Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20011003.htm
NUMBERS: ON SPIRITUAL CASUALTIES AND VICTORS
Part V - Blessing In Knowing God Treasures Every Godly Deed Of Each Believer's Ministry
Lesson: All of God's people and all their godly deeds are DEEPLY appreciated by God, Num. 7:1-89!
- Sometimes we believers may be tempted to think that our efforts or gifts to God are insignificant, and thus be discouraged from continuing to try to serve Him, cf. 1 Corinthians 12:15.
- God corrects this belief in a dramatic way, going to great LENGTHS to encourage us ALL as follows:
- Blessing In Knowing God Treasures Every Godly Deed Of Each Believer's Ministry, Num. 7:1-89.
- After Moses set up the tabernacle, the twelve various princes of Israel's twelve tribes respectively brought an ox each and six carts to be drawn by two oxen each; these six carts and twelve oxen were to be used for transporting the tabernacle in Israel's wilderness journeys, Numbers 7:1-9.
- In addition to this corporate gift, these leaders wanted to give an offering for God's altar, Numbers 7:10. However, God required that this personal gift be drawn OUT, each of the twelve princes respectively offering his personal offering on twelve RESPECTIVE DAYS, one after the other, Numbers 7:11.
- Hence, each tribal PRINCE took his own day to make his offering, an offering of a silver charger (weighing 130 shekels, or about 65 ounces), a silver bowl (weighing about 70 shekels, or about 35 ounces) and a small vessel shaped like the palm of a man's hand (weighing 10 shekels, or about 5 ounces). Each man on his respective day also brought a burnt offering, a sin offering and a peace offering for himself unto the Lord, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Numbers 7:10-88.
- What is so significant about these offerings is that, though all the offerings were identical, every detail of each man's OFFERING is recorded in Scripture, making Numbers 7 the second longest chapter in the whole Bible (behind Psalm 119), cf. J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, volume I, p. 470! Apparently, God wanted to express how much He appreciated EACH man's GIFT, and so He went to great lengths to record each gift by each man, and savored these gifts for twelve days!
- Also, these giving events were the most significant ministries these men are recorded in Scripture doing, for all other references to them only mention their position, cf. Strong's Exhaus. Conc. of the Bible!
- Finally, the order in which these men were ASSIGNED to offer their individual gifts as heads of the twelve tribes intentionally COUNTERED any issue regarding FAVORITISM among God's people:
- We recall the 12 tribes came from Jacob's 12 sons born to his two wives, the unfavored Leah and the favored Rachel and their respective maids in the wives' rush to gain Jacob's favor, Gen. 29:31-30:24.
- To counter this history of favoritism, God had assigned the descendants of the unfavored, Leah, to have the favored position around His tabernacle, the East where God's presence faced, and Rachel's descendants as the favored wife God's less-favored spot, the West. The other sons were scattered in no order to affect favoritism both North and South of the Tabernacle, cf. Ibid., McGee, p. 458 (map).
- Well, in assigning the tribal leaders the order of their giving, God began with Leah's (unfavored) seed stationed in the East followed by those in the South followed in turn by those of Rachel's (favored) seed in the West followed in turn by those of the North, Num. 7; Ibid., McGee. God thus circumvented the historical favoritism issue in using a clockwise order starting with the unfavored Leah's seed so as not to undue the goal to balance out the historical wrong of Rachel's seed having been unjustly favored, but doing so in a modest way. This showed He focused on each giver's heart!
Application: (1) Every believer should see himself as valuable to God: his spiritual gift in the Church is a significant part of the whole, 1 Cor. 12:15. (2) Every believer should view every OTHER believer as EQUALLY SIGNIFICANT to GOD and his OWN welfare: EVERY believer's enabling is a significant part of the Body, 1 Cor. 12:21-23. (3) This being so, EVERY deed by EVERY believer done in God's power, way and means is NOT a VAIN effort, so we ought ALWAYS to ABOUND in God's work, 1 Cor. 15:58. (4) Since GOD took pains to make EACH prince's GIFT noticed and honored before the NATION by appointing each man a DAY for his GIFT to be thus publicly honored, we must leave our EFFORTS for God done in HIS way and leading to be HONORED by Him, John 12:26.