When God had Moses number the people He kept one tribe aside; the tribe of Levi. God had a special job for this group that NO OTHER would be allowed to do.
Ok. I have a quick question before we go on. I was thinking about the count of people listed both here and in Exodus. The numbers all agree, as they should, but if the Levites weren’t counted. So this means that they weren’t counted in either accounting. So we don’t have an accurate number of people who came out of Egypt. We know that only the men from 20 years and above and NOT belonging to the tribe of Levi were numbered. Therefore women, children, the Levites, any who were considered too old to fight and the “foreigners” who went with them were never numbered.
The count who were numbered were 603,550 men. We can bet that there were at LEAST double that number of not three times. WOW GOD! We already surmised this number was low because of women and children but now we add in a whole tribe who went unnumbered. I wonder what that number could have been.
If you take an average of the tribes, each tribe would average 58,868. Maybe the Levites were the largest tribe, topping Judah’s 74,000. Maybe they were the smallest, under Manasseh’s count of 32,200. Or maybe they were somewhere in the middle with their own unique count.
Whatever their count their purpose was clear. They were to be in service to the Lord throughout their lives. They would be the ONLY group to touch the things of the Tabernacle. They would put it up and tear it down. They would transport it and guard it. They would pitch their tents all the way around it to protect both the people and the Tabernacle. NO ONE ELSE could even lend a hand in these duties. So their numbers had to be substantial to complete these tasks.
I was thinking about this role earlier and was reminded of a line from one of my favorite television shows, Monk. The character, Adrian Monk, possess razor sharp observational skills, a quick mind and severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When people comment on his ability to solve cases he says “It is a gift, and a curse.”
I wondered if the Levites felt that way about their being singled out for the tasks of the Tabernacle. It was a gift beyond measure, at least in my eyes, being allowed to bring the people’s prayers before God. I doubt they enjoyed the bloodletting part of it but the redemption and restoration must have been AWESOME to be a part of. But being the ONLY ones to touch the Tabernacle pieces probably got old. Sometimes, did they want to ask for help from another person NOT of the family? Did they wish to share opportunities beyond their tribe’s designated roles?
How was any discontentment handled? Were they told to “suck it up and do the job” anyway? Were they counseled on how special their role really was? Were they told there were no other options for someone of their lineage? Did God work on their hearts? Did God even plant some of the discontent to encourage looking deeper at what they were being called to do? Or did God not “call their number” for the important tasks when lots were cast? Maybe they were given tasks that were more peripheral and more resembled the jobs of other tribes.
“Funny thing” is that God never promised each one that we would have our ideal special job only for all of our lives. MOST times that “ideal” job requires a lot of submission and service in smaller jobs first. You don’t start at the top. You work your way up.
Some people, their “aspiration” is to do nothing and they often reach this “lofty goal” on their own and find it to be a lonely place. But for any who are willing to work with where they are at the time they are there, God can do wonderful things with their lives, even bringing them into their dream job.
Father God, thank You for taking me on a diverse path for my life. The BEST job You gave me though is the one that I’ve kept the longest; that of mother. I love seeing how the places You have taken me also lend themselves to my better filling the roles You bring me to later on. If I hadn’t gone through A I wouldn’t have the skills necessary to do job F. Not every skill is transferred right away to the next phase but You seem to always bring back around the learning I did along the way. I’m glad I didn’t refuse any jobs You brought along, at least not refuse them forever. Some took a little more convincing before I felt I could step into them. And when I did step into them I realized that YOU carry me through them no matter how many tricks I picked up along the way. ONLY when I trust in You do I fill those roles with any sense of accomplishment or hope. Thanks for NEVER leaving me to figure it out on my own! Keep building me Lord and putting just the right tools in my toolbox for what lies ahead.