Contentment and Productivity
Today’s reading: Numbers 1:1-2:34
My selection: Numbers 2:34 ” Thus did the people of Israel. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so they camped by their standards, and so they set out, each one in his clan, according to his fathers’ house.”
My reflections:In a perfect society, everyone would be productive and content. In our imperfect world, discontentment about our status and standing contributes to the lack of willingness to “bloom where we are planted.” We struggle with who we are but we will never resolve the struggle until we know and accept who we are in relationship to others, including God, our Creator.
The Lord spoke to Moses giving him a plan. Moses instructed the people, and the people did what was ordered. At least for a moment in time, the people seemed to have been both productive and content. God was at the center and they were willing to take their assigned places in both camping and marching even though there was obvious ranking.
The plan called for four tribes to take leadership: Judah (on the east), Reuben (on the south), Ephraim (on the west), and Dan (on the north). The Levites camped in the center and marched in the middle after Judah and Reuben and before Ephraim and Dan.
The Lord’s commands to Moses made worship a priority. Both literally and symbolically, God and worship was at the center of their life. Order was also important. Everyone could not be first. Each one had a place, but they were not all equal. Here are two key elements if the people of God were to be productive and content: the centrality of worship and the acceptance of a division of labor and rank.
My challenge: I cannot make my society follow these principles of worship and acceptance of roles, but I can begin with myself and, to the degree I am able, with my friends and family. A failure to keep God at the center of life goes hand-in-hand with discontentment about my role and rank in life. The fear of God makes one more willing to accept His assigned role and rank in His kingdom and to be productive and content. Are you content? Are you productive?
Tomorrow’s reading: Numbers 3:1-4:33