Numbers 7:1-89 – More Than Just 1 of 353,000 Babies Born on Earth Yesterday!

Posted: July 26, 2016 in Book of Numbers

Numbers 7:1-89

Offerings of Dedication

Yesterday, I joined an exclusive club, the grandfather club. I am now the proud grandfather (hopefully to be called Poppy or G-pa or something cool like that – instead of granddad) of my first grandchild, Ralyn Ahna Greer. My oldest daughter, Meghan, gave birth to her after 18 hours of labor. My little girl had a rough time of it. They finally had to do a C-section because Ralyn was beginning to be in distress with each contraction. I sit here thankful that both my daughter and my granddaughter are in good health. Miss Ralyn is such a sweet child. Of course, she slept a lot yesterday but the only time she seemed to cry was when the nurses were messing with her (doing the stuff they have to do when a baby is first born) or when she had to have her diaper changed. So, life has changed for the Bowling household. We are no longer parents of three grown daughters. We are now parents of three grown daughters and a granddaughter. When there is family milestone such as the birth of a first grandchild is reached, we take stock of who we are as a family. It makes you realize that we must dedicate ourselves anew. We must pray for my daughter, Meghan, and her husband, Curtis, to have the Holy Spirit rest of them as they raise this child. May they raise this child up in the ways of the Lord so that she will never depart from it. We must pray that they will love this child unconditionally. Praise her when she needs praising. Discipline her when she needs disciplining. We pray that they will not tear her down but give her great self-confidence so that she will grow to be a woman who is unafraid and one who is able to take on the world on her own terms.

 

As grandparents, Elena and I must be sure that we give Meghan and Curtis room to parent this child. We must though play our role of grandparents well. We must dedicate ourselves to being there when we are needed. As we have been adults with adult children, we have made other things important in our lives with our empty nest. Let us dedicate ourselves to making Ralyn a top priority in our lives. If we cannot run our expanded “house” (our expanded family) well, how can God trust us with bigger things in our roles among God’s faithful people. We must raise Ralyn to know that her grandparents place such great importance on her that we will MAKE time for her – for her kindergarten musicals, for her PTA meetings, for recitals, for dance exhibitions, for her firsts in life, for her prom nights, for whatever that is important to her. We must be willing to say that I cannot do this or that on that night because we have a “Ralyn event” to attend. We must open our home to her on a moment’s notice when Meghan and Curtis need us to do so. We must dedicate ourselves to just being there for Ralyn and helping her when she needs help, loving her whenever she needs that uncommon acceptance of a grandparent. Let us not treat her like an experiment for making up for all the mistakes we made as parents. Let us just enjoy her. Let us teach her in ways that parents cannot but let us simply enjoy this new life. We can teach but we can also have fun. Let us play peep-eye as much as we show her flash cards of words and letters. Let us dress up for her tea parties as much as we teach her English and Spanish. Let us run around and chase as she giggles because we can’t seem to catch her as much as we read to her as she falls asleep in our laps. Let us listen as much as we talk. Let us love her for being Ralyn as much as we have high expectations of her becoming a self-sufficient young women not dependent on anyone. This is the dedication. This is the consecration. This is the promise to be made. We must dedicate ourselves to our new task in life, our new role. May we be up to the task. It is certainly the easier of the roles of being a parent vs. being a grandparent, but it is no less in important to the well-rounded nature of our granddaughter. This is the dedication of ourselves to our new roles and let us see where this ride will take us.

 

When I read through what seemed a very repetitive and long passage/chapter of Numbers today, Numbers 7:1-89, it was that idea of dedication and offering up to the Lord our best as we read through how every tribe came to the Tabernacle and gave the same offerings so that the Tabernacle would be well-stocked, had the materials and animals that it needed to do its job among the people

 

 

7 When Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it and all its furnishings. He also anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils. 2 Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of families who were the tribal leaders in charge of those who were counted, made offerings. 3 They brought as their gifts before the Lord six covered carts and twelve oxen—an ox from each leader and a cart from every two. These they presented before the tabernacle.

 

4 The Lord said to Moses, 5 “Accept these from them, that they may be used in the work at the tent of meeting. Give them to the Levites as each man’s work requires.”

 

6 So Moses took the carts and oxen and gave them to the Levites. 7 He gave two carts and four oxen to the Gershonites, as their work required, 8 and he gave four carts and eight oxen to the Merarites, as their work required. They were all under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest. 9 But Moses did not give any to the Kohathites, because they were to carry on their shoulders the holy things, for which they were responsible.

 

10 When the altar was anointed, the leaders brought their offerings for its dedication and presented them before the altar. 11 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Each day one leader is to bring his offering for the dedication of the altar.”

 

12 The one who brought his offering on the first day was Nahshon son of Amminadab of the tribe of Judah.

 

13 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels[a] and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels,[b] both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 14 one gold dish weighing ten shekels,[c] filled with incense; 15 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 16 one male goat for a sin offering[d]; 17 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Nahshon son of Amminadab.

 

18 On the second day Nethanel son of Zuar, the leader of Issachar, brought his offering.

 

19 The offering he brought was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 20 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 21 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 22 one male goat for a sin offering; 23 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Nethanel son of Zuar.

 

24 On the third day, Eliab son of Helon, the leader of the people of Zebulun, brought his offering.

 

25 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 26 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 27 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 28 one male goat for a sin offering; 29 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Eliab son of Helon.

 

30 On the fourth day Elizur son of Shedeur, the leader of the people of Reuben, brought his offering.

 

31 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 32 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 33 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 34 one male goat for a sin offering; 35 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Elizur son of Shedeur.

 

36 On the fifth day Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, the leader of the people of Simeon, brought his offering.

 

37 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 38 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 39 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 40 one male goat for a sin offering; 41 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.

 

42 On the sixth day Eliasaph son of Deuel, the leader of the people of Gad, brought his offering.

 

43 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 44 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 45 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 46 one male goat for a sin offering; 47 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Eliasaph son of Deuel.

 

48 On the seventh day Elishama son of Ammihud, the leader of the people of Ephraim, brought his offering.

 

49 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 50 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 51 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 52 one male goat for a sin offering; 53 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Elishama son of Ammihud.

 

54 On the eighth day Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, the leader of the people of Manasseh, brought his offering.

 

55 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 56 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 57 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 58 one male goat for a sin offering; 59 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.

 

60 On the ninth day Abidan son of Gideoni, the leader of the people of Benjamin, brought his offering.

 

61 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 62 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 63 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 64 one male goat for a sin offering; 65 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Abidan son of Gideoni.

 

66 On the tenth day Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai, the leader of the people of Dan, brought his offering.

 

67 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 68 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 69 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 70 one male goat for a sin offering; 71 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.

 

72 On the eleventh day Pagiel son of Okran, the leader of the people of Asher, brought his offering.

 

73 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 74 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 75 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 76 one male goat for a sin offering; 77 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Pagiel son of Okran.

 

78 On the twelfth day Ahira son of Enan, the leader of the people of Naphtali, brought his offering.

 

79 His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 80 one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 81 one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 82 one male goat for a sin offering; 83 and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Ahira son of Enan.

 

84 These were the offerings of the Israelite leaders for the dedication of the altar when it was anointed: twelve silver plates, twelve silver sprinkling bowls and twelve gold dishes. 85 Each silver plate weighed a hundred and thirty shekels, and each sprinkling bowl seventy shekels. Altogether, the silver dishes weighed two thousand four hundred shekels,[e] according to the sanctuary shekel. 86 The twelve gold dishes filled with incense weighed ten shekels each, according to the sanctuary shekel. Altogether, the gold dishes weighed a hundred and twenty shekels.[f] 87 The total number of animals for the burnt offering came to twelve young bulls, twelve rams and twelve male lambs a year old, together with their grain offering. Twelve male goats were used for the sin offering. 88 The total number of animals for the sacrifice of the fellowship offering came to twenty-four oxen, sixty rams, sixty male goats and sixty male lambs a year old. These were the offerings for the dedication of the altar after it was anointed.

 

89 When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him.

 

It struck me too that although to us, the readers of this passage, we see the 12 times the same act is repeated but to each of the individual tribes that participated in the offerings of dedication, it was the first time and the only time for them. To them it was not the 11th or 12th repetition when the 11th or 12th tribe appeared at the Tabernacle. It was their time and their only time to dedicate what they had brought before the Lord. Although God had seen each dedication multiple times after the first tribe, he made them no less important. Each tribe’s dedication is given equal press in this passage. It may seem repetitious to us but it shows how God, through the repetitions in this passage, is saying that each tribe is important to Him. There is a lesson in that for us in that God teaches us that we are all are important to Him. He could have inspired Moses to summarize quickly the dedications of Tribes 2-12 after describing Tribe 1’s dedication in detail. No, each tribe’s dedication was described in detail. Each tribe is important to God.

 

That is my takeaway and my tie-in today as we write this blog. Babies are born every day in every city and in every town in every county and in every state and in every nation on earth. Elena and I were not unique yesterday. According to United Nations statistics, 353,000 babies, on average, are born into this world each day. So, during the twenty-four hours of yesterday, July 25, 2016 (little Miss Ralyn’s birthday), we joined a fraternity of 1.4 Million people (assuming 2 sets of 2 grands per child born) who became grandparents yesterday. This group of people on planet Earth that became grandparents yesterday, many of us for the very first time, probably this morning on the day after the birth of their grandchild are sitting somewhere reflecting on what it means to be a grandparent and discussing it with God and dedicating themselves to being the best grandparent that they can be – just like I did above at the beginning of my blog. There are 1.4 Million dedications going up to the Lord this morning from us who became grandparents on July 25th. It is mind boggling to think that these same prayers are going up all over the world this morning as we the freshly-minted grandparents (or grandparents again) offer up our prayers for our grandchildren. They are unique to us individually. They are important to us individually. God gives them all equal air time though. Each grandparent’s prayer for the future of their grandchild is important to Him. Each grandchild is important to Him. He hears our prayers for our grandchild and hears each one individually.

 

It is through the miracles of God that we are now grandparents this morning reflecting on the birth of our grandchild yesterday. The true miracle is that God cares about Ralyn as the unique soul that she is and will be. She is not just one of 353,000 children born yesterday on planet Earth. She is a unique child of God that He will care about individually and that He will love individually just like He will with all 353,000 babies born yesterday, and today and tomorrow and tomorrow after that. Ralyn is loved by God with the greatest of intensity just as much as He loves me with great intensity. We all get equal press in the heart of God. He loved us all so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross for our sins so that we could be reconciled to Him. Each of us. Each one of us is that important to Him.

 

So when you read through the repetitiveness of some of the passages in Numbers such as this one. Remember, each tribe was of utmost important to Him. So much so that he influenced Moses to write the same thing 12 times about the same things. All are important. There is no one unimportant to God. My granddaughter is a child of God. My granddaughter is unique to Him. My granddaughter is of utmost importance to Him. He heard my dedication as a grandparent this morning. It was as important to Him as the 1.4 Million other grandparents’ dedications this morning. We are all important to God. Each and every one of us.

 

Amen and Amen.

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