After naming a tribe for service,
the Lord went on to call out families in it by name for specific duties.
He said where He wanted each one to camp in relation to the tabernacle.
God concerns Himself with even our temporary dwelling places.
"The duties of the children of Gershon
in the tabernacle of meeting included the tabernacle,
the tent with its covering,
the screen for the door of the court,
the hangings of the court which are around the tabernacle and the altar,
and their cords, according to all the work relating to them."
This family's entire ministry
was related to maintaining and transporting
the large leather and fabric pieces
that the tabernacle was constructed of.
Brushing off dust,
and washing, and folding,
and oiling the leather to keep it pliable,
and storing them carefully when they moved.
"This is the service of the families of the Gershonites,
in serving and carrying."
The Kohathites "duty included the ark,
the table, the lampstand, the altars,
the utensils of the sanctuary with which they ministered,
the screen, and all the work relating to them."
An interesting detail related to the Kohathites' duties
explains how the sons of Aaron are to cover
and prepare every item they are responsible for handling
and the Kohathites "are not to go in and watch
while the holy things are being covered, lest they die."
They were expected to bear holy things
with a reverence that did not touch them,
and did not get to see them.
"The appointed duty of the children of Merari
included the boards of the tabernacle,
its bars, its pillars, its sockets, its utensils,
all the work relating to them,
and the pillars of the court all around,
with their sockets, their pegs, and their cords...
And this is what they must carry
as all their service for the tabernacle of meeting...
and you shall assign to each man by name the items he must carry.
Each one of these duties are particular to the family and to the individual,
but in concluding each catalog of tasks, it repeats,
"And their duties shall be under the authority of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest."
"According to the commandment of the Lord
they were numbered by the hand of Moses,
each according to his service and according to his task;
thus were they numbered by him, as the Lord commanded Moses."
The Lord called out a specific tribe, specific families,
and specific men for particular tasks.
And their duties were holy and appointed only to them.
Every one of them was known by name to the Lord,
and called to a particular care for the Lord's things.
No one else could do their job.
In ministering to the Lord, I may find I am carrying holy things I may not see.
I am doing Him service
even though that service means busying myself
with tables and lamps, bowls and forks.
God cares who handles His dishes.