as a picture of the church.  The lampstand does not give light itself, but provides a place for that light to be places.  That is the role of the church, not as the light of the world, but as a platform through which the light of Jesus can be seen in the world.  We also are told to let our lights shine as Christ Followers so others can see Christ in us.

God gives specific direction about the cleansing and dedication of the Levites.  If you recall, the priests went through a dedication similar to this back in Leviticus 8 and 9.  There cleansing seemed to have a bit more spiritual orientation, but here God provides the means to prepare the Levites for service.  “You shall bring the Levites before the tent of meeting and assemble the whole congregation of the people of Israel”.  It is a big deal as the entire people were to be brought together to watch.  The steps were simple – washing, cleaning clothes, shaving, and a series of offerings.  But the outcome was a group prepared to serve the people.

The Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes, and Aaron offered them as a wave offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them”. These men were called and separated from the rest of the people.  They went through the purification process and are then ready to go to work in the Tent of Meeting.  They become the helpers to the priests who lead the interaction and worship with God.   “You shall separate the Levites from among the people….they are wholly given to me from among the people of Israel”.

Their role is “to do the service for the people”, or in other words do whatever is necessary to assist the priests in their work of the ministry.  They are the doers among the team.  God is clear that this isn’t a lifetime duty though.  “From twenty-five years old and upward they shall come to do duty in the service of the tent of meeting. And from the age of fifty years they shall withdraw from the duty of the service and serve no more”.  Very strict start and stop ages for this service.  We learn elsewhere that as they began service at 25, they had a five year apprenticeship to learn the ropes and be ready for 20 years of true service.

%d bloggers like this: