Numbers 3, Psalm 37, Song of Songs 1, Hebrews 1

DateVersionReading Plan
@April 26, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Numbers 3

Numbers 3:41 (ESV) 41 And you shall take the Levites for me—I am the LORD—instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the people of Israel.”

The LORD spoke to Moses that the Levites were to keep guard over Aaron and his sons as they minister at the tabernacle. Moses was to list all the firstborn males among the the people of Israel, but the Levites were to be taken for the LORD instead of the firstborn of cattle and people of Israel. Interestingly, the number of Levites (22,000) was less than the firstborn males in Israel (22,273), so five shekels were given as the redemption price for the 273. Again, these details continue to illuminate the precision of God as He gives instruction on tribal arrangement and conduct.

Psalm 37

Psalm 37:21–21 (ESV) 21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;

Reading this brought to mind a sermon by R.C. Sproul entitled, “The Word of a Man” in which he describes the calling of the saints to be trustworthy in the repayment of debts. God is a covenant-keeper—His Word is true—and, by His gracious generosity, paid our debt of death in the sacrifice of His Son. Those in Christ are to see the faithfulness of our God to repay, redeem and restore, seeking to follow Him in honorable conduct and to be generous in our giving.

Song of Songs 1

Song of Solomon 1:5 (ESV) 5 I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

Solomon depicts a Shuhlamite woman who describes herself as “very dark, but lovely”, indicating a good deal of time spent in the sun, perhaps as a keeper of the vineyards. As the Faithlife Study Bible notes, “light skin was considered an indicator of beauty. Women in working-class families became darkened by the sun since they worked outside in the fields (Song. 1:6), so light skin may have been more desirable because dark skin often indicated a lower social class.”

Hebrews 1

Hebrews 1:1–2 (ESV) 1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

The opening verses of Hebrews are some of the most profound in all of Scripture. The author speaks of the supremacy of Christ in relation to the prophets. Within the old covenant, God spoke to through prophets to the people but now has spoken by His Son. This “but” denotes the supersession of Jesus, elevating Him to the office of ultimate Prophet. Jesus was appointed heir of all things, a designation God bestowed only to Him because the world was made through Him. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9)

Carson on Numbers 3

The fulfillment of these patterns [of substitutionary sacrifice] under the terms of the new covenant is not hard to find. We are saved from death by the death of the supreme Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7). Those saved by his blood belong to the Lord in a peculiar way, i.e., not only by virtue of creation but by virtue of redemption (1 Cor. 6:20). He demands that we live for him and his service, and in this we constitute a nation of priests (1 Peter 2:5-6; Rev. 1:6).

Carson connects the sacrificial substitutions of the old covenant with that of the new. Jesus is the one-time fulfillment of all required sacrifice. Redeemed by His blood, we have been set free from the punishment of sin, called to live in newness of life for Him and to serve others in His great name. May it be for us to walk in this glorious commission, sharing the gospel of Christ and expressing His love in every word and deed.