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Numbers 4:1-20 (The Holiness of the Lord)

Sep 16, 2018   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Numbers Sermons (written), Old Testament, Old Testament (written), Sermons, Torah, Torah (written), Writings  //  No Comments

Numbers 4:1-20
The Holiness of the Lord

The verses today cover a list of items that took us dozens of sermons to get through back in the book of Exodus. There, each of these things that will be carried by the Kohathites, was described in the minutest detail. So much so, in fact, that I had a hard time remembering even a small portion of what they pictured in Christ. And so today’s verses were a marvelous chance to go back and get a cursory review of some of what was described there. As I went through the verses, I kept thinking how grateful I am that the Lord put them here. It was like a trip back to an old childhood home where you can look around and revel in the things that had almost left your memory completely.

I would get excited as single words that we had gone through would suddenly come back up looking for an explanation of why they are there. I would anxiously go back to the particular sermon where that one word was used and then say, “Oh yes! I remember that.” I kept thinking, “If I had the time, I’d go back and re-read, or re-watch the entire sermon again.” But sermon typing day does not allow for such luxuries. And so I would disappointedly close that sermon, and go on to the next verse here in Numbers, looking for another chance to go back and review something else. Each time another would enter the text, I’d look it up and then, yet again, I would say, “Oh yes! I remember that too.” And each time, I would be no less surprised that it was a word that pointed to Christ Jesus. Again and again, each word points to Him.

Text Verse: “One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.”Psalm 27:4

Along with the excited feeling of rediscovering Christ in simple, obscure words, I also kept getting the same feeling about what was revealed in the rest of the passage. Time and time again, the things which are mentioned are covered up, kept out of sight from any eyes but those designated by the Lord. The only thing that would be seen by anyone except the priests were the various colored cloths which were over those things. And even some of these were covered up by other cloths. All of the beauty that was hidden below those cloths was kept from the eyes of the people, and yet all of that beauty looks to Christ. He is there, but He is hidden away.

No wonder David said what he did in the 27th Psalm. There is beauty all around us. There is a magnificent display of it in the sunrise, in the rushing of a stream through a tree-filled land, in a careful study of a single flower in the cracks of a rock, or in the face of one’s beloved. And yet, all of those things stem from the Lord Himself. Every beautiful thing in the world, and in ten thousand times ten thousand other worlds, is an expression of His mind. If this is so, then all of the beauty that has been, that is, or that ever will be – all of it combined – cannot equal the beauty of the Lord from whom these things are derived.

And here in Numbers, those things that picture the Lord are covered over and concealed from the eyes of Israel. Fallen eyes are too impure to gaze upon such glory. And that is why when He came, He veiled that glory in a garment of flesh. There was enough of His true glory to reveal who He was, but the fallen eyes who saw Him only looked at the flesh; most missed the true glory behind it. This is what Israel was given in type and shadow, and this is what they still fail to see in reality. But He is there, revealing His true glory to those who are willing to open their eyes and see it. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. They Shall Not Touch Any Holy Thing (verses 1-15)

Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:

The usual address of the Lord speaking only to Moses is departed from here by including Aaron. This occurs from time to time when there is a need for Aaron to be involved in whatever is occurring. Such is the case now. In Chapter 3, the Levites were taken in place of the firstborn in Israel, they were counted in a census, and they were then dedicated in place of the firstborn. Now, a second numbering of them will occur in order to draw out from their total those who were acceptable for actual service. Aaron is called with Moses in this first section of the chapter because it deals with the priestly class of Levites, as is seen next…

“Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the children of Levi, by their families, by their fathers’ house,

Here the order of the census is not according to birth order. The sons of Levi are first Gershon, then Kohath, and then Merari. However, Kohath is most associated with the priestly line of Aaron, and so to them belong the most sacred duties.

