Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty Service

The number twenty is associated with the subject of service in the scriptures.  In addressing this association, we will discuss the following topics:

Service under the law ends with a curse The price of service Requirements of service
Serving the Lord is better than serving men or mammon
Joseph was sold into Egyptian bondage for twenty pieces of silver
Army service began at twenty years of age Jacob served Laban for twenty years.
One of the purposes of the Lord's house is for service

Service under the law ends with a curse 

Zec. 5:2 "And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. 3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it."

The number twenty is associated with service, while the number ten is associated with law or commandment.  Thus the flying roll is typical of the Old Testament under which the law service was established.  The end result of this law service is a curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth.  Gal. 3:10 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."  Now it can be said, that there is none that has continued in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them, thus, the curse of the law of sin and death has gone forth over the face of the whole earth. 

Thanks be to God who has redeemed his people from the curse of the law: Gal. 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" 

The law covenant curses us, but Christ has redeemed us under the covenant of redemption.  He was made to be a curse for us, thus redeeming us from the curse of the law.  Now we can serve the Lord under the covenant of grace and rest assured that no charge can be made against us: Rom. 8:33, 34 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."


The price of service shekel equals 20 gerahs 

The price of service of the children of Israel was measured by the shekel and several verses of scripture correlate the value of the shekel to be 20 gerahs:

    1.  Ex. 30:13 "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."

    2.  Lev. 27:25 "And all thy estimations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs shall be the shekel."

    3.  Num. 3:47 "Thou shalt even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take them: (the shekel is twenty gerahs:)"

    4.  Num. 18:16 "And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs."

    5.  Ezek 45:12 "And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh."

    6.  Ex. 38:26 "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."

Likewise, there was a price paid for our service to the Lord.  This is set forth in the following two verses:

    1.  1 Cor 6:20 "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

    2.  1 Cor 7:23 "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."

The price by which we have been purchased to be the servants of God is the blood of Christ.  He purchased us on the cross of Calvary.  We should no longer consider our lives as belonging to ourselves.  He has bought us with his blood.  We belong to him.  We are no longer to be the servants of men, but the servants of God.  We should use our body and spirit to glorify God.  We should humble ourselves and consider ourselves as being the blood-bought servants of Christ and be willing to serve him with each breath that we live.


Requirements of Service

In order to be a servant of the Lord certain things are required.  This is illustrated when the children of Israel murmured against the Lord and believed an evil report and did not wholly follow the Lord.  The Lord told them that they would not possess the land of Canaan and that they would die in the wilderness:

    1.  Num. 14:29 "Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,"

    2.  Num. 32:11 "Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:"

    3.  Num. 14:21

"But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. 22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: 24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea. 26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,

30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. 32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness 33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. 34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. 36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, 37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still."

Truly, if we are to be the servants of the Lord, then we must learn not to murmur about the circumstances we find ourselves in from time to time.  Further, we must believe the word of the Lord and not believe the evil reports of men.  In addition, we must wholly follow the Lord if we are to be his servants. 


Serving the Lord is better than serving men 

Judg. 4:3 "And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel."

The reason for the children of Israel's oppression is given to us in the following verses: Judg. 4:1 "And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead. 2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles."

The Lord told us that we could not serve two masters: Mat. 6:24 "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."  It is evil for children of God to choose to serve mammon rather than to serve God.  If we choose the service of mammon, then we can expect the fruit of our labors, the oppression of men and the chastisement of the Lord:

    1.  Gal. 6:7, 8 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

    2.  1 Cor. 5:3-5 "For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

    3.  Heb. 6:4-11 "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."

How much better it is to serve the Lord than to serve mammon. 


Jacob served Laban for twenty years 

Gen. 31:38 "This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. 39 That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. 40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes. 41 Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times."

Jacob recounted his experience in serving his uncle Laban.  He served 14 years for his two daughters, Leah and Rachel.  He also served 6 years for the cattle he purchased from Laban.  During this time, Laban changed Jacob's wages 10 times.  In this experience, there is a correlation between the experience of Jacob and the work of Jesus Christ. 

As Jacob was a servant to his uncle Laban, Christ came also to serve as set forth in the following passage: Luke 22:24 "And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth."  Christ taught his disciples that they should not seek to be masters, but rather to be servants in the house of God.  Christ used himself as an example.  While he is Lord of all, yet he stood before his disciples as a servant.  This is further illustrated in Phil. 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

Jacob served for Laban's two daughters.  Christ had two folds that he came to procure for his bride: John 10:15 "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."  In addition, we read in Eph. 2:16 "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh."  As Jacob purchased the two daughters of Laban to be his brides, so Christ purchased through his death on the cross that both the Jews and the Gentiles would be his lawful bride.

Uncle Laban changed the wages of Jacob ten times.  As we have noted in our previous study of the number 10, ten is associated with the subject of the law.  Laban set the law for Jacob's service and he continually changed it.  God set the law for man's service and Christ kept it perfectly saying, (Mat 5:18) "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."  Under the strictest of circumstances, Christ kept the law perfectly so that he could procure his bride and redeem her at the cross.


