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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 18

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-32

  1. INTRO:
    1. Baptism Class - tonight upper room. Dr. Ricks house Sunday.
    2. In ch.16 the sons of Korah despised Moses & Aaron, & rejected them. Then judgement fell(rest of ch.16). Then Aaron was shown chosen by God w/his budding branch(17).
      1. Read the question in 17:13(are we all going to die?). This is answered in 18:1 (Aaron shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary).
      2. Thus they found security in that very priest whom they despised & rejected.
    3. Tithe/Offering; or, Giving/Generosity - Give and serve!
      1. Jesus was all about 2 things: the Son of man(did not come to be served) but came came to serve and give His life a ransom for many.
      2. Believe - 300x in Bible; Pray - 200x; Love - 700x; Give - more than 2000x!!!
      3. You can live without giving but you can’t love without giving.
      4. Giving is a spiritual discipline. Give to be a blessing.
      5. Generosity is the greatest cure of apathy. Where your treasure is, there yur heart will be
      6. Secret to getting out of debt is generosity.
      7. Let’s starting to look at what we can give instead of what we could get.
      8. Generosity is the antidote to greed.
      9. It’s God desiring to create a culture of generosity!
        1. Our church will never look more like God, than when we exude generosity!!! (Joe Stowell; Exponential 07)
  2. OUR PERPETUAL PORTION!
    1. DUTIES OF PRIESTS! (1-7)
    2. (1) How were the Levites to bear the iniquity of the congregation?
      1. Cleanse by means of a substitutionary offering.
      2. Aaron & his sons were to make the sins of the people so truly their own that they were to eat the sin-offering.
      3. Jesus Christ alone satisfies the requirements of this chapter!
        1. He who knew no sin became sin for us.
      4. Thus we found security in that Jesus whom we despised & rejected.
    3. (6) Helpers that God brings our way to assist us, are considered gifts!
      1. ​​​​​​​We must accept them & be grateful for them.
      2. Understand, some of these “helpers” were levites who had rebelled against Moses & Aaron, but God still gave them the privilege of serving Him, & helping the priests.
    4. (7) I give the priesthood to you as a gift of service - The priesthood was a privileged service, God-given & God-appointed.
    5. If you’re in the will of God your work is a divine vocation.
      1. Last week - we defined being in the will of God as: If you are Saved; Spirit-Filled(yielded); Sanctified; Submissive(to God); Suffering(from Phil.1:29 it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him)...then the next principle is, Do whatever you want!
      2. ​​​​​​​Wherever you serve in this world do you see it as a privileged service, God-given & God-appointed?
    6. OFFERINGS FOR SUPPORT! (8-20)
    7. (8) God has given us what we need!
      1. ​​​​​​​He fed the priests from the sacrifices brought to the altar & later in vs.21 from the tithes. It’s a Perpetual Portion!
      2. 1 Tim 5:18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (from Jesus, in Lk.10:7)
      3. 1 Cor.9:13,14 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. (J.W. issue)
    8. (12) I have given them to you - The love that appointed this ministry(God) provided for its maintenance by granting to it all the best of the oil, best wine, best wheat.
      1. They were to receive gladly the best part of the sacrifices.
        1. Sometimes its very difficult to receive from others.
    9. Their giving was to be their best! Years ago Queen Mary used to make annual visits to Scotland. They loved her so much she was free to move freely among the people w/o a private escort. One afternoon while walking with some children, she went out rather far. Dark clouds came unexpectedly, so she stopped at a nearby house of a commoner to borrow an umbrella. “If you lend it to me, I will send it back to you tomorrow,” she promised. The lady who answered the door was reluctant to give the stranger her best one, & so got an old castoff umbrella out of the attic. One of the ribs was broken, & there were several holes in the fabric. Apologizing, the lady turned it over to the Queen, who she did not recognize. The next day there was another knock at the door. When she opened it, she saw a man in gold braid, evidently one of the royal guards, holding in his hand her old, tattered umbrella. “The Queen sent me,” he said. “She asked me to thank you for loaning her this.” For a moment the poor woman was stunned; then she burst into tears. “Oh, what an opportunity I missed when I did not give her my very best! She cried.
      1. What is your best talent, your choicest asset?
      2. Have you given your all cheerfully & heartily to the Lord?
        1. By this gauge, test your professed love for Jesus!
      3. Give God your best today! Remember, “delayed obedience is a brother of disobedience!”
    10. (20) God has given us Himself!
      1. ​​​​​​​The priests & levites were assigned places to live in Israel, but they did not have property from which they could get income.
      2. They had to trust God to meet their needs.
        1. But when God is your inheritance...what more do you need?
    11. Read Ps.16:5,6
    12. In Maui there is a restaurant called The Gazebo [in Napili Shores Resort] (N. of Lahaina)
      1. Explain 1st the base, Macadamia Nut Pancakes – Then! the whipped butter, w/cool whip, & a little butterscotch whipped in. – Then! Coconut syrup! :-)
      2. That’s my best description of Psalm 16 – It starts with the base(good pancakes); & then it just gets sweeter as it goes along!
      3. This is a Psalm of delight! [We find no trials or tribulations in this song]
      4. Its characteristic mood is joyous trust!
    13. (Ps.16:5) You – Not just God’s hand, or God’s gifts, but God Himself!
      1. ​​​​​​​You are my portion – (Levites: they stood separate & apart. They were given no territorial possessions)
      2. What a great way to express the centrality & priority of the Lord in your life! – Q: Is He “your” portion?
      3. He who has God as his portion is destitute of nothing which is necessary to constitute a happy life. (John Calvin; Day 41; Psalm 16.)
      4. Let God choose your inheritance for you, instead of fighting for something you’ll only struggle to keep & ultimately lose in the end.
      5. My inheritance – we sing, All I have needed thine hand had provided!” (from, Great Is Thy Faithfulness)
    14. (Ps.16:6) Lines – boarders, boundaries.
      1. God, in His providence knows “where to draw the lines.”
      2. Prov. 30:8,9 Agur prayed, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, "Who is the LORD?" Or Lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.
      3. Problems arise when people don’t know where His lines are. Or, they know, & they keep wanting to move the line!
      4. God is to the Psalmist as the choicest lands which have been lined off & assigned to him.
    15. (19) Covenant of Salt - key word forever.
      1. Placed on all Sacrifices. Lev.2:13 And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt
        1. Dead Sea(or Salt Sea) is a great illustration for them of something that is perpetual.
          1. Tons of Salt per year is harvested from there.
      2. You’ll hear this used in weddings. It is a covenant of perpetual obligation!
        1. One quote I heard, “place it in adverse weather & it sticks together!”
        2. This was an inviolable covenant! (never to be broken)
    16. TITHES FOR SUPPORT! (21-24)
    17. (21) Compensation.
    18. TITHES AS COMPENSATION! (25-32)
    19. (28) Though the Levites sustenance was assured from the gifts of Israel, he was not absolved from the privilege & duty of contributing to the service of God.
      1. He too must contribute a tithe for the support of the priests.
      2. We are members one of another. Eph.4:25
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Numbers 18". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/numbers-18.html. 2017.
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