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prepared for trip March 1 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Numbers 8:5–9:14

Preparations for a Spiritual Journey

What final preparations would we make before we set out on a trip? We would pack our luggage, round up our children (if we have any), and bring maps, money to travel, passports, and, of course, a cell phone, camera or video device.

How would preparations for a spiritual journey differ from that of a vacation? What if God calls us to be a missionary—what would we need to do? After being accepted for a field of service, we would raise our support, get immunizations, visas, and, if needed, attend a language school and learn about the culture of the people we will work with. What about spiritual preparations? Aren't they the most important thing to do if we are going on a spiritual journey or to perform some task for the LORD?

In today's Bible reading the Israelites make spiritual preparations before they set out on their journey to the Promised Land.

Under God's direction, the Israelites built the tabernacle in the desert wilderness of Sinai, instituted priests and began making offerings to him. Afterwards, they took a census of the tribe of Levi and assigned men to care for the tabernacle and to transport the articles and furniture whenever and wherever the LORD wanted them to move. Soon they will begin their journey, but before that God prepares them spiritually. How are they prepared?

The Levites are dedicated to the LORD to help the priests. They are first shaved and washed to make them ceremonially clean. Then they bring burnt offerings, grain offerings and sin offerings before the entire congregation of Israel and sacrifice them. Afterwards, Aaron presents the Levites as a wave (dedication) offering to set them apart for service to the LORD on behalf of the Israelites. The Levites are their dedicated representatives (Numbers 8:15-20).

As a principle drawn from the dedication of the Levites, churches should recognize and dedicate their workers to the Lord in preparation for their service in church, evangelistic, or missional ministries.

Only male Levites who are between the ages of twenty-five and fifty are permitted to do the work at the Tent of Meeting (the tabernacle), but when they retire they can still assist. This directive is slightly different than the one given in Numbers 4:47. As noted in the February 27 Bible study, the difference seems to be related to the carrying of the tabernacle articles and furnishings. Those who enter their Levitical service at twenty-five take care of the tabernacle five years before they can transport it. Perhaps this is so they might gain respect for it.

Christian churches today do not have tabernacle articles to take care of, but to prepare for worship they should learn to properly care for the furniture, musical instruments, sound system, and any other items used in their services, whether or not they have to transport them as the Israelites did.

The first month of the second year after their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites again celebrate the Passover. The Passover is done to remember the time that the LORD delivered them out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-27). This second Passover is a preparation for their spiritual journey to the Promised Land in Canaan. The journey is not going to be a Sunday School picnic—it will be difficult—they will face many enemies. They need to be reminded that the God who so powerfully delivered them from Egypt, will go with them on their journey and bring them to the Promised Land in Canaan. So they celebrate!

In what strength will we go on our spiritual journey or accomplish our God given task? God, who so powerfully saved us, will be with us when we face adversity. We can celebrate our deliverance from the bondage of sin and remember his mighty power in protecting and providing for us. Then we can go forth in confidence! If any of us are not Christians, we can trust the Lord to be our Savior. He will give us forgiveness, peace, spiritual life, and the power to go on our spiritual journey (more...).

Lessons to Live By

Preparations for a Spiritual Journey or Service

  • Churches should recognize and dedicate their workers to the Lord in preparation for their service in church, missional, or evangelistic ministries.
  • In preparation for worship, some church members should be assigned to properly care for the furniture, musical instruments, sound system, and any other things used in their services, whether or not they have to transport them as the Israelites did.
  • Christians, remember that God, who so powerfully saved you, will be with you when you face adversity. Celebrate his mighty power, his protection and his provision. Go forth in confidence!

Focus Verses

Leviticus 20:7 (NIV) “Consecrate [dedicate] yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God.”

Exodus 3:12a (NIV) “And God said, ‘I will be with you.’”

Here is a video illustrating the Passover

praying hands Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

A Look Ahead: The preparations for Israel's journey are almost complete, but first they must Organize a Defense. We too, will face adversity. How do we organize a defense? Find out in our Next Lesson.

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