In the case of this census especially, the details concern the service of the sanctuary. As Kohath is to tend to the most holy implements, they are named first. These holy implements would need to be prepared for moving first, and would need to be ready for service once again upon arrival at a new location. Thus we have Kohath named first. The census now to be taken is unlike the previous one. That one was from one month old and upward in order to determine the total count of Levites for the purposes of redemption in place of the firstborn. This one is of a different age bracket, and for a different reason. This is now seen in those…

from thirty years old and above,

This census is specifically to be taken beginning with those who are thirty years old. The number thirty in Scripture “denotes in a higher degree, the perfection of Divine order, as marking the right moment” (Bullinger). It is the age that Joseph was when he stood before Pharaoh. It is the age that Christ was (about) when He began His ministry. It is also “the right moment” for the Levites to begin their own particular ministry.

(con’t) even to fifty years old,

The census of these Levites ends at the age of fifty. Thus, they are being counted according to the prime years of their life for the physical service to the Lord. The number fifty is “the number of jubilee or deliverance. It … points to deliverance and rest following on as the result of the perfect consummation of time.” It is at this age that the Levites are given the deliverance, or release, from their duties and enter into their deserved time of rest.

The entire duration of their active service then is twenty years. Twenty signifies “expectancy.” There is a time of burden and labor in the lives of these men, and the expectancy of their rest is after a period of twenty years. It is as if the meaning of the biblical numbers was decided upon based on the life of these Levites, but rather it is the life of these Levites being fitted to the meaning of biblical numbers. And that, in a most perfect way.

(con’t) all who enter the service to do the work in the tabernacle of meeting.

It is specifically those from thirty to fifty who are herein designated as acceptable and responsible for service in doing work for the tent of meeting. Later, two separate ages will be given. One is in Numbers 8:24, where the age for performing service in the work of the tent of meeting is set at twenty-five. Later, in 1 Chronicles 23:24, the age is set at twenty. These varying ages are given for their own reasons which are explained in the needs of the service itself. It is a service of tending to the tabernacle, especially its movement. Thus, the age of thirty is given. The word translated as “the service” here is tsava. It was used to signify those prepared for war in the census of Chapter 1. Thus, these men are specifically to be considered the hosts of the Lord. They are his sacred military force. This is certain because of what is next stated…

“This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of meeting, relating to the most holy things:

The word translated as “the service” is not the same Hebrew word. It is avodat, labor. They are the Lord’s hosts, and the description of their labors is forthcoming, but from this verse, we see that those duties are in relation to the tent of meeting, and specifically in regards to qodesh ha’qodashim, or “the most holy things.” These are the items found in the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place of the tabernacle, and which will be described in the coming verses.

When the camp prepares to journey,

Their first duties are specifically noted as when it was time to break down camp for continuing the journey towards Canaan. In all expectation, this would be just a few short stops along the way, and they would be there in no time. All of the preparations of the preceding year were intended for them to be ready to journey on a quick path to their new land. The fact that it would be after almost every one of them was dead is irrelevant to what they now expect. As the camp is anticipated to break down and depart, the order of that will now be noted. This task will be performed in the same exact way that any tent would be moved, beginning with the contents on the inside and working outwards.

(con’t) Aaron and his sons shall come, and they shall take down the covering veil

This is an exception to the rule of the Most Holy Place. Leviticus 16 defines the allowances for entry into this area. It was to be entered only by the high priest, and only once a year on the Day of Atonement. However, during the time of movement, or at a particular time authorized by the Lord, such as when the ark was carried around Jericho, exceptions to the law of entry were made. The idea here is that the Presence of the Lord would move in the cloud indicating that the camp was to depart. This was seen in Exodus 40:36-38 with these words –

“Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”

With the Presence no longer in the Most Holy Place, it would be safe for the priests to enter without fear of death. With the allowance for moving noted, the first thing these chosen priests were to do was to remove the paroket, or veil, which hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy place. In short, the veil symbolized the body of Christ, but for a detailed understanding of it, one can go to the sermon from Exodus 26:31-37.

(con’t) and cover the ark of the Testimony with it.

