In Numbers 17-19, as people respond in passionate love for God, they follow His leading into their callings, give generously and confess sin, which results in a transformed community as individuals walk in holiness.
God spoke to Moses to get a rod for each father’s household from all twelve leaders, wrote name on each rod and deposited them in the tent of meeting in front of testimony for Moses to meet with God. The rod of man whom He chose would sprout to lessen from Himself the grumblings of Israel. The rod of Aaron from the house of Levi sprouted buds, produced blossoms and bore ripe almonds. Aaron’s rod before the testimony was kept as a sign against the rebels to put an end to grumblings against God so they would not die (Num. 17:1-13). God calls approved workers by showing signs of fruitfulness to end death and warn grumblers.
The tribe of Levi would be joined with Aaron to bear responsibility for the offenses against the sanctuary and the priesthood. If fellow Levites came near the furnishings of the sanctuary and altar, they would die and bring wrath on Israel. Aaron and his sons served in the priesthood for everything concerning the altar and inside the veil as a gift, but the stranger would die if he came near (Num. 18:1-7). God enables workers to follow His leadership into their unique callings so they do not experience His wrath.
The Lord spoke to Aaron saying He gave him a charge of His offerings as a portion and to his sons as a perpetual allotment as holy gifts, including the first fruits of oil, wine and grain given to the Lord. Every devoted thing in Israel, including the first-born of man or animal would be theirs. The tithe would be given to the Levites as an inheritance and compensation for serving at the tent of meeting. They gave a tithe of the tithe to Aaron the priest so they would not profane the sacred gifts of Israel and die (Num. 18:8-32). God gives people the opportunity to give financially to His work in response to His love for them.
The Lord said to Moses to bring an unblemished red heifer without defect and no yoke. It was brought to Eleazar the priest and slaughtered outside the camp. He took blood and sprinkled some of it toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. The heifer would be burned in his sight, the priest washed his clothes, bathed his body in water and was unclean until evening. The cleansed man deposited the ashes outside the camp as purification from sin for Israel and the alien as a lasting ordinance (Num. 19:1-10). Spend regular time in confession of sin to remove spiritual impurity.
One who touched a corpse would be unclean for seven days. He purified himself from uncleanness with water on the third and seventh day to be clean. If he did not purify himself, he defiled the tabernacle of the Lord, cut off from the community and was unclean. A man ceremonially clean would take hyssop, dip in water and sprinkle the tent, furnishings and people who were there. Anything that an unclean person touched became unclean (Num. 19:11-22). The spiritual climate of a community changes for the good when God’s people live in holiness because of their passionate love for Him.
Ask God to move your community through the following progression beginning with yourself:
1. Pray for more passionate love for Christ personally and among other believers in your community
2. Follow God's leading so you embrace His calling for your life
3. Give generously to your local church and kingdom projects
4. Spend regular time in confessing sin
5. Encourage others to walk in holiness