Monday after Invocavit
Posted on March 11, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Numbers 3:5-13 (NKJV)
3:5 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 6 “Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. 7 And they shall attend to his needs and the needs of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of meeting, to do the work of the tabernacle. 8 Also they shall attend to all the furnishings of the tabernacle of meeting, and to the needs of the children of Israel, to do the work of the tabernacle. 9 And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are given entirely to him from among the children of Israel. 10 So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall attend to their priesthood; but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”
11 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 12 “Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore the Levites shall be Mine, 13 because all the firstborn are Mine. On the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast. They shall be Mine: I am the LORD.”
This text emphasizes the unique relationship between God and those He calls to worship and serve Him and His house. The tribe of Levi is chosen from the twelve tribes of Israel to facilitate the public worship and ministry ordained by God. The tribe of Levi is further honored by being called to serve the ordained priesthood (Aaron and his descendants). The theme is that the service at the tabernacle may be performed only at the express invitation of the Lord, under the penalty of death. While those called to worship and those who minister in God’s house were divinely authorized persons, they are not to deviate from divinely authorized means.
Similarly, the New Testament Church is referred to as a nation of priests, so all Christians are set apart to worship and serve in God’s house. Likewise, there are also abundant warnings against both approaching Christ’s Means of Grace inappropriately, and being innovative with the Lord’s Gospel.
In this Lenten Season we rejoice that our sins are forgiven purely by grace, but dare not abuse the grace of God by thinking we have an artistic license to do with God’s Means as we wish. God, through Word and Sacrament, has provided more than adequately for His Elect regarding how He wishes to come to us, and have us come to Him. Let us rejoice in God’s chosen Means of Grace and the ministry of the Church He has graciously established.
We pray: O Lord, mercifully hear our prayer and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to defend us from them that rise up against us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.