Numbers 4 gives us the specifics on the transport of the Tent of Meeting and the Tabernacle. Another reality check that God is into details and does care about how things happen and get done. He instructs Moses and Aaron to count the men of three clans of the tribe of Levi – the priestly tribe – who were assigned to take care of moving God’s place on their journey to the Promised Land. “Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their clans and their fathers’ houses….thirty years old up to fifty years old, all who can come on duty, to….service….the most holy things” They were to count only men from 30-50 years old. You will recall that earlier in Numbers they took a census of all men of fighting age. Well the ages for serving in the work of God is a lot narrower, and more specific as it was based by family and clan.
They began counting the “sons of Kohath” which ended up being 2750 men. These guys were responsible for the Ark of the Covenant and a lot of the inside the tabernacle pieces. It was a serious job though. “The sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die”. No messing around with this assignment. God is dead serious about how they handled the Ark and other things from inside His dwelling place. They reported to “Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering, and the anointing oil, with the oversight of the whole tabernacle and all that is in it, of the sanctuary and its vessels”. He had overall responsibility for the tabernacle.
Next came the “sons of Gershon” who numbers 2630 men. They carried the curtains and a lot of the hangings and the altar. And the final group listed are the “sons of Merari” who numbers 3200. They were to carry the frame for the Tent of Meeting and the base and all the tools to put it up and tear it down. They were the last to leave and had to be the first to set up in the new place. These two families reported to “Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest”. So Aaron’s sons had split the responsibility for getting the Tent of Meeting and tabernacle cared for. Each had “his task of serving or carrying” as the work was specific and detailed. God is into those things.
So what does this mean to us? God cares about the small stuff. He cares about what we do. He cares about how we lead. He cares about our worship with Him. God cares. He wants to be intimately involved in our lives. He desires to give us direction in how to live and what to do. He is not some far away removed and uninterested force somewhere out there. He is whispering to us every day, moment by moment. He has written a love letter to us in His Bible. He has direction for our lives if we will only seek, read and listen. Of course then it comes down to obedience. Are you walking in obedience to what He has already told you in His written word? That is where we have to start – with what we already know to be truth. And then we need to listen for further instruction on how to walk even more closely with Him!