Thursday, October 04, 2007

Covered Wagons Numbers 7

Numbers 7:2-3 "That the princes of Israel, heads of the house of their fathers, who were the princes of the tribes, and were over them that were numbered, offered: And they brought their offering before the Lord, six covered wagons, and twelve oxen; a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: an they brought them before the tabernacle."

It is simple math. Each tribe offered 1 ox and they joined by 2's to offer a wagon loaded with treasures. Such things as silver and gold were offered and it was not just a meager amount. It added up to a great sum. For twelve days the offerings came in. Look at verse 61 and on:

"His offering was one silver charger, the weight whereof was an hundred and thirty shekels, one silver bowl of seventy shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; both of them full of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering: One golden spoon of ten shekels, full of incense:"

And it continues on with the animal offerings for burnt offerings, peace offerings...

v84 "This was the dedication of the altar, in the day when it was anointed..."

We seem to go back and forth in time but usually the chapter will tell us where we are in time.

v1 "And it came to pass on the day that Moses had fully set up the tabernacle, and had anointed it, and sanctified it, and all the instruments thereof, both the altar and all the vessels thereof..."

Within this long chapter there are many lessons, I related to two in particular. Verse 9 tells us that the sons of Kohath received none of the many offerings brought forth in the twelve days. They have been assigned the task of carrying their burdens on their shoulders.

v9 "But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders."

Life is often like that. While some seem to have it made with plenty of material goods and all they need to get along. Can we say easy by all appearances? Others must carry heavy burdens with no other help but brute force. But their is help, it is not brute force alone but faith that carries us and helps us bear our load. It is a much better help than a covered wagon.

It is unfortunate and something we must all guard against, that bitterness gets inside us when we see others having it made while we struggle. It may be that we are stronger even though we do not feel so. It may be that those others could not bear the load we carry though it must be carried by someone.

We can only see the dust under our feet as we bend low and the flashing wheels as they rock along. By faith we should know that God sees the future and each person's individual needs and capabilities. As one whose health as failed, I can tell you that riding in the wagon is not all that great when you remember the strength you once had to put strong shoulders under a load.

Perhaps being unable to shoulder a load is worse than standing under the load with strength to spare. The good part is the Lord knows and grace shelters us all.


It will make this lesson a little long but let us look at verse 89. It is here that Moses speaks with the Lord for perhaps the first time in the most holy place. That is based on verse 1.

"And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubim: and he spake unto him."

Moses knew the voice of the Lord for they had conversed many times. This, however, is the crowning of all the labor and instructions. It is a promise fulfilled that the Lord would dwell among the people.

Later on it appears that Moses often went to talk with the Lord when he had a problem or a question just as we would go to a parent. Such terms as "spoke face to face" "my servant Moses" "meekest man" are phrases of endearment toward Moses. I can't find it now but I remember a place where someone came to Moses and he just said, I'll go ask the Lord and off he went, assured he would come back with the answer.

Billy Sunday's wife once said that Mister Sunday prayed so much in his later years that she could not tell when he was praying and when he was talking to her.

There is much to learn from the relationship between Moses and the Lord as the laws were given and the tabernacle was built. From the burning bush to the cloud over the tabernacle, it has been a journey.

Psalm 107:14 "He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder."

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