In this chapter the arrangement and duties of the Levites were assigned.
- Moses with Aaron and his sons set up camp along the east side of the tabernacle.
- Sons of Kohath were on the south side.
- Gershon's sons occupied the west side.
- Merari's sons were on the north side.
At the Passover, God had spared the firstborn of all the Israelite families, but required that they all be dedicated to Him. So now they counted all the firstborn sons, age one month and older, and there were 22,273.
Rather than take each firstborn son into God's service, God assigned the tribe of Levi to take their place. So, they counted the tribe of Levi, and there were 22,000.
The Levites would take the place of all the firstborn sons of Israel, but there weren't quite enough of them. So the remaining 273 firstborns were ransomed at five shekels apiece.
REFLECTION: God is being very particular! You might think He would overlook the 273 extra firstborns. After all, it's not their fault they number more than the Levites. Who would notice 273 out of 22,000? I find it easy to rationalize that way. I have to be careful not to think lightly of what is due to God. All that I have and all that I am really belongs to Him for His service. I need to guard against keeping even a little bit for myself.
Lord, You have ransomed me and made me Your own. Let me serve You with all that I am, all that I can do, all that I have. Amen.