Joseph was sold into Egyptian bondage for twenty pieces of silver 

Gen 37:28 "Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt."

Joseph is one of the strongest types of Christ in all of the bible.  There are over one hundred parallels between the Old Testament account of the life of Joseph and the New Testament account of the life of Jesus Christ. 

Joseph was sold by his brethren into Egyptian slavery.  They were responsible for his being a servant in the land of Egypt.  Under the covenant arrangement of God, Christ came into the world to save his people from their sins.  It was because of the actions of his brethren that Christ came to the earth to serve under the law.  In effect, we sold Jesus into the bondage of the law of sin and death. 

Because of Joseph's service in the land of Egypt, he delivered his brethren from starvation and death and gave them a home in the best of the land of Egypt.  Christ is always greater than the type.  Christ came down to serve under the law of sin and death and ultimately pay the price for the redemption and deliverance of his brethren from the law of sin and death, and to deliver them from sin, the devil, hell, death and the grave.  Further, he has provided for us a home in heaven itself. 


Army Service began at 20 years of age

A number of scriptures indicate that when the children of Israel came out of Egypt into the wilderness that all those able bodied men would be expected to go to fight the wars and battles of Israel beginning at the age of 20 years:

    1.  Num. 1:3 "From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies."

    2.  Num. 1:18 "And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls."

    3.  Num. 1:20 "And the children of Reuben, Israel's eldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    4.  Num. 1:22 "Of the children of Simeon, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, those that were numbered of them, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    5.  Num. 1:24 "Of the children of Gad, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    6.  Num. 1:26 "Of the children of Judah, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    7.  Num. 1:28 "Of the children of Issachar, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    8.  Num. 1:30 "Of the children of Zebulun, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"   

    9.  Num. 1:32 "Of the children of Joseph, namely, of the children of Ephraim, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    10. Num. 1:34 "Of the children of Manasseh, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    11. Num. 1:36 "Of the children of Benjamin, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    12. Num. 1:38 "Of the children of Dan, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    13. Num. 1:40 "Of the children of Asher, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    14. Num. 1:42 "Of the children of Naphtali, throughout their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;"

    15. Num. 1:45 "So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel;"

Several things stand out to us in these passages.  First, the age of service in the army of Israel began at age 20.  Second, only able men were to go to war.  Third, there was a price to be paid for this service.  Fourth, the men who were to go to war were numbered. 

The nation of Israel is a type of the children of God in his church.  While there is no particular age that God's children may serve him in his church here on earth, yet they are to be soldiers in the army of God to fight the wars and battles of the Lord:

    1.  2 Tim. 2:3 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

    2.  1 Cor. 9:26 "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:"

    3.  1 Tim. 6:12 "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."

    4.  2 Tim. 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"

    5.  2 Cor. 10:3 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."

    6.  1 Tim. 1:18 "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;"

    7.  1 Pet. 2:11 "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;"

It is through the ability that God gives us and the instruction of his word that we are made able to fight the battles that he Lord sends us to fight:

    1.  2 Cor. 3:6 "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

    2.  2 Cor. 9:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:"

    3.  Eph. 3:20 "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"

    4.  Eph. 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

    5.  Eph. 6:13 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

    6.  Eph. 6:16 "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."

    7.  2 Tim. 2:2 "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."

    8.  2 Tim. 3:15 "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

    9.  Titus 1:9 "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."

Next, Jesus paid the price for our service.  1 Cor. 6:20 "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.  1 Cor. 7:23 "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."  The price for our service was the precious blood of Jesus.  Just as the price of each of the Old Testament soldiers of Israel was the same, so it is with us today.  We are all redeemed by the same precious blood of Christ.

Just as the men who went to war in the Old Testament were numbered so we see in the book of Revelation that God's children in the church are numbered also: Rev. 7:3 "Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 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. 5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand."  It is not our intention at this time to go into the meaning of the sign language presented here, but suffice it to say that God knows who all of his disciples are and has sealed them with the Holy Spirit of promise.   


One of the purposes of the house of the Lord is for service 

The following verses of scripture correlate the number twenty (service) with the building of the temple and the service of the house of the Lord:

1.  1 Ki. 9:10 "And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD, and the king's house,"

2.  1 Chr. 23:27  "For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above: 28 Because their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the LORD, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God;"

3.  1 Ki. 6:2 "And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits."

4.  1 Ki. 6:3 "And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house."

5.  1 Ki. 6:20 "And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar."

6.  2 Chr. 3:3 "Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits."

7.  2 Chr. 3:4 "And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold."

    8.  2 Chr. 3:8 "And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents."

    9.  2 Chr. 4:1 "Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof."

Today, the church is the house of the Lord: 1 Tim 3:15 "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."  In the church, we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice in service to the Lord: Rom. 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  Thus, service to the Lord is associated with the church of the Lord.

Service under the law ends with a curse The price of service Requirements of service
Serving the Lord is better than serving men or mammon
Joseph was sold into Egyptian bondage for twenty pieces of silver
Army service began at twenty years of age Jacob served Laban for twenty years.
One of the purposes of the Lord's house is for service