Numbers 7 & Psalms 42-43

Numbers 7

    On the day when Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle and had anointed and consecrated it with all its furnishings and had anointed and consecrated the altar with all its utensils, the chiefs of Israel, heads of their fathers' houses, who were the chiefs of the tribes, who were over those who were listed, approached and brought their offerings before the LORD, six wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon for every two of the chiefs, and for each one an ox. They brought them before the tabernacle. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Accept these from them, that they may be used in the service of the tent of meeting, and give them to the Levites, to each man according to his service.” So Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites. Two wagons and four oxen he gave to the sons of Gershon, according to their service. And four wagons and eight oxen he gave to the sons of Merari, according to their service, under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest. But to the sons of Kohath he gave none, because they were charged with the service of the holy things that had to be carried on the shoulder. And the chiefs offered offerings for the dedication of the altar on the day it was anointed; and the chiefs offered their offering before the altar. And the LORD said to Moses, “They shall offer their offerings, one chief each day, for the dedication of the altar.”

    He who offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah. And his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab.

    On the second day Nethanel the son of Zuar, the chief of Issachar, made an offering. He offered for his offering one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Nethanel the son of Zuar.

    On the third day Eliab the son of Helon, the chief of the people of Zebulun: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Eliab the son of Helon.

    On the fourth day Elizur the son of Shedeur, the chief of the people of Reuben: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Elizur the son of Shedeur.

    On the fifth day Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai, the chief of the people of Simeon: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.

    On the sixth day Eliasaph the son of Deuel, the chief of the people of Gad: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Eliasaph the son of Deuel.

    On the seventh day Elishama the son of Ammihud, the chief of the people of Ephraim: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Elishama the son of Ammihud.

    On the eighth day Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur, the chief of the people of Manasseh: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.

    On the ninth day Abidan the son of Gideoni, the chief of the people of Benjamin: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Abidan the son of Gideoni.

    On the tenth day Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai, the chief of the people of Dan: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.

    On the eleventh day Pagiel the son of Ochran, the chief of the people of Asher: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Pagiel the son of Ochran.

    On the twelfth day Ahira the son of Enan, the chief of the people of Naphtali: his offering was one silver plate whose weight was 130 shekels, one silver basin of 70 shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense; one bull from the herd, one ram, one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs a year old. This was the offering of Ahira the son of Enan.

    This was the dedication offering for the altar on the day when it was anointed, from the chiefs of Israel: twelve silver plates, twelve silver basins, twelve golden dishes, each silver plate weighing 130 shekels and each basin 70, all the silver of the vessels 2,400 shekels according to the shekel of the sanctuary, the twelve golden dishes, full of incense, weighing 10 shekels apiece according to the shekel of the sanctuary, all the gold of the dishes being 120 shekels; all the cattle for the burnt offering twelve bulls, twelve rams, twelve male lambs a year old, with their grain offering; and twelve male goats for a sin offering; and all the cattle for the sacrifice of peace offerings twenty-four bulls, the rams sixty, the male goats sixty, the male lambs a year old sixty. This was the dedication offering for the altar after it was anointed.

    And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.

(Numbers 7 ESV)


Psalm 42

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.

    As a deer pants for flowing streams,
        so pants my soul for you, O God.
    My soul thirsts for God,
        for the living God.
    When shall I come and appear before God?
    My tears have been my food
        day and night,
    while they say to me all the day long,
        “Where is your God?”
    These things I remember,
        as I pour out my soul:
    how I would go with the throng
        and lead them in procession to the house of God
    with glad shouts and songs of praise,
        a multitude keeping festival.
    
    Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God.
    
    My soul is cast down within me;
        therefore I remember you
    from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
        from Mount Mizar.
    Deep calls to deep
        at the roar of your waterfalls;
    all your breakers and your waves
        have gone over me.
    By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
        and at night his song is with me,
        a prayer to the God of my life.
    I say to God, my rock:
        “Why have you forgotten me?
    Why do I go mourning
        because of the oppression of the enemy?”
    As with a deadly wound in my bones,
        my adversaries taunt me,
    while they say to me all the day long,
        “Where is your God?”
    
    Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God.

(Psalm 42 ESV)


Psalm 43

    Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
        against an ungodly people,
    from the deceitful and unjust man
        deliver me!
    For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
        why have you rejected me?
    Why do I go about mourning
        because of the oppression of the enemy?
    
    Send out your light and your truth;
        let them lead me;
    let them bring me to your holy hill
        and to your dwelling!
    Then I will go to the altar of God,
        to God my exceeding joy,
    and I will praise you with the lyre,
        O God, my God.
    
    Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my salvation and my God.

(Psalm 43 ESV)


Something to Consider

Numbers 7: As we've been observing up to this point, the priests and the Levites were called by God and set apart among God's people to devote themselves to His special services. Here in this chapter, we see the way in which the other tribes served the tabernacle by supporting this ministry of the priests and Levites. The principle here is made plain before us - all of God's people are to serve His church by supporting the ministry of those that have been called and set apart for His special services for His church.

This calls to our attention a modern trend that ought to be carefully considered. Many of us today with sincere hearts and significant levels of generosity seek to offer great support to various causes that possess certain Christian ideals. And while many of these causes are certainly worthy of our generous support, may we be careful sacrificing what we might give to our local church in order to give more to charitable causes. 

Are we fulfilling our primary responsibility as God's people by first supporting the ministry of caring for God's church?

The church is a type of New Tabernacle and the very bride of Christ. We ought to care for her, encourage her, build her up, supply her needs and adorn her with precious gifts. I'm not referring to the building but rather 'the body' - and especially those from within the body called and set apart by God to serve the body. May we remember who and what we belong to and support the needs of our local church before also supplying support for other needs elsewhere. 

It should not go without noticing that it was the 'Chiefs' of the twelve tribes that came forward to show their support of God's tabernacle. Those given much are given greater responsibility. What a great example for those in authority and those who are given great status in this world. May we see our privileges and platforms as great opportunities to use our honor, power and resources to promote God's church in the various places in which we live.