February 4, 2020: Day 3 – Numbers 3

What happens in this chapter is a very detailed description of the roles of the Levites in the temple.  The chapter begins with the sons of Aaron.  Remember Aaron was chosen by God to be the head priest before the people of Israel.  The descendants of Levi, they were called the Levites, were given the responsibility to help Aaron as he carried out his priestly function.  So this tribe was called the priestly tribe.  This chapter contains the details of what the sons of Levi were supposed to do.  

You will see starting in vs.25 the “responsibilities” that one of the sons of Levi had.  The next son had other “responsibilities” that are delineated starting in vs.31.  Another son and his “responsibilities” are laid out starting in vs.36.  From there you see that it was commanded that the first-born of each family and every tribe in Israel was supposed to go to the Lord, was supposed to be offered to the Lord.  

Now, even though the Lord required this offering, the Levites as a whole were counted as a substitute for that offering.  So instead of each first-born son from every tribe being offered to the Lord and taken from his parents in order to serve God, the Levites were counted as a substitute for that offering.  It is interesting that the number of first-born and the number of Levites were about exactly the same. 

So while this whole concept of God demanding the first-born son from every family seems to be a bit draconian, the substitute clause allows for the grace of God to shine through.  That is a common theme in all of Scripture.  What at first seems to be “unfair” is then met with the complete grace of God.

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