23 Now when David [a]reached old age, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. 2 And he gathered together all the leaders of Israel with the priests and the Levites.
Offices of the Levites
3 The Levites were numbered from thirty years old and upward, and their number by [b]census of men was 38,000. 4 Of these, 24,000 were to oversee the work of the house of the Lord; and 6,000 were officers and judges, 5 and 4,000 were gatekeepers, and 4,000 were praising the Lord with the instruments which [c]David made for giving praise. 6 David divided them into divisions according to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
7 Of the Gershonites were [d]Ladan and Shimei. 8 The sons of Ladan were Jehiel the first and Zetham and Joel, three. 9 The sons of Shimei were Shelomoth and Haziel and Haran, three. These were the heads of the fathers’ households of Ladan. 10 The sons of Shimei were Jahath, [e]Zina, Jeush and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei. 11 Jahath was the first and Zizah the second; but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons, so they became a father’s household, one [f]class.
12 The sons of Kohath were four: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 13 The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. And Aaron was set apart to sanctify him as most holy, he and his sons forever, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister to Him and to bless in His name forever. 14 But as for Moses the man of God, his sons were named among the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer. 16 The [g]son of Gershom was [h]Shebuel the chief. 17 The [i]son of Eliezer was Rehabiah the chief; and Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many. 18 The [j]son of Izhar was [k]Shelomith the chief. 19 The sons of Hebron were Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth. 20 The sons of Uzziel were Micah the first and Isshiah the second.
21 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. 22 Eleazar died and had no sons, but daughters only, so their brothers, the sons of Kish, took them as wives. 23 The sons of Mushi were three: Mahli, Eder and Jeremoth.
Something that stood out to me here was the age of the Levites that were counted. When it comes to battle, we see them count anyone who can draw a sword. But not so with those entrusted to do the work of the house of the Lord. It would have been a big responsibility, and so the younger Levites would have to wait until they were properly trained and could be trusted to fulfill the office to which their family was designated.
And indeed we see that the Levites were gatekeepers, judges, officers, and those who lead the people in music. Now, that’s not to say someone must be 30 or older to minister in a church today, but it’s a reminder of the weighty responsibility that should not be taken lightly. It is for this reason that we see many Bible school graduates in “lesser” roles until they are ready to take charge of a church as a lead pastor.
Even then, we must not think we’ve arrived, but keep our eyes and ears open to God’s leading and direction. Learning, in any vocation, is a lifelong journey, and the day we stop learning is the day we cease to be useful. Especially when it comes to the thing of God, it is impossible for any one person to know all there is to know on this earth. Some day we will know him more, but I imagine that even when we see God face to face, we will continually be amazed and surprised as we learn more about our Creator.