Numbers 4.26c NIV
“The Gershonites are to do all that needs to be done with these things.”
My wife and I used to have a small communication issue. She expected me to know certain things she thought. I remember wishing she would clearly inform me of the things I should know.
A few years before she died, my wife pointed out that there was a full basket of clean laundry at the foot of the stairs. I heard her and verified she was right. There was indeed a full basket of clean laundry at the foot of the stairs. I even acknowledged her comment, “Yes. I see that.” I thought that was the end of the matter. I later discovered was there was more to the message than what met the ear. Imbedded in the communique was a deeper, hidden message: “If you go to the foot of the stairs you will find a full basket of clean laundry. Would you please take that basket up to the our bedroom?” My wife expected me to know what she meant. This was a repeating issue in our home. I routinely heard other similar comments... “The lawn needs mowing” and “The garbage can is full.” She expected me to comprehend the deeper message behind her statements of fact.
Maybe I’m not as stupid as I sound. Perhaps I don’t really want to understand the hidden meaning. It’s easier to listen than act (i.e., hear and acknowledge the statement and then quickly move out of earshot). This strategy works well for me. Somehow the laundry basket always made it to the bedroom without any help from me. However, I think my wife expected more from me. Jesus probably does too.
The Gershonites were responsible to carry the furnishings of the Tabernacle from place to place during the Israelite’s 40 years of wilderness wanderings. These furnishings included tent coverings, courtyard curtains, ropes, and equipment of various kinds. It was a big task to take down the Tabernacle, move it, and set it up again. It took 7,500 of them to complete the task (Numbers 3.22). I assume there was more to the job than the brief details found in the biblical account, so God issued a broad command... The Gershonites were to “do all that needs to be done.”
Could a man like me ever be sensitive enough to actually see “all that needs to be done” before my wife even pointed it out to me? Thankfully, she didn’t expect me to be a mind-reader. My wife was never demanding but always willing to tell me “all that needs to be done.” She was apparently called by Jesus to help me see the reality that surrounds us. The rest was up to me.
My dear wife is in heave now, but God gave me two decades with this amazing woman to teach me how to be a good Gershonite and “do all that needs to be done.”