1 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 2 Speak to Aaron and say to him, When you light the lamps, the seven lamps will give light in front of the lamp stand. 3 So Aaron did this; he lit the lamps in front of the lamp stand, as the LORD commanded Moses. 4 And this work of the lamp stand was made of beaten gold; from its shaft to its flowers was hammered work according to the pattern that the LORD had showed Moses, so he made the lampstand.
- God designed all His furniture for His dwelling and gave the instructions to Moses at Mt. Sinai.
- He showed Moses the pattern of the lamp stand.
- It had seven lights.
- The candlestick was of pure gold. Gold represents deity.
- The fuel that the candlestick burned was oil.
- Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. God is our light.
- The seven lights represent the Holy Spirit.
- Revelation 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
- John 1:5 God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
5 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 6 Take the Levites from among the children of Israel and cleanse them. 7 Do this to them to cleanse them: Sprinkle purifying water on them and let them shave all their flesh; let them wash their clothes, and by this make themselves clean. 8 Then let them take a young bull with his grain offering, fine flour mingled with oil, and take another young bull for a sin offering. 9 You are to bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation: gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together. 10 You are to bring the Levites before the LORD and the children of Israel will put their hands on the Levites: 11 And Aaron will offer/wave the Levites before the LORD for a wave offering of the children of Israel so that they may execute the service of the LORD.
- This was the Old Testament ordination service.
- It was before the congregation and the congregation laid hands on the ones being ordained for service.
- God cleanses us so that we are fit to be in His presence.
- Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
- John 15:3 Now you are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you.
12 Then the Levites will lay their hands on the heads of the bulls: you are to offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the LORD, to make an atonement for the Levites. 13 And you are to set the Levites before Aaron and before his sons, and offer them for an offering to the LORD. 14 By this you separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: the Levites will be mine.
- The Levites were zealous to God at Mt. Sinai after the golden calf incident (Exodus 32:24-28).
- Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
15 After that the Levites will go in to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: you are to cleanse them, and offer them for an offering. 16 For they are wholly given to me from among the children of Israel instead of the one that opens the womb, instead of the firstborn of all the children of Israel, I have taken them to me. 17 For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and animal since the day that I struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt I set them apart for myself. 18 And I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn of the children of Israel.
- God had struck down the firstborn of Egypt to release His people from Egyptian slavery.
19 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel so that no plague comes among the children of Israel when the children of Israel come near the sanctuary.
- By this, God protected the people from the wrath of God’s holiness.
- Anything or anyone who came near God in an unclean state would instantly die.
- Now the Lord Jesus is our covering so that no plague comes on us when we draw near our infinitely holy God (Exodus 19:12-13).
20 So Moses and Aaron, and all the congregation of the children of Israel, did to the Levites all that the LORD commanded Moses concerning the Levites, the children of Israel did this to them. 21 The Levites were purified, they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them as an offering before the LORD; and Aaron made an atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 And after that the Levites went in to do their service in the tabernacle of the congregation before Aaron and before his sons: as the LORD had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, this is what they did to them. 23 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 24 This is what pertains to the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they will go in to war the warfare of the tabernacle of the congregation: 25 And from the age of fifty years they will return from the warfare, and will serve no more: 26 After retirement they may assist their fellow Levites by performing guard duty at the Tabernacle, but they may not officiate in the service. This is how you will assign duties to the Levites.
- The Levites service in the tabernacle involved lifting living animals onto the altar for sacrifice.
- God set the age of active duty for the Levites from 25-50.
- The priests served from age 30-50 (Numbers 4).
- After 50 they helped the congregation in other ways.
- All service to God involves the unseen warfare of the mind.
- God’s unseen enemies attack the mind to prevent service and prevent the right attitude during service (Ephesians 6:12+).
- Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they came out of the land of Egypt saying, 2 Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed season. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, between the evenings, you are to keep it in its appointed season: you are to keep all its ceremony according to all its rites. 4 And Moses spoke to the children of Israel to keep the Passover. 5 So they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at evening in the wilderness of Sinai: the children of Israel did all that the LORD commanded Moses.
- 1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our pass over is sacrificed for us:
6 And certain men who were defiled by the dead body of a man so that they could not keep the Passover on that day came before Moses and before Aaron on that day: 7 And those men said to him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: so are we kept back, not to offer an offering of the LORD in its appointed season among the children of Israel? 8 And Moses said to them, Stand still and I will hear what the LORD commands concerning you. 9 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 10 Speak to the children of Israel saying, If any man of you or of your posterity is unclean because of a dead body, or on a far journey, yet he desires to keep the Passover to the LORD. 11 They are to keep it the fourteenth day of the second month at evening, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They are to leave none of it until morning, nor break any bone of it: they are to keep it according to all the ordinances of the Passover. 13 But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and neglects to keep the Passover, that soul will be cut off from among his people because he did not bring the offering of the LORD in his appointed season; that man will bear his sin.
- God makes provision for every circumstance.
- He has given clear instructions about all things.
- He was totally consumed for us.
- Psalm 22 is a picture of Christ on the cross.
- God made the way out for us by bearing our sins on the cross.
- If we refuse that gift, we bear our own sins. He cuts off those who refuse His simple solution.
- John 19:32 Then the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they did not break his legs: 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, No bone of him will be broken.
- 1Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, would live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.
14 And if a foreigner visits among you, and desires to keep the Passover to the LORD; according to the ordinance of the Passover, according to its way, he may do it: you have one ordinance, both for the foreigner, and for him that was born in the land.
