“The Levites duties are revised”
That was the header for an awesome passage in 1 Chronicles 23. Starting in verse 24, we see how the Levites get their roles and responsibilities massively restructured. Before this shift, the Levites were responsible for carrying the ark of the covenant – the seat of the physical representation of God.
Think of the times you’ve felt the closest you’ve ever felt with God, and how rare those “super close” times tend to be. Now, imagine what an amazing responsibility it must have been, to be a Levite tasked with carrying the ark of the covenant – to have the physical presence of God at arm’s length.
In this 1 Chronicles passage, however, the Levites get their “duties revised.” I love this header because it’s so counterintuitive to what our modern reaction would be. The Levites had to shift from this awesome resposibility and physical closeness to God, to essentially becoming assistants to the priests and the custodial crew to make sure the Temple services went off without a hitch.
How could this header not be “The Levites get a demotion,” or the “The Levites get demoted and then revolt?” Why does the Bible not record the Levites letting out a collective groan upon hearing the news, especially given the Israelites’ penchant for complaining? I think it’s because the Levites weren’t motivated by personal gratification but rather divine mandate. They didn’t see themselves as having a job that was comprised of specific tasks, but rather as being privileged to contribute anything to a higher purpose. Rather than looking at what they were doing, they were focused on what they were achieving.
That is so key in our personal, professional, and spiritual lives. Look for the “why,” search for the end goal, find the glorification of God in who you are, not what you are doing. Tasks are more volatile than personhood. You may have a job or position one day, and be out of it the next. But your heart, soul, mind, and strength are things you can always give to God, regardless of circumstances. If you can find a way to praise God with your whole person, your personality, your intentions, and your passion, as opposed to the various tasks that happen to fill up the minutes and hours of your days and weeks, that is when you will be truly fulfilled.
(This essay was written by Chris Coultas, Worship Leader of the 10:0am Service)