This veil, used to cover the entrance to the Most Holy Place where the ark rested, was now to cover the ark itself. And the ark is known here by its full name, the ark of the Testimony. The ark’s purpose was to be a container for the Testimony itself. In short, it is a picture of Christ embodying the Law. But the detail is so involved, so specific, and so beautiful, the sermon on Exodus 25:10-22 should be referred to. The symbolism of the veil covering the ark is magnificent. The veil is the body of Christ according to Hebrews. His body covers the testimony, the ark, and the mercy seat. In essence, His humanity veils those things which picture His deity, from human eyes. On that veil are the cherubim which guard access to the spot where paradise is restored. In Christ’s death, the veil, meaning His body, was torn, removing the guards and granting access once again. For now in Numbers, the veil remains.

Then they shall put on it a covering of badger skins,

As seen in the Exodus sermons, the translation “badger skins” is incorrect. The word is takhash. It signifies a sea animal, most likely a sea-cow or a porpoise. Thus it would be a light gray to sky-blue covering. It is always used in connection with the coverings associated with the tabernacle, with but one exception. In Ezekiel 16, it is used to describe figurative sandals worn by Jerusalem.

This skin has toughness and waterproofing properties. As the sea is representative of the world of chaos, confusion, and rebellion, this then makes a picture of Christ’s covering from that. On the outside is the appearance of a regular man, but under that are all the riches of Christ. The word used to describe this, kasuy, is a noun seen only here and in verse 14. It signifies “a covering.” This was to be placed over the veil, and then from there…

(con’t) and spread over that a cloth entirely of blue;

Over everything, there was to be placed a cloth which was completely blue. The color in Hebrew is tekelet. It is believed to come from the word shekheleth, the cerulean mussel, meaning the color from it that is used for dyeing. Blue in the Bible is associated with the law, especially the keeping of the law. This would be the only thing that was visible of the ark with the exception of…

(con’t) and they shall insert its poles.

These words are debated. According to Exodus 25:15, the poles were never to be removed from the ark. And so 1) As an exception, it was necessary for them to be removed for the covering process, and then once again inserted; 2) Holes may have been made in the covering which was slipped over the poles; 3) the poles themselves were covered; or 4) the ark was lifted onto shoulders, fitting them for being carried. As the exact same words are used in the next verses to indicate placing the poles in other pieces of furniture, it is probable they were removed as an exception, just as it was an exception that the priests would be conducting these duties at all.

The poles, if you remember, picture the two testaments of the Bible. The four rings picture the four gospels which tie the two testaments together into one picture of Christ. What the people would see actually pictured what we are studying right now, what we carry with us in our cars, what we often ignore, and what is covered with layers of dust in most houses of the world today. What the people saw was that thing in Israel which was of the highest value of all, the Holy Bible which reveals the Person and work of Jesus Christ the Lord. Within it, like within the Bible, are all those things which picture Him, and which reveal Him.

“On the table of showbread they shall spread a blue cloth,

The next item to be secured was the shulkhan ha’pannim, or “table the faces,” meaning the table of the Presence, or the table of showbread. Again, amazing pictures of Christ are revealed in this piece of furniture. They are detailed in the sermon from Exodus 25:23-30. This table is to likewise be covered with a blue cloth, signifying the law.

(con’t) and put on it the dishes, the pans, the bowls, and the pitchers for pouring;

These items were kept on the table at all times, but during transport, they were to be placed on the blue covering which was over the table. Each of these items was described in minute detail during the Exodus sermon.

(con’t) and the showbread shall be on it.

The bread, known as the bread of the faces, the bread of the Presence, or the showbread, is here called lekhem ha’tamid, or “bread the continual.” The term is unique to this verse, and it is used to indicate that even during transport, the bread was to be placed back on the table. It was to always be present. After that…

They shall spread over them a scarlet cloth,

They were next to be covered with a cloth of tolaat shani, or “worms crimson.” Thus, it is the dye obtained from the crimson grub worm. That is in itself a picture of Christ’s atoning death on the cross, as has been seen in several previous sermons.

(con’t) and cover the same with a covering of badger skins;

On top of all of it was to be a covering of sea-animal skin. It is a weatherproof covering. However, it also looks to Christ in a world of chaos, but with treasures of Him hidden inside.

(con’t) and they shall insert its poles.

