Sermon #100 Exodus Series
Title: A Certain Number
A Certain Price
A Certain Result
Text: Exodus 30:11-16
Subject: The Numbering of Israel and The
Atonement Money Required
Date: Tuesday Evening — June 16, 2008
Tape : Exodus #100
Readings: 2 Samuel 24:1-17
Larry Criss and Rex Bartley
Turn with me to Exodus 30. In verses 11-16 we are given God’s law regarding the numbering of the children of Israel and the atonement money they paid, so that no plague come upon them. The title of my message is: — A Certain Number, A Certain Price, A Certain Result. Let’s read Exodus 30:11-16 together. Here we have a very instructive and blessed type and picture of our redemption, the ransom of our souls, by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Exodus 30:11-16) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, (12) When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. (13) This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. (14) Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. (15) The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. (16) And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
We believe, rejoice in and preach, without apology, the great and glorious Gospel doctrine of Particular and Effectual Redemption accomplished by the precious, sin-atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, — Limited Atonement.
I defy anyone to find any place in the Book of God that even hints at the possibility that Christ shed His blood for those who perish in hell as well as those who are saved by it. Where does the Word of God proclaim…
Š An atonement that doesn’t atone? — Nowhere!
Š A redemption that doesn’t redeem? — Nowhere!
Š A deliverance that doesn’t deliver? — Nowhere!
Š A ransom that doesn’t set free? — Nowhere!
Š A Savior Who doesn’t save? — Nowhere!
The fact is, everywhere in this Book, in every place, every chapter, every verse, every prophecy, every picture, and every type which speaks of or in any way explains the great and glorious redemptive work of Christ, it is always set before us as the redemption of a specific people and a redemption that is effectually accomplished, a redemption by which those specific people are actually redeemed.
In our text, the ransom money for atonement was paid for a certain number of people: — “The sum of the children of Israel.” A certain price was paid. The price for their ransom was “half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary.” A certain result followed: — Those who were redeemed according to the requirement of the law had “no plague among them!”
I want to make just five statements. I want to call your attention to five blessed facts of Divine Revelation. All five are found in the text before us, so obviously so that only those who will not see do not see them.
A Chosen People
First, none were redeemed except God’s chosen, the children of Israel, and all the children of Israel were redeemed. All the children of Israel were numbered with the adult males of the nation; and they made up the specific number for whom this atonement money was paid: — 603,550 men (Exodus 38:25-26).
(Exodus 38:25-26) And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: (26) A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men.
The children of Israel were a chosen people, representing God’s elect in this world, who are called “The Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16). How we ought to rejoice in God’s electing love! Listen to how the Lord God Himself describes it (Deuteronomy 7:1-9).
(Deuteronomy 7:1) When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
(Deuteronomy 7:6-9) For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. (7) The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: (8) But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (9) Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
Š God chose us in Christ.
Š He chose us before the world was made.
Š He chose us in love.
Š Having chosen us in Christ, the Lord God blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ from eternity (Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Timothy 1:9-10; Psalms 65:4). Election is the source and cause of all blessedness!
(Psalms 65:4) Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
(Ephesians 1:3-6) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
(2 Timothy 1:9-10) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
This atonement money was paid for “the sum (total number) of the children of Israel;” and Christ Jesus, our dear Redeemer, made atonement for and redeemed all His elect, only His elect and all His elect — “the sum (total number) of the children of Israel!”
Š “For the transgression of my people was He stricken!”
Š “The Good Shepherd giveth His Life for the sheep!”
Second, the ransom price was determined by Divine measure. Those who were redeemed were redeemed with “half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary” (v. 13). The measurement of the silver by which atonement was made was not man’s measure, but God’s, “the shekel of the sanctuary.” In other words, God’s demands were measured out by God himself, exacted by God, and paid to God. Here is the measurement of the sanctuary: – “The precious blood of Christ!”
The redemption price was a redemption price that met the demand of the law: — that met God’s demand. Not only did the Lord God require that they must each bring half a shekel, no more and no less, but it must be “the shekel of the sanctuary,” — not the shekel of commerce, which might be debased in quality or diminished by wear and tear, but the coin must be according to the shekel standard laid up in the holy place and determined by God Himself. To make sure of its measure, we are told “a shekel is twenty gerahs” (v. 13).
We bring to God the redemption that God Himself has appointed, — the blood and righteousness of Christ, — nothing more and nothing less. The ransom of Christ is perfection, and from it there must be no varying. The price satisfies the Divine demand, and satisfies it to the full!
And the price appointed effectually redeemed all for whom the price was paid. Multitudes think of the sacrifice of Christ upon the cursed tree in a blasphemous way, trampling under foot the blood of the Son of God, for they imagine that our Savior made a sort of general atonement by which redemption was made possible for all men, but accomplished for none. Such an absurdity, leaves it to the sinner to redeem himself by his works, or by the power of his will!
