List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle. (Numbers 4: 3 NLT) “This is the rule the Levites must follow: They must begin serving in the Tabernacle at the age of twenty-five.” (Numbers 8:24 NLT)
We live in a culture that is very impatient with any delay. Although wait may not always be a good thing, many of us want things yesterday. There is a general pattern in the Scriptures in relation to training of God’s servants. The preparation of God’s servants, unlike the processing speed of your computer, is not based on the rapidity of the process, but the quality of the product produced.
In the Scriptural references above, there seems to be a five-year difference in the starting point of Levitical service. Commentators tell us that before their appointment as a Levite at thirty years of age, there was a probation period where the skills and the wherewithal to serve in the Tabernacle were learned. In the time of King David, this phase lasted ten years where there was more to do; A mentoring relationship is evident throughout the Bible. Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, and Jesus and Peter, James, and John are some examples. Matthew Henry writes about the Levites, “they must learn before they teach, and serve before they lead.”
Never despise the time or place God uses to prepare you for his service. It is time you spend doing things that others deem a priority that God teaches you what it means to serve. It is the places where you don’t want to be that changes your character. In the grand scheme of things, waiting may be far more productive than doing.
Images used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing