The Lord told Moses in the second year after coming out of Egypt to take a census of the congregation. He numbered every male 20 years and older to go out to war according to their armies. A man as head of his father’s household, called of the congregation, would be leaders of their father’s tribes and heads of the divisions of Israel. Moses and Aaron assembled the congregation and numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai. Each tribe was numbered concerning who would be able to go out to war. Twelve men were leaders of his father’s household or a total of 603,550 numbered men. (Num. 1:1-46). God calls men to lead the spiritual battle in building His kingdom on earth.
Levites were not numbered but appointed over the tabernacle of the testimony and all its furnishings. They would carry, set up and take down the tabernacle. Israel would camp by his own standards with Levites camping around the tabernacle to keep charge of it (Num. 1:47-54). God calls certain people to a vocation of prayer and worship to support those who build His kingdom on earth.
Israel camped by their own standard with banners of their fathers’ households at a distance around the tent of meeting. The numbered armies who camped on the east side were led by Judah with their leader, Nahshon. Then Issachar and Zebulun were arranged for a total of 186,400 with those setting out first. On the south side were Reuben, Simeon and Gab for a total of 151,450 men setting out second. The tent of meeting was set out with the Levites in the midst of the camps (Num. 2:1-17). A foundation of prayer empowers His people in the spiritual battle to build His kingdom on earth.
On the west side were Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin for a total of 108,100 men setting out third. On the north side were Dan, Asher and Naptali for a total of 157,600 setting out last. They were numbered by their fathers’ households for a total of 603,550 men. The Levites were not numbered just as the Lord commanded Moses. They set out by their family according to his fathers’ household (Num. 2:18-34). God desires family units to build His kingdom on earth.
The sons of Aaron were Nadab, the first-born, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar ordained to serve as priests. Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord when they offered strange fire to the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai (Num. 3:1-4). God demands purity from those who build His kingdom on earth.
The tribe of Levi would serve Aaron by doing the service of the tabernacle. Aaron and his sons would keep the priesthood but the stranger coming near would be put to death. The Lord took the Levites instead of every first-born to be His even though the latter had been sanctified in Egypt (Num. 3:5-13). Believers are given special honor and responsibility to build His kingdom on earth.
God told Moses to number the sons of Levi by their fathers’ households and families, every male from a month old and upward. The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath and Merari. The duties of Gershon involved the tabernacle and tent, its covering, screen for doorway around tabernacle, hangings and altar. The duties Kohath involved the ark, table, lampstand, altars, utensils of sanctuary and screen. The duties of Merari involved the frames of tabernacle, bars, pillars, sockets and all equipment. All numbered men of the Levites were 22,000 and first-born males were 22,273 (Num. 3:14-43). God has a job description for those who build His kingdom on earth.
The Lord said to take the Levites instead of the first-born among Israel to be His. Give the ransom of the 273 first-born sons of Israel in excess beyond the Levites or five shekels per head to Aaron and his sons (Num. 3:44-51). God provides financially for those set apart to build His kingdom on earth.
Answer the following questions concerning building His kingdom on earth:
1. Are you in the spiritual battle or on the sidelines?
2. Has God called you to prayer and worship to support those fighting on the front lines?
3. Are you praying or trusting in your strength to fight the spiritual battle?
4. Are you mobilizing your family and others to fight the spiritual battle or focused on entertainment only?
5. Are you pure in fighting the spiritual battle?
6. Have you recognized the special honor and responsibility to fight the spiritual battle?
7. Do you know your job description in fighting the spiritual battle?
8. Have you trusted God's provision in fighting the spiritual battle?