So, I’ve just been letting a thought run around in my head.
Dangerous, I know. You never know where thinking might get you!
What I’ve been pondering, though, has been more of what’s been on my mind and heart for quite some time. Once again, bringing a relationship with God back to what Jesus commanded us in the Great Commission. To go and make disciples of all nations.
I’d like to indulge in an exceptionally hypothetical situation for a moment.
Imagine a church pastor shows up at the church one Sunday, and the building’s empty. Fair enough, he thinks, he must just be early or the ushers and creative team and others are just running a bit late. So he waits.
It hits regular service time and there’s still no one around. He’s tried a few phone calls on his mobile but no one’s been answering. Finally, though, he discovers what’s happened. During the week the entire congregation has gotten ahold of the great commission, and they’ve done just what Jesus said to do.
I wonder how many church pastors would get excited about this prospect. Suddenly their entire flock is gone, out doing exactly what Jesus said to do, and there’s no one left to minister to.
They’re all following Jesus, rather than following the church.
I’m not making claims on anyone here, I’m just pondering the thought.
Two main sections to this chapter.
First of all is the main thing that stood out to me in light of the previous two chapters, it’s the element of the leadership role that most challengers to the position don’t actually consider at the time that they’re challenging. They consider the leadership, the power, the benefits, but there’s something that usually isn’t considered.
Aaron and the Levites have it pretty heavy when it comes down to it.
“You are to be responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar, so that wrath will not fall on the Israelites again.” ~ Numbers 18:5
So repercussions of abuse or mistreatment, or just not caring for the sanctuary and the altar are pretty heavy situations. Any consequences should be poured out over all of the nation of Israel, but instead, God says that Aaron and the Levites will shoulder that responsibility.
And this is the thing about leadership, it involves responsibility, responsibility for all of those that a person holds leadership over.
Secondly, comes the gifts of the Levites. It’s interesting here, too – the Levites don’t really come out with as great a deal as it would necessarily seem. They’re going to get around about the same amount of food and goods for themselves as the rest. God says that they can have the tithe. With the tithe being ten percent, and the figures of the tribe of Levi being around about the 10 percent mark of the rest of the population of Israel, as was noted back in chapters 2 and 3.
So they weren’t about to go getting ridiculously rich. On top of this, they also gave up any inheritance to the promised land when God finally brought them into it. They weren’t about to get houses, tracts of land, farms, vineyards, only the product of it as it was brought to God as an offering.
Serving in the physical dwelling place on Earth was meant to be a full-time thing, and they were given recompense for their work.