In Pursuit of Life (Numbers 8)

Summary:

I knew I shouldn’t have clicked on it.

It was a news story about a young girl who had been kidnapped. Eight years old. African-American. She’d been kidnapped and molested by a man who was fifty years old. The story revealed police body cam footage from the officers who rescued the girl. She was found. The story had a happy ending, technically. Still, I knew I shouldn’t click on the story. Because I knew it would break my heart.

There were no policeman in the Israelites’ time – no court of law or body cams, but there were crimes just as heinous. Sins just as grievous. The Levites were sort of the first responders of the Bible times, at least where sin was concerned. They heard confessions, determined judgment, and made sure the judgment – in the form of sacrifices – was successfully completed.

It sounds like a big deal because it is, and the Bible treats it that way. In this chapter the Bible describes how the Levites were purified and then set apart for this service. They washed themselves, shaved their bodies, and then presented themselves as offerings to God to be used in His service.

They gave their lives to save lives.

How to Save a Life

Yes, save lives. Each sacrifice meant renewed hope of someday living forever.  And God reminds Moses in verse 19 that the Levites’ job of making atonement for the Israelites’ sins prevented plagues from striking them as punishment.

To suit up every day and save lives? What would you be willing to sacrifice in order to save someone’s life? What about your own life?

“I’ve dedicated my life to Christ”. “Complete surrender to God”. “We’re here to glorify God in everything”. We’ve heard it before. We know it’s supposed to be us. But it’s more than just pretty words or the Christian ideal.

It’s about saving our lives.

Because if we dedicate ourselves to literally anything else we’re going to destroy ourselves. We know that’s true because all it takes is a glance around to be reminded of the absolute dumpster fire that is this world. Doing our own thing leads to selfishness and hurting others and breaking laws and straight-up, undiluted pain.

So we purify ourselves like the Levites did not because we have to get good to get God, but because it’s how we escape the pain. We offer our careers and our bodies to God not because it’s an item on our “good Christian” checklist, but because we want to finish the work and get off of this burning planet. We dedicate our hearts, our lives, and our very selves to Jesus not because it sounds good, but because the other option is hopeless suffering and eternal death.

We do it to save our lives. We do it to save the lives of those who don’t know Jesus yet. We do it because the other option is currently crumbling around us.

God’s Message To Us: “I want to make you Mine.”

Set apart. God wants to set us apart as His possessions, as the ones who will meet Him when He comes back, as the ones who will live forever with Him. He wants to mark us down as living. As accounted for. As saved. If He loved us just a little bit less, He would force us all to make the right decision. Instead, He chases us, wooing us to choose for ourselves.

I clicked on the story about the little girl who was kidnapped. I read it. I watched the video. And then I broke down sobbing because no eight year old should have to live through that nightmare. No parent should have to watch the effect that has on their child. These things shouldn’t be happening. The horrors we live through every day should not be happening.

What would you be willing to do to make it all stop?

Our way isn’t working. It’s time to purify ourselves. It’s time to offer our lives as offerings. It’s time to dedicate ourselves, to set ourselves apart, to save lives.

Will we be His? Will we suit up and fight for our lives?

What do you think? What do we need to do to save our lives? Comment below and share with someone you think can relate to this.

 

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