Archive for the ‘Daily Bible Study & Questions’ Category

Numbers 4:1-49 Levites Duties

I wonder what the “neighbors” thought was under that cloth.

God has Moses number a specific set of the Levites this time. Only the ones who were of working age are listed of the three branches.

When thinking about the work of the people we get to see exactly what this one group was assigned to do. We see what each branch of the Levites were charged with. Their main jobs only happened when the Tabernacle was in motion, just before setting off and coming to rest. The rest of the time their activities were guard duty.

Aaron and his sons performed the priestly duties when in the camp. They were also responsible to get the Tabernacle furniture covered and uncovered for the moves. No one else could even look at the pieces inside the Tabernacle tent. They were also responsible for directing and overseeing the work of the three branches. Read more »

Numbers 3:40-51 Exchange

No payment due because no other would do.

God has Moses count all the firstborn in the camp from one month old upward. Their numbers come in very close to the number of the Levites.

The last time we were together we looked at the numbering of the Levites. I pointed out a discrepancy in the math that brought their total to 300 less than Moses final tally. I discussed that God must have had some reason for this difference. One possible explanation I thought of was the mixing of the three lines. Read more »

Numbers 3:5-39 Levites’ Jobs

A little more data added to our visual. Click on it for a closer look.

God numbers the Levites and assigns their camping spots and duties. This tribe’s number is different than the rest in that ALL males are counted from one month old onward.

The tribe of Levi is the smallest tribe of all. Not only is their number smaller but the way they are counted makes that number even more significantly smaller. I wonder why this is. Again I turn to Excel to give me a visual representation of this. I updated my last chart with today’s information and also ordered the tribes according to Jacob’s original sons. Read more »

Numbers 3:1-4 Aaron’s Sons

We get a quick accounting of Aaron and his sons in our reading today. They were the beginning of the priesthood. All future priests would come from this line of the tribe of Levi.

Aaron had four sons. God called them all to become His priests. But Nadab and Abihu angered Him by “offering unauthorized fire before the Lord” (verse 4b). We heard about this story in Leviticus already and God doesn’t go into detail here.

Honestly this is a very short, cut and dry passage today. We could easily go away from here thinking nothing more than what was presented. But that would make for a VERY short journal entry plus a boring reading. Read more »

Numbers 2:1-34 Camp Set Up

We get to see what the camp looked like, or at least how it was laid out. Again, we also get the numbers of the men who were counted.

My ROUGH layout. (Click for a closer look)

I was trying to get a visual feel of how the camp was laid out. This is a rough representation. I was also interested in why God put which tribe where He placed them. I noticed first off that all of Rachel’s children were together. Then I looked at the rest of the placements. In this I noticed that all of Leah’s are together too with the Levites uniting the two arms. The only outliers are the four camps of Leah’s and Rachel’s maids. I recognize that there isn’t room for all four of these tribes to be on one side but why was Bilhah’s children’s tribes separated?

I was told some time ago that the camp was set out in the shape of the cross. I see that withGod’s  this representation because of the sizes of the encampments. The eastern side is significantly larger than all the others. The north and south are close in size. And the western side is the smallest. So this “cross” would be running (top to bottom) lying eastward.

This is the first time I noticed that there was a marching order set for the camp too. I find it intriguing that the sides are grouped into one when it comes to function. Judah was given first place in this order. We know that this is also the tribe which would be God’s choice for His Son to come through. Judah was also the first of Leah’s sons that she actually looked to God for her recognition. All her previous sons were in an effort to win her husband’s love. With Judah she praised God instead.

Ruben was the leader of the second group to set out. Their movement opened the way for the Levites to easily move with the Tabernacle. Then came Ephraim and finally Dan.

This also put the Tabernacle still in the middle of the group. This was NOT because they were more vulnerable because God could EASILY protect His own house but so that they were still visible to both groups. The Tabernacle was central to ALL life in Israel. In fact EACH tent, no matter which leg it was pitched in, faced the Tabernacle. Each morning as they rose they had to face the Lord’s house first. Each night as they retired the Lord’s house watched over them. I wonder if the Tabernacle was the tallest structure in the camp an could be seen from any tent. That would have been an inspiring or reminding view every morning.

“Each morning I rise and step from the warmth of my tent. The morning sun greets me as I welcome the day. My eyes always look first to the house of my Lord. It stands in the distance looming over the tops of the tents before me. As my eyes behold it’s coverings I’m reminded of the beauty that lies beneath them. I have only glimpsed it from the outer court as my heritage is not of the tribe of Levi. But I have heard stories of its arrangements and I saw the created pieces assembled before it was erected.

After I drink my fill of this sight I turn to look around me. On all sides of me sit, stand, work, and play my family. My closest kin camp right next to me. My cousins are within a tent or two away. As the distance in my family tree grows so does the space separating our dwelling places but I am NEVER farther away from anyone in my family than an afternoon’s walk. I am truly blessed to be part of this family. We look out for one another. We encourage one another. We depend on one another. And we call one another to account. Tribes divide us but also unite us. We move as one to the Promised Land following the promise of our greatest uniting force; our God. ONE father, ONE family, ONE GOD.”

Father God, I’m not of that physical family but I am of that faith family. I am a child of Abraham by faith. Thank You for allowing me to be part of the family. Thank You for giving me the image of emerging from the tent. I wonder what it really would have looked like each morning. Did the people grow so accustomed to the sights that they didn’t “see” any longer? Or did they wake each day with a sense of wonder about the things that You had planned for them that day?

I know I have often simply stumbled out of bed without considering what You had in store for my day. Without thanking You for holding me through the night. Without being grateful or expectant. Thank You for reminding me of that expectancy and for bringing it into our time together at least. Help me NOT become complaisant when coming to You. I want to ALWAYS come with a sense of curiosity, wonder, and expectancy. You NEVER disappoint me when I do!