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280517 – Numbers 8 (Lamps and Levites)

The wave offering, is a portion of the offering to be given to those involved in the offering. Another example would be how the meat in the sacrifice would be used to feed the priests and their families. In this case, the tribe of Levi was the wave offering, to serve those making the offering; namely the entirety of Israel. The tribe of Levi was to

“do the service for the people of Israel at the tent of meeting and to make atonement for the people of Israel, that there may be no plague among the people of Israel when the people of Israel come near the sanctuary.”

Numbers 8:19b

This feels strange. So in response to the loyalty of the Levites, God consecrates them to do more work? and more atonement? on behalf of the people who actually disobeyed God? Physically speaking the only losers here are the Levites, who now have to do the ministerial work of 12 tribes, instead of just their own. Really what should’ve happened was that the Levites were given off, and the 11 tribes made to take on the work of the tribe of Levi. That seems fair, right?

If Jesus had come in the same manner, all of us would be burning in hell, satisfying the eternal wrath of God. Jesus came as the tribe of Levi, loyal to God, loving Him in all manner, and so in obedience to His Father He came down to do the ministerial work for all mankind, that

there may be no plague among the people of Israel when the people of Israel come near the sanctuary

Numbers 8:19c

figuratively speaking.

Nothing about this exchange is ‘fair’; the Levites have now been given more ministerial work, shaved, thrust into a career for their entire lives – a metaphor for our eternal saviour. Except this time, it’s not a plague, but eternal damnation. And it’s not temporary saving that needs constant renewal, but an eternal sacrifice that has already been made!

It’s not about fair, but about how much the son loves the father, and how much the father loves his children.

 

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