March 3: It May Seem Bland
Numbers 3:1–39; John 12:1–19; Psalm 3–4
Let’s just admit it: genealogies and lists, like the one in Num 3:1–39, are the most boring elements of the Bible. But they do something for us that other formats cannot—they give us a sense of history and lineage.
With a genealogy, we can do more than just trace people; we can map their relationships to others and to the events that happen through those relationships. We can also determine who was involved in those major events.
Genealogies and lists give us a small glimpse into God’s providential work, even though we may not recognize them as such. God worked among the people in those lists. He chose to use them. They didn’t deserve to be used by God in mighty ways, but they were. Some of the people in Num 3:1–39 were given seemingly insignificant tasks: “The responsibility of the sons of Merari was the supervision of the frames of the tabernacle, its bars, pillars, bases, and all its vessels and all its service,” among other things (Num 3:36). If most of us were given this assignment, we would probably think it lame and ask for another. But the sons of Merari likely understood that anything God asks of us should be followed through with honor.
The people listed in Num 3:1–39 were likely selected because they believed they would see God’s glory. God may ask us to do things that seem insignificant or crazy, but if we don’t, we will miss out on seeing His glory.
What is God asking of you that seems insignificant or crazy?
JOHN D. BARRY
- These also were of the generations of Aaron and Moses, in the day that the Lord spake with Moses in mount Sinai. So these are the names of the sons of Aaron, Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Dleazar, and Ithamar. These are the names of the sons of Aaron the anointed Priests, whom Moses did consecrate to minister in the Priest’s office. And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered strange fire before the Lord in the wilderness in Sinai, and had no children: but Eleazar and Ithamar served in the Priest’s office in the sight of Aaron their father. Then the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Bring the tribe of Levi, and set them before Aaron the Priest that they may serve him. And take the charge with him, even the charge of the whole Congregation, before the Tabernacle of the Congregation to do the service of the Tabernacle. And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: for they are given him freely from among the children of Israel. And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons to execute their Priest’s office: and the stranger that cometh near, shall be slain. Also the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, I have even taken the Levites from among the children of Israel: for all the firstborn that openeth the matrice among the children of Israel, and the levites shall be mine, Because all the firstborn are mine: for the same day, that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified unto me all the firsborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine they shall be: I am the Lord. Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying, Number the children of Levi after the houses of their fathers, in their families: every man from a month old and above shalt thou number. Then Moses numbered them according to the word of the Lord, as he was commanded. And these were the sons of Levi by their names, Gerhson, and Kohath, and Merari. Also these were the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Labni and Shimei. The sons also of Kohath by their families: amram and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of Levi, according to the houses of their fathers. Of Gershon came the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimites: these are the families of the Gershonites. The sum whereof (after the number of all the males from a month old and above) was countd seven thousand and five hundred. The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the Tabernacle Westward. The captain and ancient of the house of the Gershonites shall be the Tabernacle, and the pavilion, the covering thereof, and the veil of the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. And the hanging of the court, and the veil of the door of the court which is near the Tabernacle and near the Altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof. And of Kohath come the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and teh family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites. The number of all the males from a month old and above, was eight thousand and six hundred, having the charge of the Sanctuary. The families of the sons of Kohath sahll pitch on the South side of the Tabernacle. The captain and ancient of the house and families of the Kohathites shall be Ellizaphan the son of Uzziel: And their charge shall be the Ark, and the Table, and the Candlestick, and the altars, and the instruments of the Sanctuary that they minister with, and the veil, and all that serveth thereto. And Eleazar the son of Aaron the Priest shall be chief captain of the Levites, having the oversight of them that have the charge of the Sanctuary. Of Merari came the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites: these are the families of Merari And the sum of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and above was six thousand and two hundred. The captain and the ancient of the house of the families of Merari shall be Zuriel the son of Abihail: they shall pitch on the Northside of the Tabernacle. And in the charge and custody of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the Tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and his pillars, and his sockets, and all the instruments thereof, and all that serveth thereto, With the pillars of the court round about, with their sockets, and their pins and their cords. Also on the forefront of the Tabernacle toward the East, before the Tabernacle I say, of the Congregation Eastward shall Moses and Aaron and his sons pitch, having the charge of the Sanctuary, and the charge of the children of Israel: but the stranger that cometh near shal be slain. The whole sum of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the Lord throughout their families, even all the males from a month old and above, was two and twenty thousand. Numbers 3:1–39
- Then Jesus, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who died, whom he had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper, and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took mary a pound of ointment of Spikenard very costly, and anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped his feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the savor of the ointment. Then said one of his disciples, even Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Now he said thus, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bore that which was given. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying she kept it. For the poor always ye have with you, but me ye shall not have always. Then much people of the Jews knew that he was there: and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. The high Priests therefore consulted, that they might put Lazarus to death also, because that for his sake many of the Jews went away, and believed in Jesus. On the morrow a great multitude that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus should come to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna, Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the Name of the Lord. And Jesus found a young ass, and sat thereon, as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Zion: behold, thy King cometh sitting on an ass’s colt. But his disciples understood not these things at the first: but when jesus was glorified, then remembered they, that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him. The people therefore that was with him, bare witness that he called Lazarus out of the grave and raised him from the dead. Therefore met him the people also, because they heard that he had done this miracle. And the Pharisees said among themselves, Pereceive ye how ye prevail nothing? Behold, the world goeth after him. John 12:1–19
- Lord, how are ine adversaries increased? how many rise against me? Many say to my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou Lord art a buckler for me, my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I did call unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy mountain. Selah. I laid me down and slept, and rose again: for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid for ten thousand of the people, that should beset me round about. O Lord, arise: help me, my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheekbone: thou hast broken the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord, and thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast set me at liberty, when I was in distress: have mercy upon me, and hearken unto my prayer. O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame, loving vanity, and seeking lies? Selah. For be ye sure that the Lord hath chosen to himself a godly man, the Lord will hear when I call unto him. Tremble and sin not: examine your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the Lord. Many say, Who will show us any good? but Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast given me more joy o fheart, than they have had, when their wheat and their wine did abound. I will lay me own, and also sleep in peace: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 3–4