Bobby Chaw continues his message on Numbers, focusing on the ministry of the priests and Levites.
“Anointing and consecration go hand in hand,” said City Harvest Church’s executive pastor Bobby Chaw on the weekend of July 22 to 23 as he continued his teaching series on the Book of Numbers. Chaw has been preaching out of Numbers for much of this year, demystifying a challenging book for many Christians.
The book of Numbers records the 40-year journey of the children of Israel’s journey from Egypt to the Promise Land. At this service, Chaw preached from Numbers 3, which explains the ministry of the priests, and Levites.
Chaw emphasized the need to serve diligently and not grow sluggish in one’s ministry. Reading from Numbers 3:3, Chaw noted that the sons of Aarons were “anointed priests, whom he consecrated to minister as priests”.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”
“These verses are about us!” Chaw pointed out. “Just like the sons of Aaron, we are a chosen generation of a royal priesthood. We have the privilege to carry the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.”
However, with great privilege comes great responsibility. It is a Christian’s responsibility to be consecrated, said Chaw. “Anointing and consecration go hand-in-hand. When you are consecrated, the anointing will come.”
The pastor went on to preach that the ministry of the priests and Levites was literally a “life or death” service on behalf of the people. If they were not consecrated and were careless in the way they carry out their job, they would die.
To illustrate his point, Chaw read from Numbers 3:4 where the ministry of the priest was mentioned for the first time in the Bible. Here, Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron went against God and offered profane fire. As a result, they lost their lives.
Leviticus 10:1-2 explains that the priests had offered “profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.”
“Nadab and Abihu were presumptuous, they had a ‘who cares?’ attitude when it came to the things of God,” said Chaw.
The pastor introduced two words: “insouciant”, which means to show a casual lack of concern and “languid”, which means to show a disinclination for physical exertion or effort. Reading from Leviticus 10:3, he instructed the congregation not to be careless when it comes to the things of God. They ought to revere and respect God’s commandments, as He is a Holy God.
“This means that I cannot have a casual attitude,” he added. “I cannot be late for service, or dress in a sloppy manner.”
MINISTRY OF THE LEVITES
Reading Numbers 3:5-9, Chaw highlighted two basic principles of the ministry.
Firstly, God calls the leaders. Numbers 3:5-6 says that God chose the tribe of Levi as the servants in the tabernacle.
“Leaders in the ministry do not appoint themselves to the positions, they are called by God. Since God is the one who calls them, He is also the one that determines the qualifications.”
On this note, Chaw shared a personal story of his time as a physical training instructor in the army. He had to train as a lifeguard in open water and part of the training included the “2:30 Test”. This entailed saving a drowning person in full uniform with a rifle. PTIs had to perform the rescue within two and a half minutes.
Chaw was extremely fit when he was young and in the army, but 17 years later, he found the test nearly impossible to perform during his reservist training. He asked if he could be granted a longer time to complete the task. His instructor replied said it took a person less than three minutes to drown. Hence if the PTI did not stay fit and could not complete the task in two minutes and thirty seconds, a life would be lost.
“We are called to be life-savers, to be a witness for Christ and to save the lost,” said Chaw. “We cannot say that because we are older, we have no time for cell group and fellowship or we have no time to pray. We must make a decision to discipline our body and keep our qualification. ”
Subsequently, Chaw explained that a minister is one who makes sacrifices. It is because of the price one pays that grants one power and anointing.
Secondly, different people are called to different ministries. Numbers 3:21-37 listed the roles of the tribes of Levites such as Kohath, Gershon, and Merari. Some roles were more arduous than others were; the tribe of Merari, for instance, was in charge of the heavy lifting of furniture.
“Do not compare your ministry with others. God is looking for people who are faithful in whatever they are called to do. It doesn’t matter what position you are in; it’s your heart that matters to God,” Chaw concluded, quoting from Colossians 3:23-24.