On the "Little" Things in Life and Ministry

Numbers 4-6

And the appointed guard duty of the sons of Merari involved the frames of the tabernacle, the bars, the pillars, the bases, and all their accessories; all the service connected with these; also the pillars around the court, with their bases and pegs and cords” —Numbers 3:36, 17 ESV.

One of the questions people ask as they try to read through the Old Testament is why God wanted all these “boring” details recorded. Seemingly endless lists of who fathered whom, what colour the pomegranate on the bottom of the priest’s garment was, and who looked after the tent pegs, seems like too much information.

Personally I like the tent pegs. As I read through these chapters I always get a chuckle out of the picture. If Joe Merari neglected a tent peg when he was cleaning up in preparation for a move, the next time Israel put up the Tabernacle after one of their hikes, they would be in big trouble. One missing tent peg could spell disaster.

Even the so-called little duties had a huge impact if poorly executed.

I like the words “guard duty” in these verses. God doesn’t call them the cleaning crew. janitors, maintenance men, or sanitary engineers. They are guards, looking after a vital part of the ministry.

The lesson is pretty obvious. For those of us who have tent pegs to look after in ministry (and that probably includes all of us), we need to remember that even if those “little” duties don’t seem all that important to us or to anyone else, they certainly are to God. We are called to be as faithful with the tent pegs as we would be expected to be with far more visible and laudable tasks.

For want of a tent peg, the whole place might collapse.

Comments

  1. Lynda, I was at a women's retreat meeting on Wednesday night and the retreat coordinator read your devotional aloud to us (she is going through the devotional) to encourage us that whatever we do is meaningful to the Lord and NEEDED. Anyway thanks for your encouragement from the word. :)

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