Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20020109.htm
NUMBERS: ON SPIRITUAL CASUALTIES AND VICTORS
Part XVII - Avoiding God's Discipline By Heeding His Clarifications Of Oversight Roles
(Numbers 18:1-32; 16:8-10)
Lesson: For BLESSING, Aaron and his sons on the one hand and the Levites in general on the other hand were to keep their RESPECTIVE God-assigned PLACES, one above the other, in God's order!
- It is a good thing for a believer to want to be used of God in service, and to be used of God in a position of oversight; Paul said it was a good thing for a man to desire to be an elder in a Church, 1 Timothy 3:1.
- However, when a believer seeks a position belonging to someone else or to serve outside the role God assigns him, he steps outside of God's blessing and becomes a source of trouble, cf. Numbers 16:8-10.
- Accordingly, God wants believers to know their ROLE boundaries in service as follows:
- Avoiding God's Discipline By Heeding His Clarifications Of Oversight Roles, Num. 18:1-32; 16:8-10.
- When Korah led his rebellion in Numbers 16:8-10, his sin included wanting to exceed his God-assigned ROLE as a Levite and serve in the Aaronic Priesthood which was a minority WITHIN the Levites.
- Accordingly, in setting the record straight after several days of traumatic judgment, God clarified strict boundaries between the Aaronic Priesthood and the ministry of the Levites in general, Num. 18:1-32:
- Following the fallout of Korah's rebellion in Numbers 16, God addressed Moses and Aaron to tell the people of Israel that Aaron and his descendants would bear full responsibility for the tabernacle sanctuary and their priestly duties within and around that sanctuary, Numbers 18:1, 4a,b.
- He then noted the whole tribe of Levi, known to us as the Levites, would help Aaron and his son minister before the tabernacle, except that they would not be able to come near the holy vessels or the altar lest both the Levites AND Aaron AND his sons DIE, Numbers 18:2-3! Thus, Aaron and his sons would be immune to political manipulation pressures by Levites like Korah as they had to keep the Levites away from the holy articles to avoid God's discipline themselves!
- Also, a non-levite could not be allowed near the tabernacle or its furnishings lest he die, Num. 18:4c.
- In keeping strictly to such boundaries, the tragedy of Korah's rebellion would not be repeated, 18:5!
- Also, God wanted Aaron and his sons to know the Levites were God's gift to them as helpers in their service (Numbers 18:6) and that the priesthood was His gift of service to them, Numbers 18:7.
- Additionally, the livelihood provisions to be given in the tithes of the nation for the maintenance of the priests and Levites were carefully outlined by God as follows, Numbers 18:8-20:
- Of the heave offerings, what the fire did not consume went to the priests' families, 18:8, 19a,b.
- The holiest of the offerings (oblations, meat offerings, sin offerings and trespass offerings) were for the male priests only, Numbers 18:9-10.
- Every wave offering was entirely for the priests and all of their family members, Numbers 18:11. This included the best of the oil, wine, wheat and firstfruits, Numbers 18:12-13.
- Everything that was a devoted entity unto the Lord became the priest's possession, Num. 18:14.
- The revenue from the redemption of the firstborn of man and beast was for the priests, 18:15-16. The firstborn of cattle, sheep and goats, "clean" animals, were to be sacrificed unto the Lord, but the priests were to receive the wave of the breast of the right shoulder of these sacrifices, 18:17-18.
- These provisions were a lasting divine covenant, here thus called a "covenant of salt," 18:19c.
- Because the priests had such a provision, they were to receive no land inheritance, but view the Lord as their inheritance, Numbers 18:20. Thus, the priests were to live by faith in God and His work in the people to provide them their need regarding their livelihood!
- The Levites in general were to live off a tenth of the produce of the rest of the nation, Num. 18:21-25.
- Then, lest the Levites think they were above the people in accountability to God, they in turn had to give a tenth of the tithe that Israel's tribes had given to them and thus give that tenth to Aaron and his sons for their livelihood, Num. 18:26-28. This tenth had to be the best of the best produce, 18:29-32!
Application: God wants us to be CONTENT with HIS ASSIGNMENT for each of us IF we each would be PERSONALLY blessed in service! That means avoiding envy of another's God-given assignment!