February 15

Read Numbers 7

In Today's Reading:

Picture in your mind the awesome spectacle portrayed in this chapter -- the overwhelming array of animals, tribal leaders, and offerings. What were they bringing? Just how many of them were there? Most important: What was accomplished with this massive quantity of gifts? Don't miss discerning the full meaning for you today.

Verses for Today:

The princes of Israel . . . brought their offering before the Lord . . . And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying . . . give them to the Levites, to every man according to his service (Numbers 7:2-5).

Highlights:

The princes' offerings for the dedication of the Altar.

The princes (leaders) of the other tribes could not participate in the priestly duties of the Tabernacle; but, through their offerings, they were able to assist the Levites in their God-appointed responsibilities. Since these leaders could not hold the positions of prominence that the Levites did, they could have expressed contempt or jealousy, and they could have given little or nothing to help the Levites. These princes had already contributed liberally to the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:27-28). However, they responded to an obvious need and they willingly brought generous, sacrificial gifts to supply the needs of the Levites -- to every man according to the work he had to do (see Numbers 7:5).

Since the offerings from each of the princes were exactly the same, it may seem monotonous to read all the details that were given for each one. But the repetition reveals the significance God places on every individual sacrifice given to support His ministry. God gives equal notice to every gift that is given.

We should never assume, however, that our gifts could make us worthy of the Lord's blessings. Our gifts should be the response of loving gratitude for His gifts of provision, protection and, most of all, eternal life. Consequently, our gifts become an expression of love and unreserved surrender of ourselves to His will as revealed to us in His Word.

As a Christian willingly gives to the Lord's ministry, both his desire to give and his ability to give increase.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. For with the same measure that you give it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38).

A Thought from Proverbs: The blessing of the Lord, it makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (10:22).

Christ Revealed:

Through the offerings of the leaders who voluntarily gave their best (Numbers 7). Jesus voluntarily left Heaven to give His best for us on the cross. Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8).

Word Studies:

7:13 charger = large dish; 7:20 spoon = bowl; 7:21 bullock = young bull.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Terry Everett (AL) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: South Korea (47 million) in northeastern Asia · Major languages: Korean and English · Religious freedom · 33% Buddhist; 24% Protestant; 22% Confucianism and other eastern religions; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is always ready to help you in times of trouble (Psalms 46:1).

Optional Reading: Luke 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9