Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Curiosity Killed the Kohathite

I was reading in Numbers this morning about my favorite tribe, the Kohathites.

What? You’re not a fan?

Well, you should be. They were a sub-tribe of the Levites, first cousins to the priests. And they had a fascinating job. (Numbers chapter four has the details.) Whenever the Israelites moved through the desert—which they did frequently—the Kohathites’ job was to transport all the coolest stuff: the Holy Altar, the incense burners, the lampstands, even the Ark of the Covenant.

Their life work was to transport these objects from one location to the next. At age thirty they were promoted to active duty. At age fifty they retired. For twenty years they carried the cool stuff.

And here’s the kicker. They never saw any of it. They never touched any of it.
If they did, they would die. Immediately.

Before the community travelled, the priests would go in and carefully wrap the objects, making sure the carrying poles were easy to get to but no parts of the sacred objects were visible. Then, the Kohathites would move the items to the next site, where the priests would unwrap everything and re-construct the Tabernacle.

A Kohathite would spent twenty years carrying objects without ever really know what it was he carried, never fully understanding the glory he transported.

By the way, has God ever asked you to do something and you didn’t really know why?

Well, sometimes I think that’s because the full knowledge is more than we can handle.

And sometimes, it may be that God gets the most glory when we obey without Him having to explain “Why”?

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