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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Naso 35-1

Lift up

Numbers 4:21-37

All their service, whether carrying or doing other work, is to be done under the direction of Aaron and his sons. You shall assign to them as their responsibility all they are to carry. This is the service of the Gershonite clans at the Tent of Meeting. Their duties are to be under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest.

Num. 4:27-28 NIV

Why are supervisors needed?

In order to have efficient management it's necessary to have a person who is responsible for every area. It wasn't up to the Levites to decide what to carry from the sacred objects. Everything was assigned from above. Moshe got the order to assign the duties, including carrying the objects. Under him was Aharon, his elder brother, under Aharon was his son Ithamar and under Ithamar were Gershon's sons.

Each object was carefully assigned to the Levites and each one of them was responsible for carrying out his task depending on the object or objects they were entrusted with. Nothing was left to chance, everything was well organised. Each one received a task from their superior and the supervisors had the responsibility of overseeing that the tasks were carried out in the right way and order.

When each one knows his task and carries it out diligently, there's no need for much supervision, but in order to avoid mistakes and to coordinate the work to be done, it's always necessary that there is some kind of supervision over everyone.

The worker that has an assigned task doesn't have to and can't have control over the whole project. Only those who carry the general responsibility must have a clear vision of everything that must be done, but not so the workers. Everyone, however, must understand that their task and their small area of responsibility is part of something bigger. In this way, a right balance between particular or personal and general vision of the whole project will be kept.      

Not everyone has the ability or the calling to be supervisors; it's just for a minority. The worker must submit to his superior and respect his rules not only when he is on site. One who works diligently only when he's been supervised can't be a good servant in the Kingdom of Heaven.

On the other hand, it's true that there are invisible eyes that watch not only over what one does but also over how he does it and the motivation behind his doing it. The one who is aware and sensitive to the fact that the Eternal is watching at all times, taking note of everything, is more careful in his work making the same effort with or without supervision. The one who fears the Almighty wants to please Him first, and is careful to fulfill the orders and wishes of his superiors when they are being watched and not.

If your emotions rebel when you are under someone's authority so you feel you can do whatever you please and obey when you see fit; or if it simply bothers you that someone tells you what to do, then you need to be delivered of that rebellious attitude. All authority has been established by the Eternal and those who submit in justice according to the rules of the Torah will be rewarded for their faithfulness as it's written in Colossians 3:22-24: "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favour, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Messiah you are serving." (NIV revised)

Shavua tov,


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