“Bring your fellow Levites from your ancestral tribe to join you and assist you when you and your sons minister before the Tent of the Testimony. They are to be responsible to you and are to perform all the duties of the Tent…I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord to do the work at the Tent of Meeting.” —Numbers 18:2, 3, 6 NIV.
Are you serving in a support position on your team or ministry? Determine to let your service be a gift. Know that you are a gift to the Body of Christ and the Body of Christ is a gift to you. The Apostle Peter admonished us with, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God…whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies.1
In the Old Testament, God gave the Levites’ help as a gift to Aaron and his sons. It was not earned for Aaron was not any more deserving than we are of God’s gifts to us. God, in His mercy, designed a chain of support still active today. He literally called out the Levites solely as a support ministry to the priesthood and offered them to Aaron and his sons as a gift.2
PATTERN YOUR SERVICE
God’s design and purpose for our Levite brothers reflect a beautiful pattern for his New Testament servants today. God set the Levites apart and their practical ministry offered as a gift.
I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord to take care of the details at the Tent of Meeting. –Num. 18:6
They were to help the men of God and take care of all the details of the Tent. Look with me at some simple principles set forth that will under gird and still apply to our modern day support ministries:
• God appointed the Levites. He selected the Levite brothers from among the other Israelites to join Aaron and his sons in service. In a similar fashion, the writer of the first book of Corinthians tells us, “God chooses and puts His saints exactly where he wants them in the Body of Christ. 3 I believe it is worth injecting, if we allow him.
• The Lord dedicated the Levites to Himself. One of the meanings given for dedication as well as holy is ‘set apart’. Interchanging the words we could say, “The Levites were set apart for the Lord.” The Apostle Peter reminds us of an Old Testament command that still applies to God’s servants today saying, “Be holy as I am holy.” 4 Join me as I ask myself, “How set apart am I to the Lord for service in His Church?”
• God gave the Levites’ ministry as a gift. What a wonderful honor given to the Levite tribe of Israel. When I prepare a gift for my child, I make sure it is the best quality that I can find. The physician Luke phrased it in a similar way referring to God’s gifts saying, “If your nature is evil and you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give a good gift.” 5 The helps ministry is a gift to our ministry leaders in the Church. Let us endeavor to walk worthy of this calling.
• God assigned the Levites to the details of the Tent. They were given duties concerning the Tent while the priest ministered before the Lord. Perhaps the early Church apostles had this fact in mind when they assigned the first seven to handle the details of ministry while they spent more time before the Lord in prayer and the ministry of the word. Have you been assigned the details of the ministry while your leadership ministers before the Lord? If so, know that you have been given a great honor.
We need each other in God’s chain of support. We must begin to take our place and serve as a strong link in God’s chain. As another example look again to the book of Exodus, the Israelites were in a battle with the Amalekites.7 Moses went to the top of a mountain and held the staff out over the battle. As long as his arms were up, the Israelites prevailed. However, when his hands were down, the Amalekites were winning. Aaron and Hur put a large rock under Moses for him to sit on. Then one stood on each side to hold his arms up in the air.
God could have supernaturally strengthened Moses’ arms to the point where he did not need Aaron and Hur to hold them up. I believe God wanted to spotlight our need for each other, especially in times of battle. Pastor Gordon Banks phrased it like this, “Working alone in Jesus, you may eventually win. But working together in Jesus, you win quickly.” Often without support, our personal battles are longer than necessary. In addition, if we do not allow others to share in our battle, we cheat them of their share in the joy of victory. Jesus spoke of this when He said, “Those that share in My sufferings, I will share My glory with them.” 8