FULFILLING our specific ‘ROLES’ in the CHURCH: "This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of meeting, relating to the most holy things: When the camp prepares to journey, Aaron and his sons shall come, and they shall take down the covering veil and cover the ark of the Testimony with it. And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die." (Num 4:4-5, 15)
The Israelites were on a journey as they were traveling to The Promised land, and they had to carry with them all their personal belongings on their own. However, God’s tabernacle, being the holy structure where God inhabited among his people, could not to dismantled and transported by just anyone among the Israelites. To do this critical logistics of transporting, God appointed specific Levitical families with the delicate task of dismantling, transporting, and erecting God’s tabernacle. This work was dangerous, because it involved handling heavy sacred equipment, and was restricted to men between the ages of 30 and 50 who were physically strong and capable to do this work.
In fact, God instructed Moses to handle the mammoth task of moving the tabernacle of God by organizing teams around specific tasks. Each team or, a specific Levitical clan was assigned specific duties in this logistical maneuver, which are specified below:
- Aaron and the priests carefully prepared the ark, lampstands, utensils, and furniture for the move. Each piece had specific wrapping requirements (vv. 5–16).
- The sons of Kohath were assigned transportation of the items that Aaron and the priests had packed. This team could not go to work until the tabernacle’s holy things were completely wrapped and ready to be placed on the carrying poles (v. 15).
- The sons of Gershon then collected and carried all the hangings, screens, and remaining utensils. Their work was carried out under strict supervision (vv. 21–28).
- The sons of Merari loaded and carried all the bases, pillars, bars, cords, and pegs under the supervision of the priests, who were careful to name each worker assigned to carry each individual item (vv. 29–33).
- Eleazar, the future High Priest of Israel, was the overseer of transporting and setting up the tabernacle. He was to make sure that all the holy objects were covered before the sons of Kohath were allowed to enter (v. 16).
- Ithamar, the younger brother of Eleazar, was over the work of the sons of Gershon (v. 28) and sons of Merari (v. 33).
This kind of combined teamwork should be among the Christian believers today as well. We can see the cooperative model of the church that Apostle Paul had taught, when he used the image of the body of Christ functioning according to each member’s nature and ability (see 1 Cor. 12:4–26). By working together, planning systems and assignments carefully, and overcoming tendencies toward competition and conflict, believers today can rise to the challenge of managing the kingdom work in a way that honors the Lord. One thing is evident – every believer has an important specific role to play in the Church!
Today, let us understand what role God has placed for us in His church, and faithfully fulfill our specific roles to the best of our ability and with God’s help: "And He (Jesus) Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Eph. 4:11-13)