Numbers 18:1-6- AND THE Lord said to Aaron, You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear and remove the iniquity of the sanctuary [that is, the guilt for the offenses which the people unknowingly commit when brought into contact with the manifestations of God’s presence]. And you and your sons with you shall bear and remove the iniquity of your priesthood [your own unintentional offenses].

    2And your brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your [fore]father, bring with you, that they may be joined to you and minister to you; but only you and your sons with you shall come before the Tent of the Testimony [into the Holy Place where only priests may go and into the Most Holy Place which only the high priest dares enter].

    3And the Levites shall attend you [as servants] and attend to all the duties of the Tent; only they shall not come near the sacred vessels of the sanctuary or to the brazen altar, that they and also you [Aaron] die not.
    4And they shall be joined to you and attend to the duties of the Tent of Meeting–all the [menial] service of the Tent–and no stranger [no layman, anyone who is not a Levite] shall come near you [Aaron and your sons].
    5And you shall attend to the duties of the sanctuary and attend to the altar [of burnt offering and the altar of incense], that there be no wrath any more upon the Israelites [as in the incident of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram].
    6And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the Israelites; to you they are a gift, given to the Lord, to do the [menial] service of the Tent of Meeting.

If you took the time to read this passage of scripture, then you’re probably left feeling much like I did when I first read it. A sense of perplexity came over me. What does all of this mean? All the ritual, all of the ceremony? How on EARTH is this suppose to have any significant meaning or relevance to me?
I love reading the Word of God but there are some verses that are harder to swallow than others. Leviticus- Deuteronomy become choppy waters for me most of the time. However, I’ve come across this passage of scripture on more than one occasion. I wasn’t sure why the Spirit was leading me here because after all, I could barely understand what was being said, let alone, figure out how I could draw any type of edification from it.
Then this scripture came back to me this morning as I cleaned my kitchen and mopped the floors.
Let me just be real for a moment.
I never have enjoyed chores. I know there are some folks who live for Saturday morning cleaning days but I aint one of them. If I had the money, I’d sure hire a cleaning service but since such isn’t my lot right now, I’m stuck with rubber gloves, Greased Lightning and Dawn dish detergent duty. I wash my dishes by hand, particularly because even though my dishwasher is only 4 years old, I still do a better job by hand than it does. But doing a kitchen full of dirty dishes by hand is exhausting, not to mention it was time to mop the kitchen floor. *sigh* As I stiffened my upper lip, this scripture came to me, and not only that, others also began to flood my mind.
Here’s what the Lord shared with me this morning as I was up to my chin in dirty pots and pans:
The work may be menial but the calling never is.
The tribe of Levi was selected by God to serve under Moses and Aaron to the care of the tabernacle in the wilderness. They were not given the same access as Moses or Aaron, but they were still set apart from all the tribes of Israel to serve before the Lord in this capacity.
Seems as if my washer and dryer haven’t stopped running since I brought Matthew and Caitlyn home from the hospital and Lord knows there’s always a cleanup under breakfast table #1 to attend to. However, the Holy Spirit showed me, as I rung out my mop that it’s because of a series of “menial” things and my willingness and faithfulness to do them that my children are doing as well as they are today.
It’s easy to feel like we’re missing out on some grand plan that God has for us like saving beluga whales and passing out 50,000 bibles in the North Pole. Who doesn’t want to make a difference? Who doesn’t often wonder how on earth is God getting any glory out my my mopping this floor for the 1000th time and wiping the perpetually snotty nose of a three year old? Surely, that’s not what He meant when he said “these signs shall follow them that believe”. Surely He didn’t mean my life was suppose to be this ordinary…
This menial.
But as He showed me today, it’s not what you do, it’s who you do it for. Washing utensils in the Tabernacle probably seemed like a bum deal for a few Levites when they compared themselves to Aaron & Moses… that is, until somebody crossed the line, broke a rule ans dropped dead because of God’s wrath. Now, I’m not saying God is an angry God who all but stalks us down, looking for a chance to zap us. But let’s face it, the God of the Old Testament was clear and played no games as He moved to establish His people as a new nation in their own land. But it wasn’t all about judgement. It was also about recognizing the honor. It was an honor to be chosen by God to serve in any sacred capacity, whether as a priest who accepted the sacrifices of the people or a minstrel who played songs of worship and praise to God. Whatever the duty, the honor was clear. God chose you to do it.
And no matter how frustrated I get or YOU get in the menial affairs of your life, just remember, God chose you to do it. As much as you may complain or even sigh, you know that no one has the grace and patience to handle certain situations quite like you do. You know the burden is easier for everyone to carry when you do what you do.
So why complain about it another day?
Can God trust you with a mop and diaper?
Can He trust you with a hand towel and armourall?
Call He trust you with a microphone and stadium full of people?
Will you recognize the honor it is to serve Him, in whatever capacity or will you murmur and complain?
It may be menial, but it is far from meaningless.
It’s an honor to serve God.
You didn’t apply for His job.
He chose you for it.