Numbers 4 Commentary
Both Moses and Aaron came from the line of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of the patriarch Jacob. Chapter 4 zooms into the family line of Kohath and their role as caretakers of the most holy things. We have seen different lists. The list in chapter 2 is for military service. The considered age is 20 and above. The second list is for all the Levitical families and it starts from 1 month. Now this list for Kohath starts from 30. The LORD Jesus Christ started ministry aged 30. We are entitled to suspect the connection of the priest Jesus to the curtain-raiser here in the book of Numbers.
The required age runs from 30 to 50. The age cap may help us appreciate the need for maturity in ministry while at the same time it tells us of the need to maximize input as the window for service is limited. The LORD is to be served by man’s prime time. The very best of a man’s prowess is dedicated to the LORD.
We need reminding that we are still at the foot of Mount Sinai. The nation is being readied for a conquest. A lone chapter, chapter 2, was dedicated to organizing the military machinery of the nation. The next several chapters deal with the care of the Sanctuary in transit. It is the very first time that the Sanctuary is going to be taken down as the nation moves to take possession of the land. Care is required during the disassembly, the packing and the carrying.
A lone chapter for military organization and strategy compared to several chapters of Sanctuary care is very instructive. How I organize my heart as the official residence of the Holy Spirit is very important. While spiritual warfare is important, it is the cleanliness of heart that should draw our best effort. The Sanctuary components were to be carried by human beings. It is so strange that the honor of taking care of the sanctuary in most churches today is given to paid, often unbelieving individuals. Members sit back complaining about offerings that are hardly good enough to buy a dust pan.
Aaron and his sons had to physically go in first to cover the most holy components before the rest of their brothers moved in to carry the items. The shepherd who wouldn’t come down to wash the feet of the saints isn’t good enough. Certain tasks cannot be delegated.
While the tabernacle remained important it is not equivalent to a church building today. The tabernacle would be equal to a person being the temple of the Holy Spirit or the household of faith, being the corporate residence of the Holy Spirit.
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