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Thursday January 3 – You are a holy nation

They shall guard all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, and keep guard over the people of Israel as they minister at the tabernacle. – Numbers 3:8

Scripture reading: Numbers 3:1-16 and 4:46-49

Yesterday, we saw the layout of Israel’s camp: God is in their midst. However, God is a holy God and His people are a sinful people. How can a holy God live among a sinful people without the holiness of God being insulted and the people being destroyed by His wrath? We find the answer in chapters 3 and 4: the function of the Levites.

The Levites were set apart by the LORD to serve Him in a special way. Looking at the camp again from a bird’s eye view, we see this function of the Levites in the layout of the camp. The Levites were located around the tabernacle, between the tabernacle and the people. God provided a layer of protection between Himself and His people. The Levites had to guard this special relationship so that the covenant fellowship could go on. When they did their duty faithfully, Israel could live from the blessings of the LORD and the LORD would receive the praise of His people.

The Levites were a living reminder that Israel is a holy nation (Exodus 19:6). The Levites were also a gift of grace. Israel could enjoy the rich blessings of God’s presence because of their ministry. Today, we no longer need Levites to serve us since we have the perfect High Priest at the right hand of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are a holy nation so that we now may live for Him.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for the gift of the Great High Priest. Ask Him for His grace to live as His holy people and proclaim the wonders of Him Who called us out of darkness into His light.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Douwe G. J. Agema is currently minister of Living Word Canadian Reformed Church in Guelph and also teaches several courses at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers’ College.


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