It’s All a Gift // Numbers 31:25-54
25. The LORD said to Moses,
26. “You and Eleazar the priest and the family heads of the community are to count all the people and animals that were captured.
27. Divide the spoils between the soldiers who took part in the battle and the rest of the community.
28. From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the LORD one out of every five hundred, whether persons, cattle, donkeys, sheep or goats.
29. Take this tribute from their half share and give it to Eleazar the priest as the LORD’s part.
30. From the Israelites’ half, select one out of every fifty, whether persons, cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats or other animals. Give them to the Levites, who are responsible for the care of the LORD’s tabernacle.”
31. So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the LORD commanded Moses.
32. The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep,
33. 72,000 cattle,
34. 61,000 donkeys
35. and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.
36. The half share of those who fought in the battle was: 337,500 sheep,
37. of which the tribute for the LORD was 675;
38. 36,000 cattle, of which the tribute for the LORD was 72;
39. 30,500 donkeys, of which the tribute for the LORD was 61;
40. 16,000 people, of which the tribute for the LORD was 32.
41. Moses gave the tribute to Eleazar the priest as the LORD’s part, as the LORD commanded Moses.
42. The half belonging to the Israelites, which Moses set apart from that of the fighting men-
43. the community’s half–was 337,500 sheep,
44. 36,000 cattle,
45. 30,500 donkeys
46. and 16,000 people.
47. From the Israelites’ half, Moses selected one out of every fifty persons and animals, as the LORD commanded him, and gave them to the Levites, who were responsible for the care of the LORD’s tabernacle.
48. Then the officers who were over the units of the army–the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds–went to Moses
49. and said to him, “Your servants have counted the soldiers under our command, and not one is missing.
50. So we have brought as an offering to the LORD the gold articles each of us acquired–armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces–to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD.”
51. Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted from them the gold–all the crafted articles.
52. All the gold from the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds that Moses and Eleazar presented as a gift to the LORD weighed 16,750 shekels.
53. Each soldier had taken plunder for himself.
54. Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gold from the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds and brought it into the Tent of Meeting as a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD.
Give to God’s Purposes (31:25–47)
While most of the Israelites can work or fight to make a living and support their families, the priests and the Levites are to devote all their time and energy to serving God in the tabernacle. They therefore depend wholly on the people’s giving for their material needs. When the Israelites gain a significant amount of wealth from their victory in battle, the LORD instructs them to set aside a portion for the Levites. This practice of a faith community providing for its religious workers is stitched into the fabric of God’s family. Today, church pastors and missionaries are also dependent on the giving of the church. As members of the church, we must recognise that everything we have is from God and be generous to those who devote their lives to serving Him.
A Generous Gift (31:48–54)
The commanders take the gold articles they acquired from their plunder and present them to the LORD as a generous offering. It is a freewill expression of their gratitude to God for giving them the victory and ensuring the safety of their soldiers. Moses and Eleazar bring this offering into the tent of meeting as atonement for the sins of the commanders and a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD. Today, we have a greater atonement and a greater memorial sitting at the right hand of God. His name is Jesus, the One who atoned for all our sins with His blood and will forever be a memorial of God’s faithfulness and unfailing love.
– Are you aware of the specific needs of your pastors and the missionaries you support? Reach out to them and see if you can help meet those needs in any way.
– How can you express your gratitude today for the great blessings God has poured into your life? How can you share the generosity of God with others?
A LETTER TO GOD:
Father, I thank You for all You have given me. Not only have You given me Jesus, but everything I have is also a gift from You. May my life reflect Your incredible generosity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
LIVING LIFE QT – Duranno.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.
...If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd... - ELIZABETH ELLIOT