Some of them were in charge of the articles used in worship, to count them whenever they were brought in or taken out.
gifts is constantly recognized, and on this we have much apostolic teaching. But the answering distribution of offices requires to be more fully apprehended. The power and the place are divinely fitted together; and in the economy of the Divine administration we may be sure there are no more powers given than there are places in which the powers may find exercise. It follows upon this that each man is bound to realize his power, discover his place, fit into it faithfully, and interfere with no other man's work. The way in which one man's gifts and work may fit into another man's is often an insoluble puzzle to us, but is quite plain in the plan of Divine forethought, and will be discovered when we can read final issues. Each man stands right before God when he clearly sees his work and says, "This one thing I do." The following points have been, in part, presented in previous outlines; they should be dealt with now in the light of the above topic, "Every man to his own office:" -
I. GOD HAS BOTH GIFTS AND SPHERES FOR THEIR EXERCISE. That be has gifts we know, but we too readily assume that the spheres are human arrangements.
II. GOD'S PROVIDENCES TEND TOWARDS SECURING THE PROPER RELATION OF GIFTS AND SPHERES. A north-country proverb tersely expresses this, "The tools will come to the hands that can use them." Every man, sooner or later, gains his providential opportunity, when he may do what he can do.
III. MAN'S WILFULNESS SERIOUSLY MINGLES THE GIFTS AND THE SPHERES. By some men's failing to recognize their gifts; by others prostrating their Divine gifts to base and selfish uses; by some, when they know their gifts, refusing to occupy their spheres; and by the forcing of too many into certain particular spheres for which an undue preference is shown. What we need in Christ's Church and work is a wise subdivision of labour and more earnest endeavour to do faithfully and well our little piece. And in just this our Lord and Master set us his own holy example. - R.T.
And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to themI. AS TO RECOGNISING THE IMPERATIVENESS OF DUTY. "The charge was upon them.'" Duty was the absolute and dominant thing to these gate-keepers. So should it be with us. Duty grows out of the relations in which we are placed.
1. Some of these relations are toward God. God puts us where we are.
2. Some of these relations, as with the Levite gate-keepers, are towards God's house. The charge is upon us as Church-members to attend upon, give to, and work for the advancement of the Church to which we belong.
3. Some of these relations are toward our fellow-men. Israel depended on these Levites for certain service. Our family, Church, city, State, nation — all have claims upon us for duty.
II. CONCERNING THE IMPORTANCE OF ADJUSTING ONE'S LIFE SO AS TO BE ABLE TO DO DUTY. These Levites "lodged round about the house of God." That is, they so adjusted their arrangements of living that they could do the duty that devolved upon them. They planned for it, provided for its certain accomplishment.
III. AS TO SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH DUTY IS PRESENTED TO US.
1. In ways of permanent obligation. In the case of these Levites we are told that the work "pertained" to them. It was a permanent thing, of unchanging obligation. One of the best ways for us to recognise the dominance of duty is by faithfulness in connection with those possibly prosaic, but unchanging and permanent, duties that "pertain" to us.
2. Others come in the way of regular recurrence. "The opening thereof every morning pertained to them." Most of our duties are of this everyday, regular, recurring kind.
3. Duty is presented to us oftentimes in things apparently trivial Theirs was the opening and shutting of the gates: Not apparently a great thing; but it had as close and vital a relation to character as if it had seen great, As they did their work, lowly though it seemed, well or ill, they were morally well or ill. To most of us the work God gives does not seem great. But little things can be greatly done. By doing little things faithfully many a life has been made great.
(G. B. F. Halleck, D. D.)
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