Archive for October 23rd, 2014

Numbers 18

Numbers 18 has God speaking to Aaron about the work of the Levites.  He and his sons are to lead this set of priests and tabernacle workers.  “They shall keep guard over you and over the whole tent, but shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary or to the altar lest they, and you, die”.  God takes this work seriously.  God has called them to keep the Holy Place holy.  “I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel. They are a gift to you, given to the Lord, to do the service of the tent of meeting”.

God expects the tabernacle to be kept holy.  Regular people were not allowed in it or even near it.  “I give your priesthood as a gift, and any outsider who comes near shall be put to death”.  God expects Aaron and his boys to man the shop and keep it protected.  He also has “given you charge of the contributions made to me”.  Aaron and the Levites are responsible for all the offerings and tithes that were to be given.  They were to gather them as the Lord commanded the people.

God tells Aaron that they are to not only collect, but also take care of these offerings:

  • every offering of theirs
  • every grain offering
  • every sin offering
  • every guilt offering
  • the contribution of their gift
  • all the wave offerings
  • the best of the oil
  • the best of the wine and of the grain
  • the firstfruits of what they give to the Lord
  • The first ripe fruits
  • All the holy contributions that the people of Israel present to the Lord I give to you

There is a tradeoff for this.  The Levites are the only tribe that does not have any land of their own.  “You shall have no inheritance in their land”.  Their needs were met through the tithes and offerings of the people, but they were not given any land.  God says “I am your portion and your inheritance….I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do”.  God is enough.  They don’t need anything else.  God does not exempt them from tithing though interestingly.  “When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe”.  They too were expected to tithe that which they had.

%d bloggers like this: