Sermon 76 in Series
 The LORD said to Moses,  “When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for his life to the LORD when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them.  Each one who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as an offering to the LORD.  Everyone who is numbered in the census, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the LORD’s offering.  The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the LORD’s offering to make atonement for your lives.  You shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance before the LORD, so as to make atonement for your lives.”
 The LORD said to Moses,  “You shall also make a basin of bronze, with its stand of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it,  with which Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet.  When they go into the tent of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn a food offering to the LORD, they shall wash with water, so that they may not die.  They shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they may not die. It shall be a statute forever to them, even to him and to his offspring throughout their generations.”
1. How is the tabernacle both a dwelling place and a meeting place? What does God communicate to his people through the tabernacle structure and system as a whole?
2. What are the stated purposes of the census tax? How does it serve as another reminder of the holiness of God and the sinfulness of his people?
3. What does it mean to provide a ransom, and how did this show God’s grace to Israel? How did it point forward to Christ’s work on the cross?
4. What were some of the potential pitfalls of Israel taking a census? How can we go wrong in our “calculations”?
5. Why is the theme of washing/cleansing so important in Scripture? In what ways do our physical activities matter when it comes to expressing spiritual realities?
6. What were the two gospel implications of the basin noted at the end of the sermon? How do these truths increase your affection for Christ?
References: Exodus 38:25-26; 13:13; Matthew 20:28; 2 Samuel 24; Exodus 19:10; 29:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:22; Titus 3:5.