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prepared for trip March 1 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 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 cell phone, camera or video device. How would preparations for a spiritual journey differ? What if God calls us to be a missionary to Africa or some other area; 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? In today's Bible reading the Israelites make spiritual preparations before they set out on their journey to the Promised Land.

Under God's direction, the Israelites build the tabernacle in the desert wilderness of Sinai, institute priests and begin making offerings to Him. Then they take a census of the tribe of Levi and assign Levites to care for the tabernacle and to transport the articles and furniture of the tabernacle whenever and wherever God wants them to move. Soon they will begin their journey, but before that God prepares them spiritually. How are they prepared?

The Levites are dedicated to the LORD to help the priests. They are first shaved and washed to make them ceremonially clean. Then the Levites bring burnt offerings, grain offerings and sin offerings before the entire congregation of Israel and sacrifice them. Aaron then presents the Levites as a wave (dedication) offering to set them apart for service to the LORD on behalf of the Israelites. The Levites are 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 are between the ages of twenty-five and fifty are permitted to do the work at the Tent of Meeting (the tabernacle), but when they retire they can still assist. This directive is slightly 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 enter their Levitical service at twenty-five take care of the tabernacle five years before they can transport it. Perhaps this is so 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 items 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 celebrate the Passover. The Passover commemorates the time the LORD delivered them out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-27). Now the Passover is a preparation for their spiritual journey to the Promised Land in Canaan. This journey is not going to be a Sunday School picnic; it will be difficult. They will face many enemies. They need to be reminded that the God who so powerfully delivered them from Egypt, will go with them on their journey and bring them to the Promised Land in Canaan. So they celebrate! 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 trust the Lord to be your Savior. He will give you forgiveness, peace, spiritual life, and the power to go on your spiritual journey (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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