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Bible Pathways 2/15/2004

Read Numbers 7

In Today's Reading:

The princes' offerings for the dedication of the Tabernacle

Moses had fully set up the Tabernacle, and had anointed it, and sanctified it, and all the instruments thereof, both the altar and all the vessels thereof, and had anointed them, and sanctified them . . . then the princes of the tribes . . . brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons, and twelve oxen; a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: and they brought them before the Tabernacle. And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Take it of them, that they may be to do the service of the Tabernacle of the congregation; and you shall give them to the Levites, to every man according to his service (Numbers 7:1-5).

These gifts were not equally divided among the Levites. The family of the Gershonites received two wagons and four oxen for their duties (compare 4:25-26; 7:7). The Merarites, who had much heavier burdens to bear (4:31-32; 7:8), received four wagons and eight oxen. But, to the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging to them was that they should bear upon their shoulders the Golden Candlestick, Table of Showbread, Altar of Incense, Brass Laver, Brazen Altar, and Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Lord's Covenant (7:9; see also 3:29-31; 4:1-15). They were required to personally carry the Tabernacle furniture. Although they were not aware of it, each item was an expression of a characteristic of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Although all the gifts were identical, each prince was recognized for his gift. Among other things, we learn that every gift and act of service to our Lord is faithfully remembered. Mount Sinai is often associated with the severity of the Law. But the Tabernacle that was built at Mount Sinai illustrates the concern of God to communicate with His people and to lovingly direct them through the desert to the promised land.

All the princes revealed their gratitude to God by responding to the need The largest tribe did not crowd out the smallest tribe, but each was allowed the opportunity to give. This is a reminder of the widow who gave only two mites (two small coins). In the eyes of Jesus, she gave more than the rich since they gave of their abundance . . . but she gave all that she had (Leviticus 24:4). Giving always benefits the giver. Because God is greatly pleased, everyone should have the privilege of tithing as God has prospered him (I Corinthians 16:2).

Word Studies:

7:13 charger = large dish; 7:21 bullock = young bull; 7:44 spoon = bowl.

Christ Revealed:

Through the voluntary offerings of the leaders which were sufficient to meet the needs (Numbers 7). Jesus gave His life to meet our every need. My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Pray For:

Government Officials: Rep. Frank Ballance, Jr. (NC) and Rep. Terry Everett (AL) · Country: North Korea (22 million) in northeastern Asia · Major language: Korean · Violent oppression against all religions · 68% atheist; 31% Buddhism, Confucianism, and other Korean religions; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Begin every day with prayer (Psalm 88:13).

Optional Reading: Luke 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:10

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