These are the exact same words as for inserting the poles into the ark from verse 6. The poles again point to the two testaments being inserted into four rings which picture the four gospels.

And they shall take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand of the light, 

The next article to be covered, in turn, is the menorah. Only here and in Exodus 35:14 is it called menorat ha’maor, or “menorah the light.” The symbolism of this article is so amazing and beautiful that it is hard to imagine. It is described in Exodus 35:21-30.

(con’t) with its lamps, its wick-trimmers, its trays, and all its oil vessels, with which they service it.

All of these items were carefully detailed in previous sermons, and all minutely detail Christ and His work.

10 Then they shall put it with all its utensils in a covering of badger skins,

Again, like the other implements, it is covered with hides of sea animals, not badger skins. For the menorah, like the table of showbread, it is the absolute outside covering.

10 (con’t) and put it on a carrying beam.

Here is a new noun in the Bible, mot, or a pole. It comes from the verb mot which indicates “to totter,” or “shake,” and thus figuratively “to fall.” When David uses this verb in the 30th Psalm saying, “I shall never be moved,” it means he will stand fast and not fall. The mot then is a beam that shakes as it carries something, as a yoke does. It is used here, and then in a similar manner in Numbers 13 when the spies will carry a cluster of grapes on a single mot, or pole, after they have searched out the land of Canaan. This beam would surely have been made to accommodate the menorah. One might think of something like a palanquin or a sedan chair specifically made for it. This single united beam, however it was constructed, looks to the work of the Spirit. In both testaments, there is one Spirit working, and thus the menorah, which is the light of Christ, is transported in this manner.

11 “Over the golden altar they shall spread a blue cloth,

This is the altar of incense, also known as the golden altar. It is described in Exodus 30:1-10, and it is amazing in its pictures of Christ. This is also covered in blue, symbolizing the law…

11 (con’t) and cover it with a covering of badger skins;

The outermost covering is, once again, that of the hides of sea-animals. Again, one should simply think of the symbolism of Christ in each and every step of this process. Once it was ready…

11 (con’t) and they shall insert its poles.

Unlike the other items with rings, this altar had only two, not four. Rather than picturing the four gospels, these two rings picture the witness of Christ. In the Old Testament, that was the word of prophets. In the New, it is the word of the apostles. Both of these combine to give us a basis for the word. The two poles then are the compilation of these two witnesses; the Old and New Testaments.

12 Then they shall take all the utensils of service with which they minister in the sanctuary,

Here is a new noun, shareth. It signifies the ministry. It will be seen only here and in 2 Chronicles 24:14. It comes from the verb sharath, meaning “to minister.” Although it is uncertain, these are probably all of the things associated with the priestly service, such as garments, the ephod, the breastplate, and so on. They were only worn during service. When it was time to move, they would be kept together and…

12 (con’t) put them in a blue cloth,

Signifying the law, and…

12 (con’t) cover them with a covering of badger skins,

Sea animal hides signifying the world of chaos outside, and…

12 (con’t) and put them on a carrying beam.

One beam, like the menorah, is used. The work of the Spirit is one, and it is a work of grace through faith.

13 Also they shall take away the ashes from the altar,

This is the brazen altar which is being spoken of here. The verb dashen means “to grow fat” or “be fat.” Thus, these ashes are specifically the ashes of the fat of sacrificial animals. This fat residue was to be removed and disposed of as required. From there…

13 (con’t) and spread a purple cloth over it.

Instead of a tekelet, or blue, covering, only this one item receives an argaman, or purple, meaning a blue/red, covering. This is the only time this color is mentioned in Numbers. The color is one of royalty or that which pertains to or belongs to a king. As it is a mixture of blue and red, in meaning it thus is a combination of what those two colors mean – the law for blue; and war, blood, and/or judgment for red. Here, it signifies the satisfaction of the law through judgment on sin. In other words, the color looks to the fulfillment of the law through the sacrifice of Christ, pictured in this altar of sacrifice, which is in accord with the law. Next…

14 They shall put on it all its implements with which they minister there—the firepans, the forks, the shovels, the basins, and all the utensils of the altar—

All of these items were designated for use in conjunction with the brazen altar. They are to be laid upon the purple cloth…

14 (con’t) and they shall spread on it a covering of badger skins, and insert its poles.

