Here's another great video that summarizes the book of Numbers well. I can't recommend these video enough to you. They are helpful in understanding not just what you're reading, but why what you're reading is important.
DAILY READINGSNumbers 8-10 & Psalm 42
DAILY NOTESNumbers 8:2
- This doesn't seem like a direct command, but the implication of the placement of the lamps is understood.
- The Levites are consecrated for their work.
- Levites served up to 25 years. They retire at 50. After that, they are allowed to help with priestly duties, but not act as overseers.
- "Let them" really means "Make them."
- Doesn't their question resemble questions we modern readers have about some of these laws?
- Modern Jews don't sacrifice any more because there is no appropriate place to do so. They do, however, observe the passover. The verse gives direction to do so.
- Silver trumpets are used to gather the congregation or leaders.
- An alarm must have been a different kind of sound from the trumpet.
- This is the first time they will move as a new, organized people.
- Moses' father-in-law once helped him. Now, Moses convinces him to be helped.
- The psalmist is able to trust in God, even as he suffers, because he knows who God is.
- Adversaries may tempt him to question who and where God is, but the psalmist knows that Creation remind him that God is worthy of praise.
The Numbers video highlights the placement of God's presence within the camp of the Israelites. It's right in the center. And, as they travel, it goes before them. Both of those are great illustrations of where we should keep God. At the center of our shared life and ahead of us.
I remember with one of our youth groups we had a 7-foot cross we used to keep in the center of the room at all our activities. It was impressive and people always noticed it. Still, there were plenty of times people wanted to move the cross because it was "in the way." Of course, Mr. Preacher used that as a chance to remind said people that it's too easy to move God out of the way. And that's when we get sidetracked.
Imagine the scene. Your tribe couldn't view other tribes without being reminded of God's presence.
What reminds do we keep among us today of God's presence? We haven't moved too many things around, have we?