There is a lot of counting going on in Numbers, as Aaron and Moses have to count a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. Then there is the counting of bulls, rams, lambs, and loaves of unleavened bread. But something happened this year when I hit Numbers.
First of all I need to give you a bit of a backstory. A friend of mine, who belongs to a neighboring golf club (for which she is forgiven) told me about the Expressions One Year Bible. It is ordered by date, and with each date is an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, a Psalm (or part of one), and a verse or two of a Proverb. That right there is a plus as I don’t have to flip from the Old to the New and then back, which would always allow me an opportunity to depart before I finished.
The second plus is that it is written in the New Living Translation, which means it is a paraphrase and so much more readable. Perhaps that is why I finally noticed something in Numbers I had never noticed before.
It was March 5. I was working my way through Chapter 4, a chapter all about the different clans of Levites and their duties, and trying very hard to feign interest. Then I read about the clan of Merarite and what their job was, and I quote. “Their only duty at the Tabernacle will be to carry loads” (verse 31).
Now that may not be a eye-stopper for you, but it was for me. The Kohathite clan dealt with the most sacred objects and have almost sixteen verses discussing their duties. I bet they felt pretty special. But the Merarites have only two verses and their only job was to “carry loads.” However, God did say in verse 32 to “assign the various loads to each man by name.”
Sometimes it seems that God has not given us a very glamorous role to play in his kingdom, but we have to remember two things. First, each role is necessary (someone had to carry the loads), and second, each one was designed specifically for us (“assign the various loads to each man by name”).
So let us embrace the work God has given us, and “do it all for the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31b).