Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of their livestock. The Levites shall be Mine: I am the LORD. And for the
redemption of the two hundred and seventy-three of the firstborn of the children of Israel, who are more than the number of the Levites, you shall take five shekels for each one individually; you shall take them in the currency of the shekel of the sanctuary,
the shekel of twenty gerahs. And you shall give the money, with which the excess number of them is redeemed, to Aaron and his sons."
So Moses took the redemption money from those who were over and above those who were redeemed by the Levites. From the firstborn of the children of Israel he took the money, one thousand three hundred and sixty-five shekels, according
to the shekel of the sanctuary. And Moses gave their redemption money to Aaron and his sons, according to the word of the LORD, as the LORD commanded Moses.
Wednesdays with Moses
In setting the Levites apart from the rest of Israel, God was claiming His right as their deliverer. He had rescued them from the hand of Pharaoh, through a series of plagues, the last of which was the death of the firstborn in
any home not covered by the prescribed blood on the doorposts. You may have assumed that those who survived that night were "free" of any further requirement, but in truth, God claimed their firstborn too---just in a different way. They were to be His possession,
as they owed their lives to Him.
But here, God exchanges that possession for the tribe of Levi, claiming them as His servants in the Tabernacle. The people would provide for the Levites as they served Israel in their acts of worship.
In a similar way, God has claimed you and me. He has rescued us from death and from the grasp of His enemy, Satan, and has made us His possession---His children. As such, we're to live in a way that is set apart, or holy, for His
good purpose. We are to demonstrate His presence and lead others to worship Him, much like the chosen priesthood of this ancient day. We belong to Him and to His purpose. He has claimed us---and He has every right to do just that!
---Dr. Mike Clarensau serves as Dean-Elect for Southwestern AG University's College of Bible and Church Ministries.
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