Numbers 7-9

Numbers 7-9…Tabernacle dedication offerings, the lighting of the lamps, and the Passover.

It was a time of joy and rejoicing, but in the midst of their sacrifices, we find a sin-offering in Numbers 7. So it is for us, that even when we do good, we are conscious that there is sin (Romans 7:21), and there should be repentance. In all approaches to God we must by faith look to Christ as the Sin-offering.

Aaron himself lit the lamps in Numbers 8, representing his Divine Master. God’s word is a light shining in a dark place (2 Peter 1:19). The church is dark without it, just as the tabernacle, which had no window, would have been without the lamps. The work of pastors/elders is to light these lamps, by expounding and applying the word of God. Jesus Christ is the only Light of our dark, sinful world, and by his atonement, by his word and the Holy Spirit, he diffuses light around.

In Numbers 9, we see a very similar corporate gathering and time of consecration similar to our partaking of the Lord’s supper today. Instructions were given concerning those who were ceremonially unclean, when they were to eat the passover. Similar careful instructions are given in the New Testament. Those whose minds and consciences are persistent and unrepentant in sin, are unfit for communion with God, and cannot partake with comfort of the Lord’s supper, until they are cleansed by true repentance and faith (1 Corinthians 11:29).

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Exodus 11-13

Exodus 11-13…The death of the first-born is threatened and then brought to fruition, the passover instituted, and the Israelites flee and are rescued by God miraculously parting the Red Sea.

The death of all the first-born in Egypt had been the first threatened, but the last to be executed. See how slow God is to anger. Also, notice that this was for everyone. The prince was not too high to be reached by it, nor the slaves at the mill too low to be noticed. God does not change. He has this same patience with us. We too, are not exempt from His wrath. It doesn’t matter if we grew up in church, know all the Bible stories, and prayed the sinner’s prayer. We desperately need Jesus. The fruit that comes from submitting our lives to Him should be evident. We cannot just agree with the gospel in principle, but need to be transformed by it in our daily lives.

In Exodus 12, the passover was instituted. It was to be kept every year, both as a remembrance of Israel’s preservation and deliverance out of Egypt, and as a foreshadowing of Christ. Their safety and deliverance were not a reward of their own righteousness, but the gift of mercy. They would be constantly reminded that all blessings came to them through the shedding and sprinkling of blood. It is that way for us with Christ. His perfect life had to be laid down for us to be made righteous. Apart from the loving sacrifice of our Savior, we are not safe, and have no hope.

There were two ways from Egypt to Canaan. One was only a few days’ journey, and the other was much further. Through the wilderness was the way in which God chose to lead his people Israel. The Egyptians were to be drowned in the Red sea, and the Israelites were to be challenged and humbled in the wilderness. God’s way is the right way, though it can sometimes seem more burdensome and tortuous. In some of our trials, we may not ever understand God’s purposes this side of heaven. But, God’s wisdom will clearly appear when we come to our journey’s end.