(Numbers 18:2-7 NLT) 2 “Bring your relatives of the tribe of Levi–your ancestral tribe–to assist you and your sons as you perform the sacred duties in front of the Tabernacle of the Covenant. 3 But as the Levites go about all their assigned duties at the Tabernacle, they must be careful not to go near any of the sacred objects or the altar. If they do, both you and they will die. 4 The Levites must join you in fulfilling their responsibilities for the care and maintenance of the Tabernacle, but no unauthorized person may assist you. 5 “You yourselves must perform the sacred duties inside the sanctuary and at the altar. If you follow these instructions, the LORD’s anger will never again blaze against the people of Israel. 6 I myself have chosen your fellow Levites from among the Israelites to be your special assistants. They are a gift to you, dedicated to the LORD for service in the Tabernacle. 7 But you and your sons, the priests, must personally handle all the priestly rituals associated with the altar and with everything behind the inner curtain. I am giving you the priesthood as your special privilege of service. Any unauthorized person who comes too near the sanctuary will be put to death.”
The book of Numbers records the strategic plan of God for the operation of the Old Testament Tabernacle. Honestly, I wonder why God requires all of these intricate details. I’ve studied the details and listened to the scholarly explanations, and I still can’t make any case for the logistics of it all. I simply choose to believe that God has a reason for it all.
The thing that struck me this morning was the very specific duties that the priests were required to complete. In verse 5 God says, “You yourselves must perform the sacred duties inside the sanctuary and at the altar.” And in verse 7 He instructs, “You and your sons, the priests, must personally handle all the priestly rituals associated with the altar and with everything behind the inner curtain.”
God made it very clear that while there were helpers who had been assigned to assist the priests, there were limitations as to what those helpers could do. God’s requirements were so specific that He said, “they (the Levites) must be careful not to go near any of the sacred objects or the altar. If they do, both you and they will die. (Verse 3)
I’m fully aware of the historical context of these commands and the very specific interpretation that accompany the Scripture. But, while reading these verses, I was impressed with the idea that there are certain things I must do myself. There are some things that only a father can do for his children. Likewise, a mother can provide nurturing and love like no one else. A husband/wife can provide spousal support like no one else can. The list certainly could be a long one indeed!
As a pastor, I realize there are times when my voice, touch, input, etc. is needed. While I am blessed with a very capable assistant pastor, office assistant, and other support staff, there are times when I must interject my presence, experience, and decisions into a particular scenarios. I must do what only I can do.
The same is true for you. You have divine purpose that only you can fulfill. God is waiting for you to step up and represent His interests as only you can.
This is not a pressure. Instead God said, “I am giving you the priesthood (calling/assignment) as your special privilege of service.” Special privilege? WOW! God has provided a way for me to make a significant contribution into the Kingdom of God. That, my friend, is an incredible honor!
PRAYER: Father, help me to remember when I’m walking through the difficult assignments that You’ve asked me to perform, that You have provided a way for me to contribute significantly to the eternal kingdom of Heaven. I’m grateful that You trust me like that! Amen.