And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the people of Israel. And you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall guard their priesthood.
“For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Numbers 3 & 4 concentrate on numbering the Levites.
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the people of Israel. The Levites shall be mine” (Numbers 3:12).
The ESV Study Bible explains: “In the last plague, every firstborn male Egyptian and every firstborn of their cattle died, but the Israelite boys and cattle were spared. So after this, all Israelite firstborn boys and cattle were dedicated to God. That meant the cattle were sacrificed and the boys should have served God in the sanctuary Ex. 11:4–13:15. But after the golden calf incident, the Levites took the place of the firstborn boys Ex. 32:25–29. The census showed there were 273 fewer Levites than first-born males in the other tribes. To redeem those 273 Israelites who had no Levite to take their place, five shekels (Num. 3:47) per person had to be paid. This is the tariff prescribed in Lev. 27:6 for boys under five. Five shekels would have been about a year’s pay for a herdsman.”
Do you notice the precision of God? Nothing was overlooked. Every detail was considered and described. God is a God of order, not chaos :)
Mark 3 contains a difficult saying of Jesus that is found in all 3 of the synoptic gospels…
“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:28-29).
It is helpful to consider the precise nature of God’s character when interpreting this verse. Jesus was not being elusive. His speech was plain and precise. But what did he mean… exactly?
To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is to persistently reject his saving work in your life. The Holy Spirit testifies in our hearts that Jesus is Lord. The Holy Spirit softens and humbles our hearts to ask for salvation and forgiveness. To reject the work of the Spirit is, in essence, forfeiting the chance for forgiveness. If you have been saved by the work of the Spirit, then this “eternal sin” is impossible for you to commit. Only those who refuse to be saved remain “unforgivable.”
God is clear. God is precise. There is one true God and one way to salvation….only through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. There is no sin we can commit that can trump the power of His sacrifice – except to reject Him. That would be a very sad, “eternal” mistake.