"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."
I had to email My Favorite when I read this. It is talking of the census HaShem asked Moses to give, when each person would bring a "ransom for his life." HaShem set an amount, and it didn't matter who you were, poor or rich, that is what you were to bring. All men are created equal? Well, all are equally in need of His ransom. Hence Romans 3:23 "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." The payment of the ransom is the same for all, the death of Messiah. Mark 10:45 says the Son of Man came "to give his life as a ransom for many." And a new find today, the song sung to the Lamb, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David:
"...for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."
What an Awesome King we serve!
"You shall beat some of it [incense] very small, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I shall meet with you."
When I read this verse, I thought, wow, what an Awesome God we serve (hmm, is there a theme going?!). Why? Because I realized, from my past thoughts and from recent ones voiced by people reading through the "Older Testament, that most of the time we look at all these laws, and all these directions, and think, "What a task master! Good thing Jesus changed all that." Obviously I believe differently now. Which helped me see that everyone serves a god, whether in actual worship (ex. hindu), or what they dedicate their life to (ex. success, family). Everyone has something at the center of their life that drives them. But not everyone knows what to do to satisfy that master. Some believe they will not know, heaven or hell, until they have passed from this world. Others will reach the end of their life feeling unfulfilled, not being successful enough, or having had their family constantly let them down.
But HaShem? He doesn't want that for His followers. He gives every detail of what He expects. Down to how to grind incense. That, my friends, is a god who loves His people.
"Keep [the statutes and rules] and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? 8And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?"