Like most of the other items, this one too is covered with hides of sea-animals. The symbolism remains the same, as does the symbolism for the poles. One item not mentioned here is what is said concerning the fire in this altar. That is recorded in Leviticus 6:9, which said, “A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.” The reason for this is that the fire was originally started by the Lord when He sent holy fire down to consume the first offering made on it. It is speculated that the coals were collected and kept burning while moving, but this goes unstated.

15 And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; 

Only the priests were allowed to do this most sacred work which involved actually seeing the most holy objects. No other person was allowed to do so. Even the objects which could be seen, like the brazen altar, were not to be touched by any but the priests. After everything was prepared, only then could the sons of Kohath come to have these burdens lifted to their shoulders for carrying.

15 (con’t) but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.

Only the staves themselves could be touched, but nothing else. The penalty for touching a holy object by a non-priest was death. And this death would be a speedy one as is seen in 2 Samuel 6 –

“And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.” 2 Samuel 6:6, 7

Poor Uzzah forgot to read the instruction manual, and it cost him his life.

15 (con’t) “These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry.

Everything thus far mentioned was to be the sole responsibility of the sons of Kohath to carry. They were to be carried on their shoulders. The responsibility would have been great. In all, there are six things which were mandated for Kohath to carry: the ark, the table of showbread, the menorah, the golden altar, the instruments of ministry, and the brazen altar. Six is the number of man, and thus they present Christ the Man.

Before going on, it should be noted that one item that was minutely described in Exodus, and which was a standard piece of furniture to be used by the priests is never mentioned here, the bronze laver. Its preparation and transport are noticeably missing. The order in which it was moved, or how it was actually conveyed is not stated. One must wonder why. The reason is because of what it pictured, perpetual cleansing from the Lord.

The Lord, through His word, is fully sufficient to cleanse and to keep on cleansing. He is sufficient to sanctify and to keep on sanctifying. He is sufficient to purify and to keep on purifying. From Him, the water never ceases. Every need is met, and every desire is fulfilled in Him.

This omission was purposeful in order to show us a truth concerning Christ. He is ever available for our cleansing. No matter where we move, and no matter what deplorable place we go to, there is always available to us the pure cleansing of the word. It will never depart from us. As long as we come to the tap, the water will flow. In this life, we will never search out all of the mysteries of His word, and in eternity, the water will never run dry. This is the promise of Revelation 22 –

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1

This seventh item, not mentioned, would bring the total items carried to the idea of spiritual perfection.

Holy furnishings kept from man’s sight
Carefully covered, and hidden from fallen eyes
Marvelous things, colored and bright
Cherished by Israel as the most sacred prize

Each is hidden so that none can see
And those who carry them dare not touch or even look
The priests have prepared them ever so carefully
Minute precautions the priests covering them took

But the people finally saw what these looked forward to
Jesus came, the embodiment of each sacred thing
All that they pictured, He fulfilled through and through
From shadow to substance, all of it He did bring

If only we will open these, our fallen eyes
We will find our holy Lord; our most sacred Prize

II. That They May Live and Not Die (verses 16-20)

16 “The appointed duty of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest is the oil for the light, the sweet incense, the daily grain offering, the anointing oil,

Eleazar is the oldest surviving son of Aaron, and he was given specific charge over all of these special items, ensuring that they were carefully readied for moving. These may have actually been carried by him, or it may be that he personally tended to them before giving them to the sons of Kohath to be carried. Either way, they are all a part of the holy items, and he is given authority over them. Each of these things mentioned here looked forward to Christ in amazing, and even marvelous, detail.

16 (con’t) the oversight of all the tabernacle, of all that is in it, with the sanctuary and its furnishings.”

In addition, he was given the final oversight of all of the mishkan, or “tabernacle.” That is the actual edifice which is then covered by the tent and which is, as a whole, rightly then called, the tent of meeting. Everything which is connected to the holy places was to be under his supervision and authority. In other words, everything which has been described up to this point.

