What does it say?
The record of the sons of Aaron during his lifetime are given. The Lord commanded Moses to give the Levites to Aaron and his sons for service, but no other son of Israel may come near. The Lord took into service the Levites as substitutes for all the first born in Israel, because he struck down the first born in Egypt but spared the sons Israel. The Lord commanded Moses to number the sons of Levi by their families; every male from a month old and upward. The Gershonites numbered seventy five hundred and they were responsible for the outward parts of the tabernacle. The Kohathites numbered eighty six hundred and they were responsible for the ark and all the inside articles used in worship of the Lord. The Mahlites and Mushites numbered sixty two hundred and they were responsible for the frame of the tabernacle and the pillars. All the sons of Levi from one month old and upward numbered twenty two thousand. The first born of the sons of Israel numbered twenty two thousand, two hundred and seventy three. The Lord took the Levites as substitutes for the first born in Israel, but the sons of Israel had to pay a ransom of five shekels apiece, to Aaron and his sons, for the two hundred and seventy three, that exceeded the sons of Levi.
What does it mean?
The Lord God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; he keeps lovingkindness for thousands, he forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. (Ex. 34:6-7) The Lord demonstrated this in Israel, when he spared the first born sons of Israel. However, the first born sons of Israel did not deserve to live anymore than the first born sons of the Egyptians. Because the Lord spared them, they are indebted to the Lord. However, the Lord was willing to take a substitute, to demonstrate his righteousness.
What shall I do?
I owed a debt that I could not pay. Jesus paid my debt, on the cross, in his life’s blood. Therefore, I am not my own, my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. I was bought with a price. (1 Cor. 6:19-20) I shall, therefore, serve the Lord and observe all that he commands.