Daily Devotional Sunday 12th July 2020

by William Moody

Numbers 1:47–54

Levites Exempted

47 But the Levites were not listed along with them by their ancestral tribe. 48 For the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 49 “Only the tribe of Levi you shall not list, and you shall not take a census of them among the people of Israel. 50 But appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its furnishings, and over all that belongs to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings, and they shall take care of it and shall camp around the tabernacle. 51 When the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down, and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up. And if any outsider comes near, he shall be put to death. 52 The people of Israel shall pitch their tents by their companies, each man in his own camp and each man by his own standard. 53 But the Levites shall camp around the tabernacle of the testimony, so that there may be no wrath on the congregation of the people of Israel. And the Levites shall keep guard over the tabernacle of the testimony.” 54 Thus did the people of Israel; they did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses.


The tribe of Levi were not numbered among the fighting men as they were to be set apart to look after the tabernacle and the worship of the Lord (v47-50). This reminds us of the importance of God’s worship and the need to have people dedicated to it. We need to insure that those leading in worship and the teaching of God’s Word are not distracted from this crucial work (see Acts 6 v1-4; 1 Timothy 5 v17-18).

Today all believers are part of the royal priesthood and called to live a life set apart for the glory and worship of God (1 Peter 2 v9).

The holiness of the tabernacle and the items associated with it is emphasised in the command to put death non-Levites who interfere (v51). God and His worship must always be treated with solemnity, reverence and fear of God.

The placing of the Levites around the tabernacle (v52-53) was to protect the people from God’s wrath breaking out against them. Here we see the work of the church and particularly its leaders today from a different angle. God’s wrath is hanging over many people and our task is to intercede for them and share the Gospel for them to know forgiveness.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
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