Alrighty people. Here’s what I am going to do with Numbers 18. I will take three verses that I found particularly interesting and extend the principle to a place that it may or may not have had any intention of going.
“But they (the Levites) must not approach either the utensils of the sanctuary or the altar, otherwise both they and you will die.”
This is new. If some Levite comes up and does something inappropriate to the Tabernacle, not only will he die, but Aaron will as well. The Tabernacle and all its functions are his responsibility.
God has been very inclusive of late and while the previous inclusions have all been positive, this is where the other side is shown.
Aaron is included in the Levites and included in the Tabernacle. He can’t just excuse himself when something gets screwed up.
He is responsible for his people.
The principle? Good or bad, we are a part of the group we lead and we are responsible for its success or failure.
“You shall have no allotment in their land, nor shall you have any share among them; I am your share and your possession among the Israelites.”
The tribe of Levi will receive no land in Canaan.
The other tribes will provide their food and sustenance. Levi will mind the Tabernacle.
Instead of land, they get a much more interesting possession: God himself.
They will never have a farm or field to or animals to give to their sons. The thing that gives so many people a sense of pride and accomplishment and purpose will never be theirs.
Instead, they will have God.
On paper, that sounds great and spiritual. But how does it play out in the real world?
Also, does that mean we accumulate land (or receive is as a gift) at the expense of God?
The principle? God puts himself in the midst of people with nothing to give to their children. He is the God of the homeless.
“From now on the Israelites shall no longer approach the tent of meeting, or else they will incur guilt and die.”
From now on.
That means that before this moment, things were different. You could argue things were better. The Isrealites could actually approach the tent to make their offerings. Now they can’t.
Chapter 16 happened. And then God changed the rules. God adapted to the people’s rebellion. He actually re-made the system into what the people were rebelling against.
The principle? Our rebellion and disobedience can cause God to change the rules. Things he said would happen won’t because we act with arrogance.
What do you think? Would you agree or disagree with where I took these? Why?