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This chapter contains the account of the offerings of the princes of Israel, at the dedication of the tabernacle, and of the altar. It is rendered the more remarkable, in that it relates the gracious condescension of GOD, in speaking to Moses from the mercy seat.
The gospel of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, serves to explain the cause and origin of this free-will offering of the princes, when it tells us that it is GOD which worketh in us, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 .
If, as some suppose, these waggons were for the purpose of carrying the tabernacle furniture, from place to place; doth it not serve to teach that everything on earth, even ordinances and temple service are moveable things in GOD'S house. None but JESUS is a lasting mercy. Sweet LORD! it is thy peculiar character, that thou art the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8 .
What a gracious GOD is Israel's GOD, who accepteth according to that a man hath, if there be a willing mind. 2 Corinthians 8:12 . But Reader! never forget that the acceptance of our poor gifts, pre-supposeth the acceptance of our persons; and both in JESUS only. Ephesians 1:6 . It is said of Abel that the LORD had respect to his person, and (then) to his offering. Genesis 4:4 . Dearest JESUS! grant that my soul may be accepted in thee; and then am I sure that my poor breathings of praise, however poor, will not be rejected by thee. Job here is a sweet type of JESUS. Job 42:8 .
I only detain the Reader to remark in the perusal of these verses, the striking difference in the sons of Kohath, to that of the others. Upon their bare shoulders their burden was to be borne; no doubt by way of intimating the preciousness of the treasure they carried. Nothing is holy enough to bear the ark of GOD. Nothing, my soul, in thee is holy enough to touch JESUS, of whom the ark was a type: and yet blessed be his name, he condescends to touch thee, see Matthew 8:3 . See that awful instance in the case of Uzzah, for the reverse of this: 2 Samuel 6:6-7 . But what sanctity ought to distinguish those who minister in holy things, and bear the vessels of the LORD? Isaiah 52:11 .
If I avoid detaining the Reader, while going over these many verses, it is not because any or either of them is uninteresting; but, because, in the Poor Man's Commentary I am studying to compress all I can, within the smallest compass. Indeed, but for this, I should detain the Reader to observe to him, how gracious it was in the HOLY GHOST, thus to cause every man's offering to be particularly, and specially noticed. Reader say, supposing you had borne a part, in those solemn services and dedications to the LORD; would you not be glad to find your name graciously marked down: and on the contrary would you not have been much distressed, if neglected, or passed over unnoticed? It is very refreshing to a true believer in JESUS, to know by such marks that GOD doth not overlook, or forget his labour of love. Hebrews 6:10 . Reader! take notice of the sin-offering, joined to the gifts of the princes. Yes! JESUS must be in all our offerings to atone for them, for there is sin mixed with all we do. Reader! remark also, that the gifts of the princes were all alike. Yes! the greatest offerings of the rich, and the humble offerings of the poor; all must be sanctified by Him who alone sanctifieth both the gift, and giver. And who is that but JESUS, who is all in all, to his people. 2 Corinthians 8:15 . But above all, Reader, do not overlook that the LORD JESUS is himself, both our tabernacle, our altar and offering. And while we bring at anytime of our poor oblations to the LORD, oh! for grace to think duly of that one offering of himself, by which he hath forever perfected them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14 .
Here would I desire the Reader to pause, and to remark with me, the gracious goodness and wonderful condescension of our GOD. What a proof was this in speaking from the mercy seat, that GOD hears prayers, and answers them. But while this becomes so truly encouraging to the people of GOD in all ages of his church; let us reflect yet further upon the mercy, in considering by whom, and through whom, this revelation was then, and still is made. Who was it, think you, that thus spoke to Moses? Was it not the LORD JESUS! Remember what John saith. No man hath seen GOD at any time: the only begotten SON which is in the bosom of the FATHER, he hath declared him. John 1:18 . Hence we may infer, that it was the LORD'S CHRIST, by whom his mercy was manifested: and then, as well as now, all communion between the Holy Trinity, and our nature is carried on by the LORD JESUS! Precious thought! Reader! I charge you think of it, and pray for grace to keep it always in view, and especially when approaching the mercy seat. There, I would say to my soul; there is One, whom the FATHER heareth alway; and through whom I may at all times approach; not as a servant, but as a son; not in the spirit of bondage, but in the spirit of adoption, whereby I may cry, Abba FATHER! Romans 8:15 .
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25