Monday, March 12, 2018

Numbers 7 is heaven

The Word for today:
Numbers 6.22-7.89
I’m a systematic Bible reader. I try to cover all the bases. It’s all the Word of God, so I don’t think it’s up to me to say that one part is more important than another part. Therefore I try to read Nahum and Obadiah with the same attention I give to Matthew and Ephesians.
But as you know, some parts of the Bible are very difficult to sit still for. One example is found here in Numbers 7. It takes great concentration to read 12 paragraphs in a row which all say exactly the same thing.
But that’s the way God wrote Numbers 7, and who am I to say the repetition makes no sense. Therefore, year after year I would bear down throughout this chapter’s 89 verses. I was determined to give every word its due:
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. (Numbers 7:12-17)
Now repeat until you’ve read the same thing twelve times. Each of the twelve “identical” paragraphs differs in just one way: the name of the person who brings those identical offerings.
As I read those very same details over and over and over, I kept on wondering why and why and why?
Then one day, I got the answer: this is exactly the picture that we will see in heaven. There will be Jim and Elizabeth and Joyce and Edward and Sandra and Robert and Sam and Debbie and Julie and Don and Franklyn and Shelley…
Everyone who is in heaven will be there for precisely the same reason: he brought an offering. And the offering each person brings will be precisely the same offering: The Lamb of God, Jesus.
So when twelve people in Numbers 7 bring exactly the same offering, that’s a wee microcosm of the day when 3 billion persons (give or take a trillion) step forward, one at a time, to offer the Lamb of God.
Imagine, if you will, what it might be like if we were all given our moment to walk to the throne of grace with the Lamb of God, to appear before the Father and, like John the Baptist of old, point to Jesus and proclaim, “Behold the Lamb of God, who took away my sin!”
Sort of personalizes the process, don’t you agree?
I always had a hell of a time getting thorough Numbers 7, until I realized Numbers 7 is heaven.

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