The Book of Numbers – Priests and Ambassadors

We have looked at the people grumble and rebel against God and those he placed to lead them. God is faithful even in the midst of the people’s failings, but he is also a Holy God who does not let rebellion slide. God chooses, anoints and establishes people to bring about his plans and purposes. Aaron and his sons will bear the responsibility of the sanctuary and the priesthood.

In chapter 18, God instructs Aaron about the preservation of all things related to the worship and holiness of the tabernacle. The priests and levites had a role and God re-establishes the importance of what they were called to do. They were commissioned to keep charge of the sanctuary and the altar. The Levites would assist in the care of the tent of meeting, but they would not perform priestly duties. And no one else was allowed near the tent of meeting. The consequences of a breach in obedience would be death of both the offender and the Levite or priest (v3).

Bearing the Responsibility

Num 18:1 “The Lord said to Aaron, “You, your sons and your family are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons alone are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the priesthood.”

In verse 5 God says “You are to be responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar, so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelites again. And in verse 7 God says, “I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift.”

God’s gift came with great responsibility. They were responsible for upholding the standards that God placed and as such would bear any offence committed by the Israelites against the holy standards of God regarding the Tent of meeting. Their diligence to follow God’s commands would allow the Israelites the freedom to worship God without desecrating the holy things and fearing his wrath. The priesthood was a gift of God’s grace to both the priests and the people.

As God entrusted the Levites with a responsibility, we his followers can reflect on the kind of responsibility we bear as recipients of the gift of knowing Him.

In Acts 1:8b we read, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”

You and I are witnesses for Christ, the word ‘will’ implies a certainty. It is not a choice whether we will be witnesses or not, we in some way or the other represent Christ if we profess to be his followers. The choice is what kind we are going to be. Will we choose to be quick tempered, uncaring or unkind with our actions or words, more self-focused than others focused, pursuing the things of this world as a priority or will we as followers of Christ be the kind of witness that point people to him, make people curious to know what it is like to be able to experience a peace that passes all understanding, to have a joy that comes from the presence of God rather than from circumstances and to have a hope and security in God and not in the things of this world.

2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”

Paul writes this to the Corinthian church and Paul likens his own calling to that of an ambassador, and he urges all to consider themselves as ambassadors for Christ representing Him and His kingdom. As we walk this life as a Christian, our profession of faith has greater effect when accompanied by action, as James writes, “Faith without action is dead”. People watch our walk with the Lord, how we love those in our lives, how we speak; do our words show integrity, how we serve; with humility and joy.

We are ambassadors for Christ, let not the busyness or chaos of life make us forget the necessity of living each moment with that truth in place. We will indeed never be perfect as we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God but God desires to see us being faithful and diligent in our pursuit of him and devotion to him.

Our Inheritance

The priests and the Levites had a very vital responsibility, surely God would reward them with plenty in return.

Num 18:20 “The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.”

The priests and the Levites would not receive land as their inheritance. In those times, land was wealth, stability, heritage and inheritance to pass along. Instead, they would receive a greater reward. A reward that might not seem great in the world’s eyes, but is one that truly matters. Their inheritance was God himself. Yes, they would receive a portion of the tithes and offering that would provide for them to live. But their inheritance was meant to be God and only Him.

Colossians 3:23-24 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Through Christ we receive an inheritance, that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for us (1 Peter 1:4)

In Jeremiah 45, we read about Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe, the passage details out Baruch pouring his woes to God through the challenges that he endured for being faithful and obedient to God when many of God’s people were not. Baruch felt empty, underappreciate, and pitied his situation. God had a word for Baruch and reminds him that he is sovereign over all things, he reminds Baruch to look not at temporal things in the now but have an eternal perspective. By being faithful and obedient to God, Baruch was laying his treasures in heaven. He was reminded of his inheritance that is God himself as his reward not only in eternity but also in the now, of God’s presence and provision that would be with him all his days.

As we look at the priests and Levites responsibilities, I encourage each one of us to reflect on the responsibility we carry as followers of Christ, as His ambassadors. It is nearing Christmas and the enemy would want nothing more than the focus to be on anything else other than Jesus during this time. As his priests and his ambassadors, may we honour God and bring him glory as we carry our responsibility to showcase him through this time especially. And as we serve in various capacities during this busy time at church and otherwise, may we remember that our inheritance is God himself, not the applause or accreditation of man.

God Bless.

32 thoughts on “The Book of Numbers – Priests and Ambassadors

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  1. Great post Manu. Thank you. We have to remember that we represent Christ in all we say and do. People are watching, and we have an opportunity to participate in God’s eternal purposes in our short time here on Earth. Having his eternal perspective in mind, will keep our focus in the right place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dawn. Yes, we know that people watch our walk and that it has an influence on people more than we realise. I so agree that having an eternal
      Perspective helps on keeping our focus on what matters.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a powerful post, Manu! We have a responsibility to represent Christ well. We may be the only representation of Jesus that some people will see. I really appreciated your point about it being the Christmas season and the enemy wanting to take the focus off of Jesus. So very true. Thank you so much for this encouraging post. I pray we allow His light to shine through us! Blessings, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Bridget. I always find it a challenge and the need to be intentional in keeping my focus on Jesus through all that this season brings. Everything around focuses on the fun, presents, decorations, shopping, food and other things. In the midst of all of that it is so easy to forget that we reflect Christ.
      Have a good weekend my friend 💙💐

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s easy to fall into a mentality of thi king God will bless us with so many things if we are truly serving Him and living for Him, when maybe God is trying to show us that our greatest reward is Him. Very insightful post, Manu!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Colleen, we tend to think that way. And it does not mean that God would not bless and provide but if our desire is more for the materialistic things then we are losing focus on our greatest treasure which is him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great post Manu and I like what you say about making others curious about the peace and joy that we have. As ambassadors we must represent Jesus well and when we do, then others are naturally curious because they notice there’s something different.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a wonderful reminder, priesthood is a gift we receive from God. It’s a gift! Wow! It’s not a burdensome responsibility, even though it’s weighty.

    As believers our greatest inheritance is God…How precious is this? We get God as our inheritance, may He bring us to a place of revelation to know and comprehend what this truly mean.

    Very well articulate Manu! More grace to you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truly precious to think about it as a gift and I echo your thoughts in God leading us to a place of revelation to understand more of what it means to have him as our inheritance. Thank you Lucy 💙💐

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This Christmas season is a great time to be an ambassador for Christ. The greatest gift we can share is the gift of Jesus, a gift of joy and love. May we help others by being God’s hands and feet, bringing honor and glory to God.
    A great post Manu! It has me singing, “they will know we are Christians by our love.”🤗💖🌺

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s how we remain an example for God beyond the four walls of our church. Are we bold enough to declare God at work and everywhere else where people aren’t believers? I pray for strength, courage and boldness to declare Christ to everyone and to let them know that he is Lord of our lives. Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We are certainly witness, the how we do it becomes the actual profession of our faith thus having a great effect to those we witness and because we seek to a reward not from men but from God.

        Liked by 1 person

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