Today’s reading Numbers 1-2
Numbers 1:47 But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.
It is interesting in this passage that they are counting the whole nation of Israel yet God tells them not to count the Levites. The Levites were the tribe that had to take care of the Tabernacle. They were in all honesty a burden to the nation of Israel.
They did not have an inheritance. They did not produce their own income. They did not meet the needs of their own families through working their land, buying, selling, or working a craft. They took care of the Tabernacle.
I can only imagine that there was some resistance to the idea that the others had to take care of this group. They paid the bills for the Levites. How many Levites are there? Just how many people are we taking care of?
Can’t you hear the discussion? Is it fair that we always have to pay for them? Why don’t they have to work like the rest of us? Who died and made them special? Why should I have to sacrifice, “literally,” to take care of them?
So God said do not count them. Do not tell everyone how many of them there are! Count everyone else. There were 12 tribes taking care of one tribe that was all they knew.
Throughout their history Israel would take different attitudes towards their care. Sometimes they were diligent but often they were resentful and even quit caring for them.
I am sure you have seen that today. There are pastors and missionaries that seem to take advantage of the situation. There are others that probably do not get taken care of. Just know this is not a new problem. It has been going on for a long time!