Numbers 7 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“So Moses took the carts and oxen and gave them to the Levites. He gave the Gershonites two carts and four oxen, and gave the Merarites two carts and eight oxen, corresponding to their service, under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest. But he did not give any to the Koathites, since their responsibility was service related to the holy objects carried on their shoulders.” Numbers 7:6-9

There are many different tasks involved in running a congregation. It’s not all preaching and Bible study, you know. Whenever a congregation grows, so do the tasks. One day, I came to work at our Riverside CA congregation and one of the maintenance guys was adjusting the lock on our office door. Regardless of one’s piety, if they can’t get into the front door, their ability to minister inside the building severely diminishes!

Each congregation employee and volunteer has a task, and often they need specialized tools. It doesn’t make sense to give the janitors laptop computers, although I’m sure they’d each like one. It also doesn’t make sense to give socket wrenches to the teaching staff. We give our staffers what they need to accomplish their specific tasks.

On the day the Moses dedicated the tabernacle, the tribal leaders donated 6 carts and 12 oxen for the service of the tabernacle. The Levites divided the items among themselves, except for Aaron’s family, the Koathites. Why? The Koathites were to carry holy objects on their shoulders. Now, it seems really inefficient to carry things, when you have free carts and oxen…so, why would G_d disallow them this labor-saving gift?

Perhaps, it is because the most holy things in our lives must also be the most personal. Some ministry tasks can be accomplished with time-saving gadgets, but the most important task…our efforts towards discipleship through personal interaction with G_d, must be done on our own. For instance, you can Google the answers to most Bible questions, but that is not a substitute for the time spent with the L_rd through personal Bible study. It seems our culture is more interested in knowing G_d’s guidance, than it is interested in getting to know the Guide, Himself!

I love to hear great preaching and to read encouraging books and Bible commentaries, but nobody else can pray the prayers G_d has laid aside for me to pray, or read the Bible for me. I must “shoulder” those responsibilities, myself. There are simply some things, which cannot be carted-along by the labor of others.

Furthermore, it is our personal dedication to the L_rd, which will carry the gospel…no TV program, hit song, or Hollywood blockbuster will impact the lives of those close to you more than the testimony of your personal dedication (or lack thereof) to G_d.

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Wednesday, May 14, 2014