The Book of Numbers 0002 - Lesson 2

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 8:1-26

Chapter 8 (There is currently no audio for this lesson.)

The Sanctification and Offering of the Levites

  1. INTRODUCTION
    1. Order of Chapters
      1. Numbers 5 deals with Separation from the world.
      2. Numbers 6 deals with Separation unto God.
      3. Numbers 7 deals with Sacrificial giving of God’s people.
      4. Numbers 8 deals with Sanctification and Offering of the Levites.
      5. We have been seeing this develop over the past few chapters.  This pattern is only applicable to the saved.  A man desires to draw nigh to God.  He begins to see the things of this world as filthy and harmful.  He determines in his heart, “If I am going to be close to God, I can’t partake of these things.” He goes for a while feeling cleaner and purer, but realizes that there still must be more to the Christian life than this. He then begins to hunger for fellowship with God.  Throughout the day he feels the tugging of the Lord to spend time in prayer and in the word.  Spending this time with the Lord leads him to a strong desire to give to God.  It is not a matter of duty, but a matter of desire.  It doesn’t stop here though.  A man may give of his material wealth without giving of himself.  The next thing that occurs in a man’s heart is the desire to give himself.  This is mentioned in Romans 12:1 and to our shame it is called “ your reasonable service.
    2. Division
      1. The lighting of the lamps (Numbers 8:1-4)
      2. The setting apart of the Levites (Numbers 8:5-22)
      3. The service of the Levites (Numbers 8:23-26)
      4. Each section begins with the phrase, “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,”
  2. THE LIGHTING OF THE LAMPS (Numbers 8:1-4)
    1. The Interruption of the Story
      1. The first four verses interrupt the giving of God’s people.
      2. Either God went off on a tangent here that is meaningless, or He has some special reason for interrupting a story to mention the lighting of the candlestick.
    2. Significance of Timing
      1. Time of new beginnings or restored fellowship
        1. Creation (Genesis 1:1-4)
          1. God is getting ready to create man to fellowship with Him after a time of broken fellowship.
            1. Three things are in existence in Genesis l:2.
              1. The earth
              2. Darkness
              3. The deep
            2. Only one of these things is mentioned as being created in Genesis 1:1, this being the earth.  Perhaps you could argue for the water being a part of the earth.
            3. This appears to be a time of judgment.
          2. Fellowship was broken because of the rebellion of Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-15).
          3. God spoke out of the darkness.
          4. The first thing God calls to come forth is light (Genesis 1:3).
        2. Tabernacle
          1. The Israelites have been in Egypt.
          2. They have been separated from their God.
          3. In the wilderness the Lord gives Moses the pattern for the tabernacle where He will meet with them.
          4. Upon the completion of the tabernacle and the offerings of the princes, the Lord speaks out of the darkness and calls for light, just as He did in the creation (Numbers 8:2).
        3. The Incarnation
          1. God had been silent.
          2. Men were in darkness.
          3. The fulness of time came and God adorned flesh to come and restore fellowship with His creation.
          4. The Lord Jesus in multiple places in John 1 is said to be the Light (John 1:4-9).
        4. The New Jerusalem
          1. The earth has been destroyed.
          2. There is a new heaven and a new earth.
          3. God describes the holy city.
          4. In the description He makes sure to tell us of the source of light in this city.  “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof”  (Revelation 21:23).
      2. Practical thoughts
        1. The Israelites were seeking fellowship with God:  from the princes, to the Levites, to the common people.
        2. In order for them to have fellowship with God, God Himself had to provide light.
        3. God spoke to Moses out of darkness, but in order for the people have communion with Him there must be light (1 John 1:6).
    3. The Candlestick
      1. The makeup
        1. The main candlestick (Exodus 25:31; Exodus 37:17)
          1. Made of pure gold
          2. Beaten
          3. Called a shaft
          4. Possibly has its own branch at the top (Exodus 37:17)
          5. Had 4 bowls, 4 knops and 4 flowers (Exodus 25:33-34)
            1. The bowl looks like an almond.
            2. The knop was like a knob.
            3. The flower is thought to be like a lily.
          6. At the top it had a lamp for the light.
        2. The branches
          1. Made of pure gold
          2. Beaten
          3. Six in number
          4. Each has 3 bowls, 3 knops, and 3 flowers.
          5. At the top each has a lamp for the light.
          6. At the bottom each has its beginning in the candlestick.
        3. The lamps
          1. The place where the light is manifested.
          2. To be burning continually (Exodus 27:20; Leviticus 24:1-4)
          3. Note:  See the circumstances in the days of Eli (1 Samuel 3:1-11).
        4. The oil
          1. Pure olive oil
          2. Beaten
          3. The source of the light
      2. The purpose of the light
        1. Shed light on the table of shewbread (Exodus 26:35)
          1. The table of shewbread was on the north side.
          2. The candlestick was on the south side.
        2. Shed light on the altar of incense
        3. Shed light on the candlestick (Numbers 8:2)
      3. The symbols
        1. The shaft
          1. The shaft is a picture of Jesus Christ.
          2. Being a branch signifies His humanity, whereas the beaten gold demonstrates His deity.
          3. Its source
            1. The shaft or candlestick is its own source.
            2. Jesus Christ His own source (Colossians 1:18)
              1. Jesus Christ is before all things (Micah 5:2; John 1:1; John 8:58;  John 17:5, 24; Revelation 22:13).
              2. Jesus Christ created all things (John 1:3; Ephesians 3:6; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 3:14).
              3. Jesus Christ upholdeth all things (Psalm 75:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:3).
          4. Its preeminence
            1. It has four bowls, knops and flowers which cause it to stand above the other branches.
            2. Jesus Christ became man, but He is still God.  As such He has preeminence (Colossians 1:18).
              1. Christ has authority over nature (Matthew 8:27).
              2. Jesus Christ has authority over heavenly powers (1 Peter 3:22).
              3. Jesus Christ is the King of Glory (Psalm 2:6).
              4. Jesus Christ is equal with God (John 5:18; John 10:30; Philippians 2:6).
              5. Jesus Christ is heir to the throne of David (Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 23:5).
              6. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church (Ephesians 1:2; Ephesians 5:23).
          5. It is the source of the other branches.
            1. The shaft is the origin of the other branches.
            2. Jesus Christ is called the Branch (Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12).
            3. In John 15, He is called the vine (John 15:1).
        2. The branches
          1. The branches are a picture of God’s people.
          2. Its source
            1. The branches find their source in the candlestick.
            2. God’s people find their source for all things in Jesus Christ.  We are brought into this source by new birth just as a branch comes forth as new life.
          3. Its connection
            1. The branches would not exist apart from the shaft or candlestick itself.
            2. Believers can bear no fruit and would not exist apart from the Vine (John 15:4-5).
          4. The branches signify humanity.  The gold is royalty.  The difference being that Christ is the Son of God by His own existence, however, we become sons of God by the new birth.
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 25:14

Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.