setting up the tabernacle

The Flaw in the System

Bible in 90 Days – Day 10 – Numbers 1-8

setting up the tabernacle
By illustrators of the 1728 Figures de la Bible, Gerard Hoet (1648–1733) and others, published by P. de Hondt in The Hague in 1728 –, Public Domain, Link

Today’s reading is about the “kickoff” of the tabernacle service of the Levites. So much attention to detail of precisely how many people were present, precisely where they were to camp, how they were to set up and tear down, precisely how much money was brought in by each tribe to dedicate the tabernacle, and precisely who was to do what and for how long among the Levites is service of Israel in the tabernacle.

In setting up His theocratic nation, God explicitly spelled out every single detail oHis will for the operation of daily life. He left no questions about what was required of whom, or what style and form worship should take, and precisely what do to in situational ethics. All was written down.

Israel was without excuses. They were totally clear on the requirements.

And yet they failed.

Just like Adam.

Just like us.

Adam was placed in paradise, with a single command, and failed. Israel was given an explicitly codified governmental system, and failed.

Herein is our lesson in anthropology. We are totally dependent on God’s love and mercy, because we are incapable of earning it through performance, because we are incapable of perfect performance. Even in paradise. Even with a flawless governmental system. We are the flaw in the system.