This message is really one in a series of messages the Lord highlighted to me while reading the book of Numbers. In the first six chapters there, each chapter begins with this phrase –
The Lord spoke to Moses…”Numbers 1:1; 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1 ESV
So I thought, if the Lord is speaking, what is He saying here and how can it be for us too? We better listen up and get on board. (Don’t you talk to yourself that way when you read the Bible? :-))
So here’s the deal.
I fully understand that we are “under Grace” and the New Covenant of Jesus blood and redemption. I understand that Jesus fulfilled all the law. I get it. But I also understand that there are truths for us, within these seemingly obscure Old Testament stories, practices, laws and observances. So hear me out.
A quick backstory of Numbers 4. In this chapter, the Kohathites, one of the three sons of Levi (the priest & therefore his family were all priests) are being assigned their priestly duties. Their job was to cover and carry the “most holy things”.
this is the service of the sons of Kohath: the most holy things.”Numbers 4:4
After listing everything that they were to cover and expressly how to cover it, it says this –
…the sons of Kohath shall come to carry (1) these… These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry (2).”Numbers 4:15
Ok, so they’re s’pose to carry furniture, big deal, so what, you may be thinking.
In fact, they are not just carrying furniture, and the most holy furniture at that. There are two different words for “carry” used in that last verse. Stay with me.
In the first usage, it means “to lift, accept, advance, aid. Burden bearer, honor.” (H5375) So it is clear that the Kohath family of priests were to literally, physically lift and carry the most holy pieces of furniture as the nation hiked through the desert.
In the second usage of “carry” it is an entirely different word, and yet is still translated “carry”. Take a look –
H4853 = “massa” = a burden in the form of a prophetic utterance. A tribute. An utterance, chiefly doom, especially singing; carring away, prophecy. Prophetic utterance, oracle.”Strongs Concordance; Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon
Here, it expressly states that the Kohathites are to bear the burden of carrying the prophetic words and songs from God. Their service of carrying the holy things and bearing the holy, prophetic burden is so important, verse 17 says this, “let not the tribe of the Kohathites be destroyed from among the Levites.” (Of course, carrying the most holy things was a risky endeavor if not done right, too, and could cost a life. Think- Uzzah..)
The whole chapter of Numbers 4 closes with this statement –
… each one (of the sons of Levi) with the task of serving or carrying…”Numbers 4:48 ESV
Do you see it? Not only were there to be those who valued, honored and carried the Most Holy things, but they also carried the burden for the prophetic utterance and prophecy in the nation. Each one with the task of carrying the prophetic voice of God in the camp, in the nation.
…they were charged with the service of the holy things that had to be carried on the shoulder.”Numbers 7:9 ESV
This responsibility of carrying the holy things, of carrying the prophectc burden was carried on their shoulders. It was their responsibility, their honor, their duty for all generations. They were not to be destroyed, or disappear, ever, is what God said and intended.
One last note, before I wrap up.
“Kohath” actually means in the Hebrew – “to ally oneself; allied.” H6955
The point here is this – I believe that the Lord is calling out to those who are called to carry the burden of the holy things and the weight of His prophetic words. It’s that simple.
The call is for those who will align themselves with Him and what He is doing and saying. To those in alignment, who are allied with God, He will speak and their words will be in alignment with His will.
As mentioned last week, we are a royal priesthood. (1Peter 2:9) Today, I add – who have been called to carry the burden of the presence and prophetic voice of the Lord for our nation.
I am Calling Out Those Who are Called to Carry the burden of the holy things and His prophetic word.
Are you one? Will you respond?