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3. Preparation, Dedication, and Celebration

August 14, 2009

Text:      Numbers 7:1-9:14

Outline:      I. Preparing to Follow God       Numbers 7:1-8:4

                         II. Dedicating the Levites          Numbers 8:5-26

                         III. Celebrating Their Redemption      Numbers 9:1-14

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     This text is actually a continuation of Exodus 40, Lesson 16. The Tabernacle has been erected, inspected, and consecrated. The leaders of each tribe bring gifts including 6 carts and 12 oxen. Four carts and 8 oxen are split among the Gershonites and the Merarites to be used for transporting the tabernacle curtains, rods, and framework. The Kohathites were to carry the vessels themselves. They are ready to move on after worshipping at Mt Sinai and hearing the Lord’s instructions concerning who they were and how they were to act.

     The leaders of the twelve tribes brought offerings, one tribe each day and all the same. See verses 84-88 for the grand total. These vessels and animals were to be used in the worship and service of the Lord. Moses then enters the Tabernacle and hears the Lord give him specific instructions on how Aaron was to set up and light the lamp stand.

     The Levites, who were set apart to serve the Lord, are dedicated/commissioned by sprinkling water on them, shaving their whole bodies, and washing their clothes. They’re to bring a Grain Offering and a Sin Offering to the Tabernacle entrance where the Israelites lay hands on them as Aaron presents them to God. Two bulls are sacrificed as a Sin and Burnt Offering on their behalf, making them acceptable to serve the Lord. The Lord then reminds them that they have been chosen to take the place of all the firstborn Israelite males in service to the Lord God. They are to serve from age 25 to age 50. After age 50, they no longer work but assist and train those preparing to serve.

     Israel is told to celebrate the Passover at Mt. Sinai. It has been one year since they left Egypt. Those who are ceremonially unclean at the time of Passover or who happen to be on a trip may celebrate it one month later after being declared clean. All are to observe the Passover; no exceptions. All the Israelites and all aliens with them are to celebrate the Passover because they are considered to be God’s people. Any person not celebrating the Passover is to be cut off and not considered a member of God’s people.

Lessons/Applications:

1. The Lord provided [blessed] for His people Israel and He provides for His people, Christians, today. We have an opportunity to give of our means in service to the Lord. Giving is a prerequisite of genuine worship. Our leaders are our examples. If the leaders in our congregations do not give generously, it is doubtful that we will. Generous giving develops a deep rooted faith in God. We are to give willingly and give generously as the Lord has blessed us who claim Him as Lord and Savior.

2. All members who have been appointed to serve our congregations and lead us in worship should be presented to the Lord and dedicated to Him. Confession and forgiveness of sin should be a part of that dedication ceremony as they are reminded of the importance of their sacred duty.

3. When servants become “burned out”, use their talents and experience to teach and train others. Make good use of on-the-job training opportunities.

4. Worship of the Lord God, acknowledging His gift of salvation, is mandatory for receiving the blessings He has promised His Children through His Son, Jesus Christ.

5. Failure to acknowledge and accept the Lord’s gift of salvation is reason to be excluded from His fellowship and presence.

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