Counted and Set Apart


If you feel like you don’t count or matter, bring that to God. I can assure you that you matter to him.  And perhaps God has a special opportunity for you to matter in the lives of others as you are set apart by him.  The story of the Levites proves this out today…

44 These were the men counted by Moses and Aaron and the twelve leaders of Israel, each one representing his family. 45 All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel’s army were counted according to their families. 46 The total number was 603,550.

47 The ancestral tribe of the Levites, however, was not counted along with the others. 48 The Lord had said to Moses: 49 “You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites. 50 Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the covenant law—over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they are to take care of it and encamp around it. 51 Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and whenever the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall do it. Anyone else who approaches it is to be put to death.

52 The Israelites are to set up their tents by divisions, each of them in their own camp under their standard. 53 The Levites, however, are to set up their tents around the tabernacle of the covenant law so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelite community. The Levites are to be responsible for the care of the tabernacle of the covenant law.”

54 The Israelites did all this just as the Lord commanded Moses.
Numbers 1:44-54

The Levites were not counted in the census God instructed Moses to take in the desert, two years after they left Egypt.  Each man counted in the census was able to go to war for Israel, yet the Levites were not set apart by God for that purpose.  They were set apart for the purpose of God in moving and setting up and maintaining the Tabernacle – the dwelling place of God.  And so the Levites didn’t count.

Sometimes when we aren’t counted in we think that we do not matter.

The Levites were not counted in, yet they mattered a lot to God.  In terms of the worldly impact in fighting off attacks and assisting their tribes in safely getting to the Promised Land, the Levites may not have seemed, even to the other tribes, as being important.

What God values, however, we often do not value.  And when you are set apart for the purpose of God, you matter to God and you have a divine calling.  In fact, your calling is not your own and is not measured in terms of human ideas or measurement.

In this case, the Levites’ camp, which was around the Tabernacle and acted as a buffer between the other tribes and God, was intended to save those tribes from God’s wrath.  The Levites were the intermediaries.  They were the priests.

Jesus counted in the same way.  Even though, as we read in John 1, his own people did not receive him or value his teaching, God had a purpose for Jesus.  God had a mission for Jesus.  Jesus was to be the everlasting intermediary between God and humanity.

Even though when he was born, Jesus didn’t count in the estimation of the world, in his death, he mattered more than any person has ever mattered or will ever matter.

If you feel like you don’t count or matter, bring that to God. I can assure you that you matter to God.  And perhaps God has a special opportunity for you to matter in the lives of others as you are set apart by him.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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