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preparing for a trip March 1 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Numbers 8:5- 9:14

Preparations for a Spiritual Journey

What final preparations would we make before we set out on a trip? We would pack our luggage, round up our children (if we have any), and bring maps, money to travel, passports, and, of course, a camera or video device. How would preparations for a spiritual journey differ? What if God called us to be a missionary to Africa; what preparations would we make? Perhaps we might think of deputation (raising our support), immunizations, visas, and language school. What about spiritual preparations? Aren't spiritual preparations the most important thing to do if we are going on a spiritual journey or to perform some task for the LORD? The Israelites made spiritual preparations before they set out on their journey to the Promised Land.

Under God's direction, the Israelites had built the tabernacle in a desert wilderness, instituted priests and began making offerings to him. Then they took a census of the tribe of Levi and assigned Levites to care for the tabernacle and to transport the articles and furniture of the tabernacle whenever and wherever God wanted them to move. Before they began their journey, however, the Levites were first dedicated to the LORD to help the priests.

Before the dedication ceremony the Levites were shaved and washed to make them ceremonially clean. Then they brought burnt offerings, grain offerings and sin offerings before the entire congregation of Israel and sacrificed them. Aaron then presented the Levites as a wave (dedication) offering to set them apart for service to the LORD on behalf of the Israelites. The Levites were their dedicated representatives (Numbers 8:15-20). As a principle drawn from the dedication of the Levites, churches should recognize and dedicate their workers to the Lord in preparation for their service in church, evangelistic, or missional ministries.

Only male Levites who were between the ages of twenty-five and fifty could do the work at the Tent of Meeting (the tabernacle), but when they retired they could still assist. You may notice that this directive is different than the one given in Numbers 4:47. As noted in the February 27 Bible study, the difference seems to be related to the carrying of the tabernacle articles and furnishings. Those who entered their Levitical service at twenty-five would have to take care of the tabernacle five years before they could transport it. Perhaps this was so that they might gain respect for it. Christian churches today do not have tabernacle articles to take care of, but to prepare for worship they should learn to properly care for the furniture, musical instruments, sound system, and any other things used in their services, whether or not they have to transport them as the Israelites did.

The first month of the second year after their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites again celebrated the Passover. The Passover commemorated the time the LORD delivered them out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-27). Now the Passover was a preparation for their spiritual journey to the Promised Land in Canaan. This journey was not going to be a Sunday School picnic; it would be difficult. They would face many enemies. They needed to be reminded that the God who so powerfully delivered them from Egypt, would go with them on their journey and bring them to the Promised Land in Canaan. So they celebrated! In what strength will we go on our spiritual journey or accomplish our God given task? Christians remember, that God, who so powerfully saved you, will be with you when you face adversity. Celebrate your deliverance from the bondage of sin! Celebrate his Almighty power in protecting and providing for you. Celebrate! Go forth in confidence! If you are not a Christian, you can learn about it here: (more...).

Lessons to live by: Preparations for a Spiritual Journey or Service

  • As a principle drawn from the dedication of the Levites, churches should recognize and dedicate their workers to the Lord in preparation for their service in church, missional, or evangelistic ministries.
  • Christian churches today do not have tabernacle articles to take care of, but to prepare for worship they should learn to properly care for the furniture, musical instruments, sound system, and any other things used in their services, whether or not they have to transport them as the Israelites did.
  • Christians, remember that God, who so powerfully saved you, will be with you when you face adversity. Celebrate his Almighty power, his protection and his provision. Go forth in confidence!

Today's Bible memory verses:

Leviticus 20:7 “Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God.” (NIV)

Exodus 3:12a, “And God said, ‘I will be with you.’” (NIV)

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