During a recent Sunday School lesson, the teacher was discussing the rebellion of Korah and how the ground swallowed up all of the people that were rebellious toward Moses—and how it was actually rebellion against God. Korah and the 250 with him wanted to serve in the tabernacle, and yet they could not.
This got me thinking a lot about the choosing of the Levites.
One of the interesting things is that God chose the Levites for himself, which seems weird. No one from another tribe would ever have the chance to serve God in the tabernacle or temple with God’s blessing—these people were born into that role and that is the role they would serve before God.
It Doesn’t Seem Fair!
Unlike today’s clergy, who base their decision about performing ministry based on taking classes, hearing a “call to the ministry” or deciding that they and their family will do the work, God selected people that would be doing ministry and that people were to do it and no one else. They had a role given by God.
Now, those in the role could have considered this unfair—that they would rather have owned their own land, that they found killing animals for sacrifices to be disgusting, and that relying on the people to feed them was wrong. Yet they still had a duty to perform.
And those that were outside the role could have considered this unfair—these people were provided for by others, all they did was take care of moving the tabernacle and didn’t have to work in the hot sun, and after you’ve killed a few animals you get over it. Yet they were not allowed in the role.
We all know that the “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” always comes into play, so I have not problem believing that either group had these issues.
What Role Have You Been Given?
But here is where my mind went to modern experience. Many believers chafe at the role or position that they have been given by God today. Some roles that we have are ones that we didn’t have any control over:
- If God made you female, you can be a wife or a single woman, but not a husband.
- If God made you male, you can be a husband or a single man, but not a wife.
- If you are still a child, you are to obey your parents.
- If you are in servitude to another, you are to submit to that authority.
I’m sure you can come up with more.
What’s hard about this is that having a predetermined role that you’re expected to fill chafes at us. We don’t like it because we expect to have the freedom to become whatever we want. I suppose this is what is at the back of Adam and Eve eating the fruit to make them as God. They wanted more than their role—they wanted greater than they were called to be, and they were discontented with how God made them.
The Modern Problem
And that’s the thing, isn’t it. We can be in the most prosperous land the world has ever known and want more. We can have extravagancies and entertainment options reserved for kings, and yet we want more. We don’t want roles, duties and responsibilities. We want pleasure.
This is why it’s so crucial to understand that Jesus calls us to die to self. To take up the role that was given us and live that to our fullest. Remember that He, as very God, took up the role of the servant and submitted to death on the cross.
For what reason do we have not to fulfill the role we were given, even if it’s not what we think it should be or we think we deserve more or better.
Image: Justice Gavel by Tori Rector