Š We preach that the particular and effectual redemption of God’s own chosen, as it is revealed in the Book of God. Nothing else honors God. Nothing else gives hope to sinners. Nothing else can be true. All those for whom the atonement money was paid were freed from the possibility of plague when the children of Israel were numbered (Proverbs 12:21; Psalms 91:10).
(Proverbs 12:21) There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
(Psalms 91:10) There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
We only read of the children of Israel being numbered, totaled, twice in Scripture.
Š They were numbered once, as men commonly try to number them today, without atonement. — On that occasion, the plague of God broke out against them and killed 70,000 men (2 Samuel 24:15).
Š But, if you will turn to the Book of Numbers you will see another numbering of Israel (Numbers 1:1-2; 26:2-4), a numbering by atonement.
(Numbers 1:1-2) And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, (2) Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls.
(Numbers 26:2-4) Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers’ house, all that are able to go to war in Israel. (3) And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, (4) Take the sum of the people, from twenty years old and upward; as the LORD commanded Moses and the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt.
Š I read of one more numbering of the Israel of God, a numbering by atonement, a numbering that shall soon be performed, in Revelation 7; and there we see them that are numbered saved from every plague!
(Revelation 7:4) And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
(Revelation 7:9-14) After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. (11) And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, (12) Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. (13) And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? (14) And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“Complete atonement Thou hast made
And to the utmost farthing paid
Whate'er Thy people owed;
How then can wrath on me take place
If sheltered in Thy righteousness,
And sprinkled with Thy blood?
If Thou hast my discharge procured,
And freely in my room endured
The whole of wrath divine,
Payment God cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety's hand,
And then again at mine.
Turn, then, my soul, unto thy rest;
The merits of thy great High Priest
Speak peace and liberty;
Trust in His efficacious blood,
Nor fear thy banishment from God,
Since Jesus died for thee!”
Faith in the Atonement
In Romans 3:25 the Apostle Paul speaks about “faith in His blood,” faith in the blood of Christ, faith in his sin-atoning sacrifice as our Substitute. So, the third thing I want you to see in out text is that all the chosen brought the atonement money in their hands. Even so, all God’s elect must and shall come to God through faith in the blood of Christ, through faith in the accomplished redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Š The atonement price had to be personally accepted by the one who brought it. — We must come to God on His terms. — Trusting Christ alone as our Redeemer. — A price of infinite worth. — Yet, a price that could be obtained by the poorest of men, even if by begging alms!
Š The atonement money must be personally brought by each worshipper.
How can I speak to you as I should about this? Spirit of God, help me to speak plainly and truthfully to your heart. You must trust the Lord Jesus Christ, and trust Him alone. Come to God by faith in His blood, and you cannot be turned away. Come any other way and you cannot be accepted (Hebrews 10:14-22).
(Hebrews 10:14-22) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (19) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (21) And having an high priest over the house of God; (22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Here’s the fourth thing I want you to see. And, O what a blessed thing it is to see! — “The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls” (v. 15). — All Israel was equally redeemed; and all the Israel of God are equally redeemed! The Lord Jesus Christ purchased all His people with an equal price, the price of His own precious blood!
Š All are equally valued by God (Abraham and Me).
Š All are equally loved by Christ.
Š All are equally redeemed to the same inheritance.
Š All are equally secure, bought with the same price!
Š All are equally accepted.
Š All are equally respected, for “his righteousness is unto all, and upon all, that believe; for there is no difference.”
Fifth, everything in the worship of God, everything involved in this thing called faith and salvation has its basis and foundation in the sin-atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you remember, back in Exodus 26, that all the boards of the Tabernacle were fixed, each board in two “sockets of silver”? Those sockets of silver, each connected to the other, formed the foundation of the house. If you will turn to Exodus 38, for just a minute, I’ll show you where Moses got the silver to make the foundation that held everything together.
(Exodus 38:25-27) And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: (26) A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men. (27) And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the veil; an hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket.
C. H. Spurgeon said…
“The foundation of the worship of Israel was redemption. The dwelling place of the Lord their God was founded on atonement. All the boards of incorruptible wood and precious gold stood upon the redemption price, and the curtains of fine linen, and the veil of matchless workmanship, and the whole structure rested on nothing else but the solid mass of silver which had been paid as the redemption money of the people.”
Bless God, redemption is everything!
Illustration: Two Black Birds — A. J. Gordon Pastored the Clarendon Street Church in Boston, MA
“Redeemed! How I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!
Redeemed through His infinite mercy, —
His child and forever I am!” (#475)
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