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The verse "God is not a God of confusion, but of peace" (1 Cor. 14:33) comes to mind today. Why all the specificity regarding where tribes camped and in what order they should march? Because order needed to be established to prevent utter chaos from overtaking this wandering band of 2,000,000 plus Jews!
The first census in chapter one numbered only the males of fighting age. The Levites were excluded from the census because they were set apart for service in the Tabernacle and would not be required to fight. Women were excluded from the count for the same reason. This was essentially a military draft. The second census was taken for the purpose of priestly service. All Levite males over one month of age (apparently specified because of the high infant mortality rate) were counted for service. Because they were set apart for God as substitutes for all the firstborn males in the nation of Israel (who belonged to Him because of the sparing of the firstborns at the Passover), a rendering was made of that population as well. When it was discovered that the number of firstborn males exceeded the number of Levites by 273, the "difference" had to be made up by redeeming those males. Precision! No rounding off. All the firstborns had to be rendered unto God, so if there weren't enough Levites to take care of it, the difference had to be made up in silver.
Tomorrow's reading: Numbers 4-5
About Melissa Gibbs:
Melissa is the mother of four boys and the wife of her junior high sweetheart, JD. He is the President of Joe Gibbs Racing and the son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs. JD and Melissa have been married 16 years and are actively involved with Young Life, Motor Racing Outreach, their church, and other ministries. Their youngest son Taylor is nearing completion of a 3 year treatment protocol for leukemia, which has been a powerful faith walk for their family. Since his diagnosis, Melissa has been called upon to share their family's testimony with many local churches.
Visit Melissa at http://chronologicalbiblein2010.blogspot.com/
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