" So Moses counted them as he was commanded by the word of God." (NIV)
Uh-oh... There's that pesky obedience thing again! Moses was out in the desert with all God's people, and God spoke to him, giving Moses the order to count all the Levites And Moses obeyed! He could have said, "Well, I'll go and put together a committee, and we'll elect a chairman, and then we'll develop a form as to how to count the men, and then we'll vote on exactly what date we will start counting them..., etc." Or, he could have asked, "Why me, Lord?" Or, just, "WHY?"
Backing up a bit in the story, we find that Moses came down from the mountain only to find the Israelites worshipping a golden calf in place of God. He had just left the Presence of Almighty God, only to enter into the vastly disappointing company of his own people. How quickly they had gone away from the ways of God! Now, before we start shaking our heads, we might want to examine ourselves a bit... If we looked at our own lives, we would probably see glimpses of the same behavior - on a frequent basis! And that is why daily prayer and Bible study are essential - to keep us close to God.
Anyhow, still in the flashback, Moses called out to the people, "Who is on the Lord's side?" And, the tribe of Levi set itself apart from the other eleven tribes, proving loyalty to God. In return, God chose the Levites as His own. The Levites were taken to the tabernacle and blessed by the priests. They were then honored with lifetime careers maintaining the tabernacle. They became gatekeepers, musicians, guardians of the sacred treasures.
It's interesting, isn't it, how things work out when we stand up for what we believe in? It sets us apart. It probably will make us feel "not part of the crowd". Are you willing to stand up and be counted when the question is asked, "Who is on the Lord's side?" ?
But, I digress. Moses obeyed God, rather than asking, "WHY?". Those "WHY" questions can be tough, can't they? I'll bet God gets pretty tired of hearing them...
I think that bringing up children is in many ways similar to God's caring for humanity. We want to teach our children right and wrong, what's best for them, and we don't always know whether or not we get through to them. Sometimes we don't realize until years later that a lesson either did or did not sink in...
Oh, the "WHY" questions.... When my daughter was about eight years old she constantly asked, "Why?" Not in an unpleasant or disrespectful way; but, rather, in an intelligent and curious manner. Most of the time I was glad to answer in detail how our hearts pump blood to our bodies, why the sun sets in the evening, or, " Why aren't there red M&M's like there were when you were little, Mommy?"
But, every now and then I would tire of it - especially when she questioned why she was to do her chores. Once when I told her to set the table, she asked, "Why?" Exasperated, I replied, "Melody, some day something could happen to us where our lives could depend on you listening to me and obeying me. Now, I don't mind answering your questions, but maybe you need to stop questioning everything and start simply obeying the things I tell you to do." (Needless to say, the table got set!)
Eight years later our house was broken into at about three in the morning. I heard the noise of the back door being pryed open... and, somehow, I knew exactly what that noise was, even though (obviously) I'd never heard it before. Then I heard the heavy footsteps of a person walking through the house... through the den, into the kitchen on into the dining room... I crept through the bathroom that joined our bedrooms, and whispered, "Melody, give me your cordless phone, get up, and be ready to run out the door if I tell you to." Without delay, she did exactly what I told her to do. I called 911, and the police arrived within minutes.
The intruder got away, but we were safe. When the police investigation was over, Melody said, "Well, Mommy, I did good, didn't I? I didn't ask you why. I just trusted you and did what you told me to do."
After all those years she remembered our conversation!
I am certain that God must feel that same sense of love and relief when His people apply the scriptures to our lives. He gave us His Word to protect us from harm. But, we need to read, memorize, and apply the scriptures to our lives for them to be of benefit. "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11 KJV
Oh, by the way, did you wonder how I knew what the noise was when the back door was pryed open? I am certain that the Holy SPirit told me what the noise was and what actions to take that morning.... So, you see. my daughter wasn't the only one who needed to listen and obey!