When we were in Leviticus, we learned about the different offerings that could be brought before the LORD (Lev 1-7). Here in Numbers, the LORD instructs Israel what offerings they are to bring as a congregation, day by day, and on feast days, for the offerings were to be brought at their appointed time – their moed (Num 28:2). One theme runs through the instruction: there is to be a burnt offering with its grain offering and its drink offering.
The burnt offering is the olah, the voluntary offering which was to be brought by those who were in right standing with God (Lev 1). The daily olah was to be offered in the morning and the evening, so that there was a burnt offering continually on the altar before the LORD (the KJV translates Num 28:3, “…for a continual burnt offering”).
Well, there is no more temple and no more altar, so we can just ignore this part of Scripture, right? We have seen that every command of Scripture has its purpose, and many times the commands are not only practical but also prophetic, and I believe that is the case with the law of the olah, and the grain and drink offerings also.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Rom 12:1
Paul in encouraging us to become living olahs, living whole burnt offerings. Whole, because we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mar 12:30). Burnt, because Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Mat 3:11). If we could see into the spiritual world, would we appear as it were a burning bush, burning but not being consumed? And offering, because we are crucified with Messiah, and we are no longer living for ourselves, but for Him who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal 2:20)!
We are to live this way continually, daily. On the LORD’s appointed times, we especially remind ourselves of these truths, and rededicate ourselves to Him in these truths. The grain offering, is bread, and the drink offering, is wine. Bread and wine … Communion? That is my opinion.
For further study: There are more repeating elements in today’s reading. This is the second time we have read about Zelophehad’s daughters, and also the waters of Meribah. Are they pairs in chaistic structures? Remember that smaller structures can be within larger ones, and also structures can overlap each other. If you find structures, note the central axis. Why has God put neon flashing lights around that passage?
Finding Messiah: The LORD repeats that Moses will not lead the people in to the Promised Land because he rebelled against Him and did not hallow Him in the eyes of the congregation at the waters of Meribah (Num 27:13-14). Unbelief cannot inherit the Land! So Joshua is inaugurated shepherd to lead the people in. This is also prophetic, for no one can inherit the promise by obedience to the Law (by obedience to Moses), but only as Yeshua (Joshua is in Hebrew, Yeshua) is Shepherd over them, they can inherit the promise.
For further reading:
The Living Olah