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husband helping with groceries February 28 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Numbers 7:1- 8:4

Ownership and Responsibility; making a person feel important

How do we get employees, volunteers, students, or even family members to feel like they belong? By giving them responsibilities and recognition for their contributions.

In a family when each person has at least one responsibility, he feels he is an important part of it. When someone brings home groceries, the whole family might help carry them into the house. If we are moving, we might give everyone in our family tasks (even a preschooler can carry a stuffed animal). Are you part of God's family? Not only can you have peace, forgiveness, and spiritual life (more...), you also have an opportunity to take ownership and responsibility with other believers in Christ. You can actively be a part of your new family by helping.

In our Bible studies from Leviticus we saw that God gave directions to Moses regarding the construction of the tabernacle and set aside priests to serve there, along with instructions regarding their offerings. He engaged the whole community to become involved; they needed to take responsibility and ownership of the tabernacle, their portable worship center. The tabernacle was for all the people, not just their representative priests. It was the people who brought contributions of materials to build the tabernacle. It was the people, not just leaders, who were required to obey the decrees of the LORD and to bring acceptable sacrifices. The Israelites even took an active part in preparing the sacrifices.

In the book of Numbers we see that the tabernacle is built. The people donate carts and oxen for the Levites to transport it whenever it is moved. The Kohathites, descendants of Aaron the high priest, do not need carts or oxen, however; they are to carry the furniture of the tabernacle on their shoulders. The Merarites and Gershonites, also descendants of Aaron, receive carts and oxen to transport the framework and curtains of the tabernacle.

Many young churches can sympathize with the Israelites. They set up their worship center in schools or other structures because they do not have their own church building. They set up and take down chairs, furniture, stage, other props, and instruments used in worship every Sunday. It is useful to have ways of carrying them. Members of every congregation should be concerned with the practical aspects of ministry as well as the spiritual, so we need to generously supply the needs.

After supplying carts to the Levites, each tribe is required to bring an offering to dedicate the bronze altar, thereby putting it into service. Each tribe brings the same offering:

His offering consisted of a silver platter weighing 3 1/4 pounds and a silver basin weighing 1 3/4 pounds (as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel). These were both filled with grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil. He also brought a gold container weighing four ounces, which was filled with incense. He brought a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, and a male goat for a sin offering.   For a peace offering he brought two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs. This was the offering brought by Nahshon son of Amminadab. (Numbers 7:13-17, NLT).

Why is each tribe’s contribution listed separately if all of them are exactly the same? Why not just summarize them? Perhaps there are two reasons. First, we appreciate each person’s contribution when we mention it, although it seems redundant. Each tribe is recognized for his contribution—each has a part of the whole. We must not underestimate the importance of recognition. If people know they will be recognized for something, they most often act responsibly. Second, not only is recognition an honor, but we are held responsible for what we do. All tribes are to bring the same contributions, but if one tribe cheats the offerings, that tribe is guilty and is held accountable.

Let's be willing to give ourselves to the LORD and help our leaders in the service of Christian ministries. The Apostle Paul said of the Philippian church,

I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God, (Philippians 4:18).

Let's be like that; let's encourage our ministries and leaders with our help!

Lessons to Live By

  • Are you part of God's family? Not only can you have peace, forgiveness, and spiritual life (more...), you also have an opportunity to take ownership and responsibility in your new family. You can actively be a part of it by helping.
  • We should be concerned with the practical aspects of ministry as well as the spiritual. We need to generously supply the needs.
  • We show appreciation for each person’s contribution when we mention it.
  • We must not underestimate the importance of recognition. If people know they will be recognized for something, they most often act responsibly; they are held accountable.
  • Let's encourage our ministries and leaders with our help!

Focus Verse

Hebrews 13:16 (NIV) “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

praying hands Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

A Look Ahead: Now that the tabernacle is ready to move, they move out, right? Not yet, they do something else which is important. Read about it in our Next Lesson: Preparations for a Spiritual Journey.

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