“It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.” I suppose that statement might mean different things to different people at different times. For many, it is an optimistic statement grounded in the historical reality of the darkness of Good Friday that was followed by the brightness of Resurrection Sunday. Some well-known sermons have carried this title and have encouraged believers that, as dark as things may appear, the gospel of Jesus Christ provides hope for the future and for the present. That is a helpful truth for these days.
But for pastors, who regularly preach, the phrase can carry a more ominous meaning: “It’s very late in the week; the sermon is a long way from completion; I’d better hurry up because Sunday is coming, sooner than I’d like!” I’ve been there. Desperation, rather than resurrection, is usually on my mind! Thankfully, however, this is not the case this week. It’s Friday, and I’m very enthused that Sunday is coming.
As I have studied Numbers 3, I have come to appreciate its wonders, even though, on the surface, it doesn’t appear so wonderful. In fact, most readers, including myself, are tempted to rush through it on their journey to get to the “good stuff.” Well, after reading and researching and ruminating on these 51 verses, let me put in a good word for Numbers 3 (and Numbers for 4, for that matter!): There is much food here to feed the soul of the Christian, to nourish the sheep of God’s flock, to edify the local church, and to evangelise the lost. But for us to benefit from this passage, we need to be prepared. It’s Friday, Sunday is coming, and, with Numbers 3 on the menu, if we will enjoy it, we need to prepare.
In this chapter, God teaches us about acceptable, authorised worship. He instructs us to take his presence seriously. We can summarise the chapter by the phrase, worship can be dangerous. Though, in obvious ways, this theme is discernible by a casual reading, yet to fully appreciate this truth, we will need to dig below the surface. I desire to help us to do this. But you will need to be prepared.
If you will more fully benefit from our time of teaching Sunday morning, take some time to prepare beforehand by reading, and re-reading, these 51 verses. Read them slowly and note anything of interest that arises. This will help you to follow the sermon more meaningfully.
I trust that, as we spend time in Numbers 3 this Sunday, not only will some of your questions be answered, but you will see some great truths on your own.
May the Lord open our eyes so that we might behold wonderful things out of his law (Psalm 119:18). And as indicated, this is more likely to happen if we are prepared.
Preparing with, and for you,