Monday, June 9, 2014

Obscure Bible Heroes {Blogging Through The Alphabet - G}

G is for the Gershonites

Numbers 4:24 "This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, to serve, and for burdens:" 

Numbers 4:27 "At the appointment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all their service: and ye shall appoint unto them in charge all their burdens"

During the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt back to the Promised Land, the tribe of the Levites was given the task of transporting, setting up, and caring for the traveling Tabernacle in the wilderness. Of this tribe, certain families had specific tasks to keep everything running smoothly.

There was a special family, the family of the Gershonites, that was chosen specifically to "bear the burdens". Their job was not glamorous. In fact, they were not the ones seen by those who visited the Tabernacle. They did not get to take care of the sacrifices, or the many seemingly more important jobs at the Tabernacle.  

Instead, their job was bearing the burdens, carrying the pieces of the Tabernacle while the nation as a whole was traveling. While it was a menial task, it was also important because the pieces of the Tabernacle needed to be kept clean and functional to be set up again at a moment's notice. Traveling through the wilderness in ancient times was rigorous in its own right. Traveling while carrying heavy burdens and packs was even more difficult.

There are a few things about these people that make them heroes to me. First, they faithfully served behind the scenes. Probably no one even noticed them doing their work, unless of course, a piece of the Tabernacle was missing when it was time to set up! Second, their entire purpose was to serve. Service was their way of life. Every time they are mentioned, they are mentioned as a family. This shows me that it was not just dad going out and carrying the load, but that whole families worked together to get the job done. 

They were also in charge of an area that many people probably tried to avoid. Who wants to be the one in charge of the burdens? I'm sure there was no line of volunteers! Yet we always read of the Tabernacle being in its place when it needed to be, which shows that behind the scenes, there were faithful people taking care of it.

What does this have to do with us today? How can we follow the examples of the Gershonites? Allow me the liberty of drawing a parallel between this Old Testament story and our current life. 

As Christians, the moment we stop to take a look around us, we will see a hurting world. We will see many, many people, both saved and lost, in the church and unchurched, who are carrying heavy burdens. It seems that everyone is hurting. You can see it in their eyes if you will take a moment to notice. 

Just as the Gershonites were given the service of bearing burdens, can we also dedicate our life to serving others and helping shoulder their load? If we were to pick up the burden of someone near us, would it bring them closer to the Lord? The answer is very obvious. God works through human vessels, and uses willing servants to help bear the burdens of those around them. 

Like the Gershonites, I want my family to be known as one that serves and bears the burdens of those around us. When the world looks at us, it is my prayer that they will see the Lord Jesus Christ and be drawn to Him. When our brothers and sisters in Christ have a burden, I hope we can be the one to help lighten their load.

Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."

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Ben and Me


  1. Thanks for this beautiful reminder to keep my eyes open to the needs and burdens of others. So many times I'm guilty of being so caught up in what's going on in my life that I miss what's going on in the lives of others.

    I also think this story can serve as a reminder to thank those in our churches who are doing the "behind the scenes" work that often goes unnoticed such as those who keep the church clean and presentable for services and those who do the yard work so that the outside of the church looks just as nice as the inside. It's important to let them know the work they do is appreciated. :)

    1. That is a really great idea - thanks for sharing it here!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!