17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:

Here we now have the introduction of another subsection of the chapter. It is one connected to what has already been said, but it is an important offset, and it is thus introduced with these words. Again, they are directed to both Moses and Aaron.

18 “Do not cut off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites;

This is a solemn and emphatic warning concerning what lies ahead for the Kohathites. Here, the word shevet, or tribe, is used in an unusual way. It normally speaks of a tribe of Israel. But here it is speaking of a subdivision of the tribe of Levi. Levi is a microcosm of Israel, representing their firstborn. And so the Kohathites are here considered as their own tribe of this group.

As they have been given this great responsibility within Levi, they could be cut off, just as the greater tribe of Levi could be cut off from Israel. If the priests failed in their duties of supervision, if they got lax or negligent, or if they simply shirked their responsibilities, the penalty of death would result… and it would be the Kohathites who suffered that penalty because of it. This was not a warning they would take lightly either. Aaron had already lost two sons for failing to heed. There would be no reason to expect that the Lord would refrain from destroying others in the execution of their duties as well.

19 but do this in regard to them, that they may live and not die when they approach the most holy things:

The words here refer to all of the instructions given from verses 5-15, but they also – and more especially – refer to that given in verse 20. The Kohathites were given charge of the most holy things, but that charge went so far and no further. When they approached them, they were never to touch them. They were only to do exactly as they were instructed which was when…

19 (con’t) Aaron and his sons shall go in and appoint each of them to his service and his task.

Aaron and his sons were to accomplish their tasks first, and only after that were the Kohathites to be given their responsibilities. When given, the instructions were to be exact, and they were to carefully warn of consequences for failure to heed. As Aaron had lost sons, and Eleazar and Ithamar had lost brothers, they would be able to fully convince the Kohathites of the severity of failing to pay heed to their warnings. No excuse for failure to pay heed in this process would be acceptable. If Aaron and his sons failed to warn, they would be to blame. If the Kohathites failed to heed, they would bear their guilt.

*20 But they shall not go in to watch while the holy things are being covered, lest they die.”

The Hebrew literally reads, “And no shall they go in to see ‘for a gulp’ the holy things, lest they die.” It is an idiom meaning, “for an instant.” It is explained in Job 7:19 –

“Why won’t you leave me alone, at least long enough for me to swallow!” Job 7:19 (NLT)

As quickly as a person can swallow, so quickly will death come upon one of the Kohathites who gazes upon the holy things. In fact, a gulp might be the last thing they do as their throat contracted through the shock of death. This is the severity of looking upon those things which prefigured the perfect Christ. The holiness of the Lord is seen in Him, and only by the outer covering of a man like Adam could anyone behold His glory without being instantly killed. Only the mediators of the covenant, and only by special dispensation from God, could they even go in to cover these items, preparing them for those who would transport them.

The lesson was not transmitted to the people of Israel as a memorial, and so exactly what is stated here is what would later occur. At the time of the Judges, the ark was captured by the Philistines. Eventually, it was sent back to Israel, arriving in Beth Shemesh. However, the people of Beth Shemesh, like Uzzah, failed to check with the instruction manual –

“Then He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. He struck fifty thousand and seventy men of the people, and the people lamented because the Lord had struck the people with a great slaughter.” 1 Samuel 6:19

This would likewise be the penalty for the Kohathites if any of them failed to heed. The holiness of the Lord is not something that is often talked about in churches, but it is something that is constantly referred to in Scripture. We often talk about Jesus in the most friendly terms, and that is rightly so. He is as close to us as any friend we could have. And yet, He is also the Lord God. He is to be treated with the highest reverence and respect in our words, in our lives, and in our churches.

