We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from: https://www.navigators.org/resource/bible-reading-plans/
Our section in Numbers today contains 2 most curious passages. But allow me to only focus upon the 1st – Numbers 18:21–22 (ESV) — “To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting, so that the people of Israel do not come near the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin and die.”
Why were the Levites alone allowed to do performs the services of the Tabernacle, and the people forbidden to come near those things?
Because of what they represent. You see the Priesthood was meant to be a foreshadowing of the High Priestly word and office of Christ. Thus the Israelites were in the same constant need as we are: That no one can add to, assist in or participate in His high priestly work on our behalf.
To try to add to it by our own works or righteousness is strictly forbidden. Even try to approach any aspect of His atoning work on our behalf ourselves is deadly.
No man assists in his own salvation in any capacity. Ever.
This is the exclusive domain of our Redeemer, Christ Jesus the Lord.
He alone can save us. And from the very beginning – this reality needed to be codified even into the Law. For it is the perennial temptation of man to think himself somehow able to contribute to his own salvation.
As the hymn-writer Elvina Hall so beautifully penned in 1865
1 I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Can change the leper’s spots
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
4 And when, before the throne,
I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
My lips shall still repeat. Refrain:
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.