Biblical Coincidence?

Parashat Nasso (Lift Up)
Bamidbar (Numbers) 4:21 – 7:89

In our weekly Scripture reading, we find one of the most well known blessings in all of Scripture, which is the “Priestly Blessing”. I devoted an entire blog to this topic, which I recommend you to read here. This week, I would like to focus on a different issue in this parasha, which I find has particular interest to us followers of Messiah.

But first, a little background on the Levites would prove helpful. Our portion this week is a direct continuation of last week’s parasha (Parashat Bamidbar), which speaks of the roles of the Levites regarding their service of God’s dwelling place, the Tabernacle, and the manner in which they are to treat the items in it, including the Ark of the Covenant. It also explained the way in which they were to build, dismantle, and the carry the Tent of the Meeting when the camp would move to a new location. In short, the Levites were required to do a lot of work!

As I re-read our portion for this week, I noticed something very interesting. The age of the men that were called to serve as Levites was between 30 to 50 years old. The few commentaries that I consulted on this issue speculate that this is the age when the men were best fit and therefore better able to serve as priests. This doesn’t seem to be a satisfactory answer. Being on the closer side of 50 years old myself, I can say that I in no way feel more equipped to do physical labor than I did when I was closer to 30! In fact, I believe that men aged between 20-40 would be better able to do the intense physical work that the Levites were required to do. There must be another explanation.

While there is no clear explanation in the Scriptures, I see a strong connection to Messiah Yeshua in this. The fact that the age requirement is mentioned 7 times in the text means that it is clearly important! The key here is that a Levi could only begin serving in the Tabernacle at the age of 30. In the Book of Luke, we find an interesting fact about the age that Yeshua Himself began His ministry on earth:

And when He began His ministry, Yeshua Himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli…

(Luke 3:23)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe anything in the Word of God is a product of coincidence. The fact that the Levites began their service for the LORD at the age of thirty has a direct connection to the age that Yeshua – our High Priest- began His ministry on earth, preparing the way for God’s Spirit to dwell with His Bride. Again, I am amazed at the continuity in God’s Word, and in His plan of salvation, which was there from the beginning of time.

Shabbat shalom!
Parashat Re’eh (See…)
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 11:26 – 16:17

Every time I read this week’s Scripture portion, I’m always faced with examining my life, and more specifically the choices that I have made. From the time of creation, we were created with the ability to make choices; to honor God or not; to obey God or not; to live for God or not.

Likewise, from the time of creation, there have also been consequences for our choices, and the reality is that often times we don’t think about them, we don’t consider them, and as a result we end up turning our backs on God.

Our weekly reading has something interesting to say about this:

See (look), I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.

(Deuteronomy 11:26–28)

The children of Israel had a choice to make: either choose the blessing that comes from obeying God or choose the curse that would result from disobedience. It’s really that simple!

In the years that I have been a disciple of Yeshua our Messiah, I have had many conversations with other brothers and sisters in the faith about this issue. Often I hear an idea expressed that basically says we are forever free from any curse of disobedience because of Yeshua’s perfect and complete work of grace on the tree (Cross); we are now forever in the place of blessing regardless of what we do.

The reality is, that due to Yeshua’s amazing work, we are freed from the bondage of sin and we do have eternal access to the Almighty through a restored relationship with Him. As Rav Sha’ul (Paul) wrote, we are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:6). This is our freedom in Messiah! This does not mean, however, that we have the freedom to live disobediently. In fact, God’s spiritual principles have been the same from the beginning of time until today; just because we are forgiven for every sin does not mean that we are exempt from the consequence of sin. Very often I ask myself if I/we really understand what He has done for us?

I personally believe that if we truly understood the fact that He took on Himself the curse for each and every one of us, then we will desire to live our lives in a way that truly honors Him. And this is not motivated by the blessing that may come as a result of our obedience, but rather because we truly understand the blessing that we already received when Yeshua gave His life for us.

Often when I speak to congregations, I like to give an example of a person pointing a gun at another person, and that just as he pulls the trigger, someone else jumps in to catch the bullet; this person loses his life to save the other person’s life. I then ask the person whose life was saved if he will ever forget that which was done for him… The answer is always the same… NO…

How much more did Yeshua do for us when He drank the cup of God’s wrath, which was reserved for us sinners, effectively canceling a debt we could never pay?

May our daily choices be a reflection of appreciation for the amazing, perfect love that was given to us.

Shabbat shalom!
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    2 Comments on “Biblical Coincidence?”

    1. Thank you so much for this! Such a good reminder for each of us! May God continue to bless you in your ministry!
      In Christ Alone,

    2. Praise YESHUA !! May HE continue to enrich my spirit in following HIM. HE had been guiding me, as I perceive, and to the right and perfect course.
      Thank you HFI for the lessons in your blogs and writings.

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