October 2-6


And behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel. They are a gift to you, given to the Lord, to do the service of the tent of meeting. – Numbers 18:6 (ESV)

How Should We Approach God’s Presence? The Gift of Priesthood
Clarissa Moll shares her story of learning to lean again into the safety of Jesus in a world that feels so uncertain. Reflecting on the sudden loss of her husband a few years earlier, she says “With the tenderness of a shepherd, Jesus began to coax open my clenched hands, my fearful death grip on life. I sensed him asking me to step out in faith, to trust his voice calling me forward into my new life as a widow. God’s power and presence had not disappeared with Rob’s death; they were still available for me.”(Clarissa Moll, “The Only Perfectly Safe Place to Be”)

God has always made a way for His people to have access to His presence. According to Warren Wiersbe, the priesthood was God’s gift to Israel, for without priests the people couldn’t approach God. Numbers 18 explains the role the priest would play in allowing God’s people to have access to Him. The very office of the priesthood was a gift of grace. The office was said to have the character of a gift, evidently because the priest’s intimate fellowship with God was a privilege accorded not for works done, but wholly by the grace of God. The ultimate work of the priests was “that there be wrath no more upon the children of Israel.” (Numbers 18:5)

Today, every believer is a priest based on 1 Peter 2:5. The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ today has direct access to God through Jesus, our Savior. How does the Old Testament picture of a priest help you better understand the privilege you have of approaching God and how you should approach Him?

Praise God for the gift of His grace that allows you to come into His presence. Ask God to show you how He wants to use you as a priest and connect someone to Him today.


And the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel.” –Numbers 18:20 (ESV)

How Should We Approach God’s Presence? The Gift of God’s Presence
She was in the last stages of lung cancer, gasping day after day for breath. She was in great pain, wasted away, exhausted by fighting. She clutched a crucifix daily. It was given to her by her grandmother when she was a girl, carved by some monk in Europe. It was a symbol of all that her faith meant to her. When I entered the room that afternoon, I could see she was very near the end. "Would you like me to pray for you?" I asked. "Would you like me to summon a priest for you?" With her last ounce of energy, she held out the crucifix to me, which depicted the body of Christ nailed to the cross. She said, "Thank you. But I have a Priest." (William Willimon)

God gave the gift of Himself to His ministers. God said, “I am your portion and your inheritance.” (Nu 18:20) This was the greatest of all His gifts. God saved the best gift for last, it was not the Land but the Lord! In fact, God’s arrangement with the priests and Levites was such that they would be continually reminded of this.

Have you ever received an inheritance? We won’t get our full spiritual inheritance until we get to heaven, but how does it make you feel knowing that you have eternity with God in heaven as your promised inheritance?

Praise God for the gift of His presence in your life today and the hope of eternity in His presence in heaven. Ask God to give you reminders today of His presence in your daily routines.


“This also is yours: the contribution of their gift, all the wave offerings of the people of Israel. I have given them to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it.”  – Numbers 18:11 (ESV)

How Should We Affirm God’s Servants?
A young boy was invited to church by one of his friends. On the way out the door, his mother handed him two dollars. Then she said, "There is one for you and one for God when they pass the offering plate." As the boy walked along with his friend, the wind blew one of the dollars right out of his hand. Then the wind blew it right down into the sewer. The dollar was long gone. The little boy thought about it for a moment and said, "Uh, oh.....there goes God's dollar!"

Numbers 18:8-32 deals with God’s provision for both priests and Levites. Neither would have an inheritance in the land. Their function took priority over everything else. God’s plan was that His people would take care of His servants. They must be free to serve the Lord without distraction. The tithe or tenth of each offering was to be the portion for the priest and Levite. The first tenth represents what is best and what was for God in the offering. God was in effect sharing His portion with the priest and Levite.

1 Timothy 5:18 reminds us that “the laborer is worthy of his wages.” The priority of God’s servants should be ministry to God’s people. The priority of God’s people should be to make sure God’s servants are taken care of.  What are some ways you can help take care of God’s servants in our church?

Praise God for the leaders He has brought into our church family. Ask God to affirm and provide our leaders with His very best.


“If the man who is unclean does not cleanse himself, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, since he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. Because the water for impurity has not been thrown on him, he is unclean.” – Numbers 19:20 (ESV)

How Should We Act As God’s People?  
A woman once wrote that at a garage sale, she had spotted a handsome antique copper kettle for only $2.50. It was badly tarnished, so she asked the woman running the sale if the discoloration would come out. She cheerfully offered to try some copper cleaner on it and disappeared with it into the house. Reappearing with the gleaming kettle, she handed it to the buyer for inspection. It was indeed a more attractive item, plus it also had a new tag attached. It read: “Like new-$10.” What made the kettle more valuable? A simple cleansing. When the owner took the trouble to clean away the grime and stains it was worth 4 times as much. Almost everything is more valuable once it has been washed and cleaned up, and so it is with us. (Source Unknown)

Wiersbe writes about the Jewish people in Number 19, "In their daily lives, the Jewish people had to be sensitive to what was “clean” and what was “unclean,” for this determined their relationship to the Lord and the other people in the camp. God’s rule was, “You shall be holy for I am holy,” a statement found eight times in the Bible (Lev. 11:44–45; 19:2; 20:7, 26; 21:8; 1 Peter 1:15–16). Over a period of 38+ years, over 1.2 million people died in the wilderness because of God’s judgment. The Israelites were continually coming into contact with dead bodies, which led to ceremonial uncleanness. They needed a way to be made clean. God has always wanted His people to walk in holiness.

What are things in your life that you come in contact with that could be tempting spiritual contaminates? What steps do you take or could you take to keep yourself free from them?

Praise God for the cleansing power of the gospel. Ask God to show you anybody or anything that is polluting your life.


Now the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and on which a yoke has never come. – Numbers 19:1-2 (ESV)

How Should We Act As God’s People  
There is a well-known story of an evangelist named Alexander Wooten who related a story from the days when he held tent meetings. On one occasion after a series of meetings was over, he was pulling up his tent stakes when a young man approached him and asked what he had to do to be saved. The evangelist responded, “Sorry, it’s too late," which caused the young man to cry out, "Oh no! Do you mean it’s too late because the services are over?” The evangelist explained that it was "too late" because it had already been done. In other words, as he explained "Everything that could be done for your salvation has already been done.” After explaining Christ’s finished work to the young man, he led him to saving faith. (Warren Wiersbe)

The ritual in Numbers 19 points to the heart of the Gospel. The sinner must be cleansed in order to enter the presence of a holy God. The red heifer points us to the Lord Jesus Christ. Rabbi Richman said, "In truth, the fate of the entire world depends on the red heifer. For God has ordained that its ashes alone are the single missing ingredient for the re-enstatement of Biblical purity and thereafter, the rebuilding of the Holy Temple." Jesus' death would be the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. Our salvation is based on the covenant whose redeeming work is finished by a sacrifice that has been offered once and for all, that is complete, perfect, and eternal.

Hebrews 9:13-14 says, “For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Why do we no longer need to sacrifice animals for forgiveness and holiness?

Thank Jesus for dying in your place as a sinless sacrifice without a spot. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the power to walk in the holiness that Jesus purchased for you.