The name of Jesus means “Salvation,” and it is He who has saved us. But that means we needed saving, and thus we were fallen. Because He saved us, it means that He is not fallen. He is pure, holy, and undefiled. We should ever remember this and use His name in the context of His holiness. It is He who prevailed over this world, and to Him, therefore, belongs eternal glory, honor, and praise. This is the God we serve, and who has been seen in the many implements described for us in lesser detail today, but which was carefully and meticulously recorded for us in Exodus. Let us be so very thankful to God that we have seen, at least in regards to understanding those things, what was hidden from the eyes of Israel. We have Jesus, the glory of God revealed – even to fallen eyes. And because we have Jesus, we have the absolutely sure hope that we shall see Jesus with purified eyes as well. Someday, and may it be soon, our faith will become sight as we stand before the Lord God Almighty; Jesus our Lord.

Closing Verse: “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw…” Revelation 1:12

Next Week: Numbers 4:21-49 Be on time, for the best seating… (Service of the Tent of Meeting) (8th Numbers Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. It may seem at times as if you are lost in a desert, wandering aimlessly. But the Lord is there, carefully leading you to the Land of Promise. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Holiness of the Lord

Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying
These are the words He was to them then relaying:

“Take a census of the sons of Kohath
———-from among the children of Levi
By their families, by their fathers’ house
————these instructions you shall be repeating
From thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old
All who enter the service to do the work
———-in the tabernacle of meeting

“This is the service of the sons of Kohath
This is what their duty brings
In the tabernacle of meeting
Relating to the most holy things 

When the camp prepares to journey
Aaron and his sons shall come, as to you I submit
And they shall take down the covering veil
And cover the ark of the Testimony with it 

Then they shall put on it a covering of badger skins
And spread over that a cloth entirely of blue
And they shall insert its poles
Yes, they shall do this too

“On the table of showbread they shall spread a blue cloth
To this task they shall commit
And put on it the dishes, the pans, the bowls
———-and the pitchers for pouring
And the showbread shall be on it 

They shall spread over them a scarlet cloth
And cover the same with a badger-skins covering
And they shall insert its poles
So shall they do this thing 

And they shall take a blue cloth and cover
The lampstand of the light
With its lamps, its wick-trimmers, its trays, and all its oil vessels
With which they service it both day and night

Then they shall put it with all its utensils
In a covering of badger skins, so they shall do
And put it on a carrying beam
As I am now instructing you

“Over the golden altar they shall spread a blue cloth
And cover it with a badger-skins covering
And they shall insert its poles
So they shall accomplish this thing

Then they shall take all the utensils of service
With which they minister in the sanctuary
Put them in a blue cloth, cover them
———-with a covering of badger skins
And put them on a carrying beam, and so it they shall carry

Also they shall take away the ashes from the altar
———-as to you I submit
And spread a purple cloth over it

They shall put on it all its implements, doing so with care
With which they minister there

The firepans, the forks, the shovels, the basins
———-and all the utensils of the altar; so they shall do
And they shall spread on it a covering of badger skins
———-and insert its poles too 

And when Aaron and his sons have finished
Covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary
When the camp is set to go
Then the sons of Kohath shall come them to carry

But they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die
They shall be attentive to these things, even very
These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting
Which the sons of Kohath are to carry

“The appointed duty of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest
Is the oil for the light, the sweet incense
———-the daily grain offering as well
The anointing oil, the oversight of all the tabernacle
———-of all that is in it
With the sanctuary and its furnishings; so to you I now tell

Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying
A new set of words he was then relaying

“Do not cut off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites
From among the Levites; but do this in regard to them
———-as My word rings
That they may live and not die
When they approach the most holy things

Aaron and his sons shall go in
And appoint each of them to his service and his task, by and by
But they shall not go in to watch
While the holy things are being covered, lest they die

Lord God, we are even now in a wilderness
And we are wanting to be led by You
Without You to direct, our lives would be a mess
And so be our guide, O God; You who are faithful and true

We long for the water in this barren land
May it flow forth from the Rock, our souls to satisfy
Give us this refreshing, spiritual hand
And may we take it, and to our lives daily it apply

And we shall be content and satisfied in You alone
We will follow You as we sing our songs of praise
Hallelujah to You; to us Your path You have shown
Hallelujah we shall sing to you for all of our days

Hallelujah and Amen…

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