Week of Monday, March 28 – Sunday, April 3
Three Books – Man as Chaplain
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel and say to them, ‘My offering, my food for my food offerings, my pleasing aroma, you shall be careful to offer to me at its appointed time.’” – Numbers 28:1-2 ESV
Ken Blackwell, my good friend and battle buddy, talks about three benchmarks for believers, and they revolve around what we do with three books: 1) The Good Book, how much time we spend in God’s word; 2) Our Check Book, how we spend the money God has entrusted to us; 3) Our Date Book, how we spend the time God gives us.
In Numbers 28 and 29, the Good Book shows God’s sovereignty over our checkbook—our cash, and our datebook—our calendar. There are a bunch of costly sacrifices to be made and a dizzying number of dates to be kept in the worship of God. Believe it or not, all of this applies to our role as Chaplains. Men are spiritual leaders who impress on our families and those in our charge the fact that our cash and our calendar ultimately belong to God. 
When you survey these two chapters, that stewardship becomes more clear. First, daily sacrifices were to be made, both morning and evening. That speaks of relationship. Every morning, we give our day to God and every evening we close the day with God. Second, weekly sacrifices were to be made for the Sabbath, which was God‘s day, a day of worship, but also a day of rest. God gave the sabbath as a day of rest, which is his plan for our peak performance.
Third, there is the monthly sacrifice on the first day, recognizing that the whole month is dedicated to the Lord. This speaks of the routine of worship. When you turn the page on your calendar, the first day of the month belongs to God. Get into the routine of giving your calendar to God. 
Then there are the annual sacrifices on the feast days. Though they’re not all evident here in Numbers 28-29, there were seven annual Jewish feast days or festivals. This speaks of the annual rhythm of worship. In Numbers 28, the Feast of Passover speaks of redemption, commemorating the exodus from Egypt and out of slavery. The Feast of Unleavened Bread speaks of removal. In preparation they were to remove all yeast or leaven, which is most often a symbol of sin. The Feast of First Fruits speaks of renewal. The sacrifice of those first shocks of barley is a recognition that God is causing the earth to yield its fruit for our food again. Then came the Feast of Weeks, which we call Pentecost, speaks of representation. That sacrifice was representative of the entire harvest from the First Fruits of barley to the Feast of Weeks when the last wheat was gathered. 
In Numbers 29, the Israelites were to participate in the next three of the seven observances in rapid succession during the seventh month. First, the Feast of Trumpets speaks of readiness. Ten days of preparation for the Day of Atonement comes next, which speaks of repentance. Yom Kippur was when atonement for sin was made with the two goats, one sacrificed and one sent away, to represent their sin that not only was covered by the blood but also removed. Finally, there was the Feast of Tabernacles, which speaks of remembrance. This celebration and its sacrifices were in remembrance of their time in the wilderness and involved camping out with the kids under the stars in a homemade shelter, fathers teaching their children about the faithfulness of God to provide for them and guide them through their 40 years in the wilderness into the Promised Land.
What do all these sacrifices and holy days represent? It is all an invitation to the rhythm of worship. All of this communicates that our date book, our outlook calendar, our personal calendar, all our days, weeks, months, and years belong to God. And our checkbook ultimately belongs to God, represented by all the sacrifices, which were numerous and quite a costly investment. All these ceremonies, which were intricate in detail, very involved, and time-consuming as well as expensive, demonstrate the importance and great worth of the object of our worship. God is worthy of our worship, including cash and calendar. As Chaplains, it is our responsibility to communicate that truth. Men, stay in the Good Book, be generous with your checkbook, and honor God with your date book.
  • How would you assess how you are doing with the three “Books?” Are you spending sufficient time in the Good Book to communicate its truths with your family as the spiritual leader? Are you setting an example in being generous with the finances God has entrusted by investing in kingdom work, like tithing in your local church and giving offerings to advance the gospel? Are you taking the lead in shepherding your family to participate in the rhythm of daily and weekly worship?
  • What steps can you take to be a better steward of your finances and time as a part of your worship of God?
  • Ask God to help you be that spiritual leader who sets the pace and example when it comes to the three “Books.”