Tuesday, March 7, 2023

God of Light Burdens

After God builds His Tabernacle so that He can dwell among His people in the wilderness, He assigns the Levites - who He has already chosen as His own - to be the ones to carry this Tabernacle from place to place, set it up, and tear it down. A few years ago in this space, we did the math on this, and let's just say here that this was TONS of Tabernacle. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of pounds of curtains and bronze bases and lampstands and Most Holy things. 

As God is explaining, through Moses, the incredible responsibility that the Levites now have to tote this Tabernacle everywhere, you can almost hear them groaning like they're back in Egypt. You can almost hear them doing the mental math in their heads as they look at this tent and all of its accoutrements. You can almost see them slump over in weariness, before they have even lifted a pound of it. 

Sure, they are excited. Who doesn't want to be God's selected people among His nation? Who doesn't want the honor of carrying God's house in the midst of the camp? Of course there's some excitement. But...the Levites are human. They see the huge burden erected in front of them, and they understand what it means that this is coming on their shoulders just as soon as the cloud breaks and camp starts to move. 

Then, God gives them a reprieve. 

God has the leaders of every tribe bring offerings for the work at the Tabernacle. And these offerings? They include oxen and carts. 

These offerings include the things that are going to make the work easier for the Levites. These offerings include enough carts to put all of the heavy things on (except, of course, for the Most Holy things, which must be carried by hand because of their sacred status). All of a sudden, all the Levites have to do is drive the oxen. The onus of the Tabernacle has been taken off their shoulders and instead, reins have simply been put in their hands. 

This is the way that God works. Yes, sometimes it seems like the burden is heavy. Yes, sometimes our shoulders start to sink just thinking about it. But God always calls others to contribute, to bring their offerings, to chip in to make the work easier. 

God didn't need oxen and carts. What possible use does He have for them? But the ones He called to work for Him could absolutely use them. And this means two things. 

First, it means that when you are called to what looks like a heavy task, ask yourself what God has called others to bring that might help you. 

Second, it means that when God puts it on your heart to bring something, ask yourself who you might be helping in pursuit of God's calling on their life.  

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