Southern Baptist Convention

From thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them; all that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation (Num. 4:23).

The fledgling nation of Israel was divided into thirteen Tribes, each descending from a son of Israel (Jacob). They were the tribes of Ruben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Levi, Ephraim and Manasseh (The last two being Joseph's sons that were each given an equal portion of their fathers double inheritance). Twelve of these tribes came together to form the national body of Israel. They would serve in the Lord's Army and in the day-to-day management of the camp and the people. Once they arrived in the promised land, each of these twelve tribes would be given land grants upon which to build their homes and support their families. The thirteenth tribe, the tribe of Levi, was set apart from the rest of the Israelites just as the Israelites themselves were set apart from the world. The Levites were a special possession of God. Moses and Aaron were of the tribe of Levi, and it was from Aaron's line that that Lord established the priesthood. The rest of the Levites were consecrated unto God to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.

While the Levites were not priests themselves, it was vitally important that the Tabernacle workers remained faithful and loyal to God in order for the priests to be able to perform their sacred responsibilities. The words to perform the service occur again and again in reference to the Levites' assigned tasks. While on the move in the wilderness, one of their most sacred duties was the physical management of the Tabernacle. They were charged with disassembling the Tabernacle and carrying the curtains, poles, furniture, and everything else pertaining to Tabernacle worship throughout the dangerous, difficult wilderness journey, and then with properly assembling it again once a new camp was reached (Deut. 1:19). Other duties included the care and maintenance of the assembled Tabernacle and tending to the needs of the priests. They also served as mediators between the Israelites and the priesthood, allowing the priest to focus their attention on their duties to God.

With the coming of Jesus Christ as our perfect, eternal High Priest (Heb. 4:4), the need for specially appointed priests and Levites to "bridge the divide" between God and us has been erased. Each Christian is free to reach out to God directly, through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, His Son. However, in a very real sense, we are all still called to perform the tasks of the Levite. The outreach of God's Word throughout the world today is dependent upon the faithful work of God's people. Every Christian is called upon to perform the service. We are called to help build and maintain physical worship centers and to obtain and distribute written copies of His Word. Through prayer and spiritual, physical, and emotional support we are also called upon to aide our fellow man. Above all else, we are called to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and the glorious message of salvation, which alone can set souls free from sin and hell.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ (Gal. 6:1-2).

Thought for Today:

Tell everyone you meet about the Gospel of Christ. As He has served us, let us serve others!

Christ Revealed:

By Aaron, the high priest, who was served by the Levites (Num. 3:6). As a holy and royal priesthood (John 12:26; I Pet. 2:5,9), we serve Christ, our great High Priest (Heb. 4:14).

Word Studies:

3:3 consecrated = installed; 3:4 strange = improper; 3:8 instruments = furnishings; 3:12 matrix = womb; 3:13 hallowed = made holy, set apart; 3:41 firstlings = firstborn; 3:48 odd number = remainder; 4:2 take the sum of = take a census; 4:3 the host = the service; 4:6 staves = carrying poles; 4:10 bar = carrying frame; 4:12 instruments = articles, utensils; 4:14 censers = firepans; 4:24 for burdens = to carry when on march; 4:28 hand = supervision; 4:31 charge = assignment.

Prayer Needs:

Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Officials: Gov. Jay Nixon (MO), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Rep. Filemon Vela (TX) • Country: San Marino (32,742) North Central Italy • Major Language: Italian • Religious Freedom • Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pour out your heart in prayer to the Lord for your children (Lam. 2:19).

Memory Verse:

Romans 12: 8 - 14

Romans 12: 8

Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:9

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Romans 12:10

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Romans 12:11

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Romans 12:12

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Romans 12:13

Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Romans 12:14

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Devotion courtesy Bible Pathway Ministries