- God has no prejudice.
- Acts 17:24-28 God that made the world and all things in, since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not in temples made with hands; 25 He is not worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, since he gives to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined beforehand the times appointed to them, and the boundaries of their habitation; 27 That they might seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being…
God dwells among His people; He leads His people
15 And on the day that the tabernacle was raised up the cloud covered the tabernacle, that is, the tent of the testimony: and at evening the appearance of fire was on the tabernacle until the morning. 16 It was always like this: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. 17 And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud stayed, there the children of Israel pitched their tents. 18 At the command of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the command of the LORD they camped: as long as the cloud stayed on the tabernacle they rested in their tents. 19 And when the cloud lingered long on the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and did not travel.
- The Lord is in the cloud and the fire. Ezekiel 1:26-28 describes the glory of the LORD as a man of fiery amber flashing forth rainbows.
- He is over His people for provision, guidance, and protection. It will be the same in the future.
- Exodus 13:21-22 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He did not take away the pillar of the cloud by day, or the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
- Isaiah 4:5 the LORD will create on every dwelling place of mount Zion, and on her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory will be a defense.
20 And when the cloud was a few days on the tabernacle; according to the command of the LORD they stayed in their tents, and according to the command of the LORD they journeyed. 21 And when the cloud stayed from evening until the morning, and then the cloud was taken up in the morning, they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night when the cloud was taken up, they traveled. 22 Whether it was two days, a month, or a year, when the cloud lingered on the tabernacle, remaining on it, the children of Israel stayed in their tents, and did not travel: but when it was taken up, they traveled. 23 At the command of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the command of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
- God went ahead of them.
- He told them when to move and when to rest.
- The forces of evil like to keep Christians so busy ‘doing’ that they miss the presence of God.
- Mary and Martha are the example of this in scripture (Luke 10).
- Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you will find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
- Deuteronomy 1:30 The LORD your God who goes before you, he will fight for you,
- Isaiah 30:15 thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest you will be saved; in quietness and in confidence will be your strength: and you would not.
God unites and organizes His people
1 Andthe LORD spoke to Moses saying, 2 Make two trumpets of silver; you are to make them from a whole piece: you are to use them for calling the assembly, and for moving the camps. 3 And when they blow with them, all the assembly is to assemble themselves to you at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 4 And if they blow just one trumpet, then the princes, who are leaders of the thousands of Israel are to gather themselves to you. 5 When you blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east side will go forward. 6 When you blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side will take their journey: they are to blow an alarm for their journeys. 7 But when the congregation is to be gathered together, you will blow but not sound an alarm. 8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets; this will be an ordinance to you forever throughout your generations.
- Silver in scripture is a symbol of redemption.
- Making the trumpet of a single piece of silver signifies unity in our redemption.
- God is three, but one.
- he body of Christ is to be one with them.
- These people had no telephones or email.
- The trumpets were their communication system.
- This system is used in heaven in Revelation 8. The voice of the resurrected Christ sounds like a trumpet.
- 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
- Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, like a trumpet,
9 And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses you, then you are to blow an alarm with the trumpets; and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies. 10 Also in the day of gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, you are to blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.
- God allowed His people to go to war against those that oppressed them.
- He remembered them and saved them as they blew the trumpet. The Lord still uses trumpets as a signal.
- 1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ will rise first
11 And it happened on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony. 12 And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran. 13 And they took their first journey according to the command of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 14 In first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his army was Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 15 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethaneel the son of Zuar. 16 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.
- Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.
17 And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set forward, carrying the tabernacle. 18 Then the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their armies: and over his army was Elizur the son of Shedeur. 19 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 20 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 21 And the Kohathites set forward, carrying the sanctuary: and others set up the tabernacle while they came. 22 And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies: and over his army was Elishama the son of Ammihud. 23 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 24 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni. 25 And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rear guard of all the camps throughout their armies: and over his army was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 26 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran. 27 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan. 28 These were the journeys of the children of Israel according to their armies, when they set forward.
- Remember also from earlier study in Numbers that God appointed these leaders by name.
- God knows the hearts of people.
- God knows who can be trusted with the responsibility.
- Voting often becomes a popularity contest and a war of words.
- God knows best.
God makes a place for everyone
29 And Moses said to Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying to the place of which the LORD said, I will give it to you: come with us, and we will do you good: for the LORD has spoken good concerning Israel. 30 And he said to him, I will not go; but I will go back to my own land, and to my relatives. 31 And he said, Please do not leave us, for you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you may eyes for us.
- God leads to the place He has planned for us.
- He has planned good things.
- God was still leading them in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
- Do they need this man?
- Do we not often trust others rather than God?
32 And it will be, if you go with us, yes, it will be, that what goodness the LORD will do to us, we will the same do to you. 33 And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search for a resting place for them. 34 And the cloud of the LORD was on them by day, when they went out of the camp. 35 And it happened, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let your enemies be scattered; and let them that hate you flee before you. 36 And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, to the many thousands of Israel.
- God stays with us and wants us to stay with Him.
- John 15:4-6 Abide/stay in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine; no more can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. 6 If a man does not stay in me, he is cast out like a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
SUMMARY: Numbers 8-10
- The Lord gave instructions about lighting the lamps
- He cleansed the priests
- He replaced the firstborn with the Levites
- He set duties for warfare for the priests
- He retired them at age 50