9th week 7th day: God’s precious belonging

20160127_164427 copyThis morning God speaks of His belonging. Surprised? He actually talks about a group of people. He calls them out and separate them for Himself and declares that they belong to Him. Who are they? The Levites. they are indeed the faithful servants of God. They are today’s disciples of the Lord.

Note that their number is the smallest among all the tribes:

When Moses and Aaron counted the Levite clans at the Lord’s command, the total number was 22,000 males one month old or older. (Numbers 3:39)

The Bible verses are taken from the Holy Bible New Living Translation.

Numbers 2:1-3:51 The Levites are called by God to be substitutes for the first born sons of Israel. 

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Call forward the tribe of Levi, and present them to Aaron the priest to serve as his assistants. They will serve Aaron and the whole community, performing their sacred duties in and around the Tabernacle.[c] They will also maintain all the furnishings of the sacred tent,[d]serving in the Tabernacle on behalf of all the Israelites.

The Levites must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn sons of Israel; I am the Lord. And the Levites’ livestock must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the whole nation of Israel.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, 45 “Take the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. And take the livestock of the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me; I am the Lord.

The Levites are called to be in charge of the Tabernacle of Covenant. 
Put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with all its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and all its furnishings as you travel, and they must take care of it and camp around it.
But the Levites will camp around the Tabernacle of the Covenant to protect the community of Israel from the Lord’s anger. The Levites are responsible to stand guard around the Tabernacle.”
he gave this command to the Levites who carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant:
The Levites are commended as guardian of the word of God and the covenant of God. 
The Levites obeyed your word and guarded your covenant. They were more loyal to you than to their own parents. They ignored their relatives and did not acknowledge their own children.

What do the Levites do? They carry the presence of God. 

Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses and Aaron: “When the Israelites set up camp, each tribe will be assigned its own area. The tribal divisions will camp beneath their family banners on all four sides of the Tabernacle,[a] but at some distance from it. 

17 “Then the Tabernacle, carried by the Levites, will set out from the middle of the camp. All the tribes are to travel in the same order that they camp, each in position under the appropriate family banner.

Here are some of the duties of the Levites after their return from captivity: 
The construction of the Temple of God began in midspring, during the second year after they arrived in Jerusalem. The work force was made up of everyone who had returned from exile, including Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jehozadak and his fellow priests, and all the Levites. The Levites who were twenty years old or older were put in charge of rebuilding the Lord’s Temple.

When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets. And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord, just as King David had prescribed.

Then the priests and Levites were divided into their various divisions to serve at the Temple of God in Jerusalem, as prescribed in the Book of Moses.

Nehemiah 9:4

The Levites—…—stood on the stairway of the Levites and cried out to the Lord their God with loud voices.
Then the leaders of the Levites—…—called out to the people: “Stand up and praise theLord your God, for he lives from everlasting to everlasting!” Then they prayed: “May your glorious name be praised! May it be exalted above all blessing and praise!
God has made a covenant with the Levites:
Then at last you will know it was I who sent you this warning so that my covenant with the Levites can continue,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name.
But you priests have left God’s paths. Your instructions have caused many to stumble into sin. You have corrupted the covenant I made with the Levites,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Today’s Bible reading: Psalm 35:1-10; Numbers 2:1-3:51; Mark 11:27-12:17; Proverbs 10:24-25

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