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Numbers 8 is very short, but there’s a lot of meat in here to digest. This chapter details the dedication of the Levites for service to the Tabernacle.
The Levites and the Aaronic Priesthood are a shadow of Melchizedek. They are a picture of our High Priest Yeshua and those who serve Yeshua the High Priest.
When we look at how Elohim set up the Tabernacle of Appointments, this was where people went to received their appointment or ordination for service. These were not volunteers, they were appointed by God to their station.
The Levites were exchanged for the First Born of all Israel. God killed the First Born of Egypt, the next day, He said He wanted the first-born of Israel. He also owns Egypt, whether they like it or not.
“For every firstborn among Israel’s sons is mine, from human to animal; on the day when I struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated them to me,” (Numbers 8:17 NETS)
God put the children of Israel in Egypt, God was the one who allowed them to be put into bondage and God was the one who redeemed. God set this all up.
But the Levites were also appointed to assist the High Priest and the Priesthood in service to the Tabernacle.
God is not discarding or rejecting the first-born of Israel, they still belong to Him but he is exchanging the Levites for them. The first-born of Israel still surround the Tabernacle and are mingled among the people of Israel.
They had to be sanctified and set into their place. They had to go through a cleansing process similar to that which Aaron and his sons experienced. Moses didn’t make these appointments, God did.
God’s government is not a democracy. A person doesn’t run for an office. Only God can appoint a person to an office.
This chapter teaches us a lot about redemption.
The Levites have become the First Born in God’s eyes.
Just as the ram was exchanged for the life of Isaac, God is exchanging the First Born of Israel for the Levites. The Levites were not redeemed empty-handed. The ram was exchanged for Isaac and the Levites had to bring offerings to God to accept their exchange as well.
Go back to the Garden of Eden. A redemption took place there. Adam and Eve’s life was spared with the life of an animal. The pattern is the same in Genesis and all the way through the Scriptures.
This is a picture of the Kingdom of God. The Messiah tells us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” The Torah shows us the righteousness of God, which is above the Torah.
Every time we read the Torah, we are observing the righteousness of God.
The Levites, God’s chosen First Born, have been given to the High Priest.
“And I gave back the Leuites as a restitution, given to Aaron and to his sons from amidst Israel’s sons, to perform the tasks of the sons of Israel in the tent of witness and to make atonement for the sons of Israel, and there shall be none among the sons of Israel who draws near to the holy things.” (Numbers 8:19 NETS)
Yeshua is our High Priest, called by the Father to that duty. Yeshua wasn’t elected as Messiah by popular vote.
The throne of the Kingdom of God is the “mercy seat.” That is the seat of His power. Aaron enters into God’s presence once a year (Yom haKippurim, the Day of Atonement), but he has to enter in with a spoon of burning incense. Without it, Aaron would have died. Our High Priest, Yeshua, entered the most holy place without the incense. He tore the veil, entered in and died.
The first item built for the tabernacle was the Ark, which held the 10 Commandments. It’s a death sentence to break any of the 10 commandments but the 10 commandments were covered by mercy.
We see here the pattern of the Kingdom of God. God’s mercy covers His justice. He is sitting on the evidence of guilt.
Yeshua, the Son of God, our High Priest called us, we didn’t call Him. We become sanctified by God, cleansed with water, to serve the High Priest.
The most important thing I know: If you know who the Son of God is and He is your savior who resurrected from the dead for you. That’s the most important thing to know. The details are just the icing on the cake. We are to live by every word that proceeds from God’s mouth. This is what Moses tells us, and this is what Yeshua tells us.
We read in previous chapters about how the High Priest is to examine garments, leather, homes and people for signs of disease. Most of the time the disease is a temporary disease, yet once its done, it still leaves a flaw behind. Yet as long as the disease is no growing, the High Priest will declare the garment, leather, home or person clean. Even though there’s a scar or a flaw, it can still be clean if the High Priest declares it clean. If the High Priest declares someone or something clean, who are we to say otherwise?
The Apostle Paul refers to those who accepted Yeshua as “saints.” They are sanctified and holy, despite their flaws because it is the High Priest who declares someone clean and holy, not us. It’s a simple message.
“And thus you shall carry out for them their purification; you shall sprinkle them with water of purification, and a razor shall come upon all of their body, and they shall wash their clothes, and they shall be clean.” (Numbers 8:7 NETS)
The “water of purification,” literally means “the water of sin” (chattat, Strong’s lexicon No. H2403). This water was to wash away sin. Once they have completed their purification, the sin is gone.
“And you shall separate the Leuites from amidst the sons of Israel, and they shall be mine.” (Numbers 8:14 NETS)
Once this process is done, the Levites belonged to God and they belonged to Him forever. If we belong to the High Priest, we have to go to Him and hear what He has to say. It isn’t just a once in a lifetime thing, but something we have to do frequently.
If the High Priest examined a garment, a house, and the disease continued to grow despite all efforts to clean it, it had to be destroyed. When a person had a disease that continued to grow, that person had to be sent away from the community. God does show mercy, though too. Once the High Priest declares you clean, part of your job is to keep it clean.
The Torah is a picture showing us how God runs His kingdom.
Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.