The whole account of Numbers [a book in the Hebrew Scriptures of the bible] focuses on the overall history of the people of Israel from 1512 to 1473 B.C.E. This specific part of the said history features events when the people were being lead by God in the wilderness towards the time when they had to dwell within the Plains of Moab. The record on the situations the Israelites had to deal with specifically shows how God dealt with his people through proper leadership. Several series of instructions as well as punishments and rewards could then be read through these parts of the bible. In the discussion that follows, understanding how theocratic arrangements bring out the best out of humans therefore motivating them to move effectively shall be given particular attention to. Primarily focusing on Numbers chapters one through five, God’s dealings with his people shall be examined and specifically noted in this discussion.
When it comes to humans, free will often negates the condition by which a person should obey commands given to him by any particular individual in authority. This has been several times in the record by which Israelites were being guided out from Egypt and towards the promise land. The time they spent in the wilderness greatly tested whether or not they are going to subject to the overall authority that God has over them through the direction of Moses. People, typical of them, did question Moses’ leadership many times and had several points of swaying away from what has been instructed by God through his servant Moses. Due to these God had to take actions just to show his people what is likely to happen when his word and commands are being neglected.
When it comes to organization, it could be realized that in the process of camping and arranging the people [amidst their huge number] in the wilderness, the first and second chapter of the book concentrates on how God arranged his people according to clan and tribes. To make sure that no one is lost during the time of camping, the whole group is divided into three tribes where particular leaders [the Levites] are assigned to oversee the groups. Each three-tribe division is assigned a specific location in the camp and are also directed on a specific position when the group begins to march through the wilderness again. This fact is further recorded in Numbers chapter two from verses one towards verse thirty-four.
The primary leaders assigned are called the Levites. They are known to be the assigned priests and are given important roles especially when it comes to leading the people towards the guided conditions of God as they tread along the paths of the wilderness. They are set to assist the priests. To make sure that every Levite is given the proper role that he can take to make sure that the Israelites are both properly guided and properly protected, every Levite over a month old is registered and are taken in exchange of other firstborns from the other tribes as recorded in the third chapter of Numbers. All of these young males are numbered and are given individual assignments when they are expected to complete in line with their involvement in the process by which the Israelites survive the long journey through the wilderness (Numbers 3:1-51).
At this point, it could be understood how God made sure that his people are properly guided through the help of designating leaders who are expected to give attention to the needs of the people and listen to their voices as they call out to the one who is protecting them. While it was essential that he placed Moses in the highest command as Israel’s primary leader in the wilderness, the placing of the Levites as attendants played a great role on how the people would listen to Moses and how he intended to assist the people in following what God has commanded them to do. Delegation of responsibilities through organized registration of names of those who are assigned to take over the need to lead has become a relative key towards the success of leading thousands through the harsh and challenging conditions of the wilderness.
In this case, it could be realized that the theocratic arrangement for defining job positions has created a great impact on how the people of Israel were known and were directed by God. Noting that he has commanded their registry imposes that he intended to use a specific tribe to handle the option of leadership. Giving this tribe [the Levites] a particular condition of the mind, actually pointing out their position in the group specifically shows how God exacts the position and role of each person in the nation. Putting into the minds and recognition of the Levites who they are and what they are expected to do specifically insists on the fact that they are further motivated to take on their responsibilities even before they reach the right age of taking the lead. In this case, it could be noted how God used the ideals of ‘leaders being made’ in the midst of Israel.
From this particular example, it organizations today could develop effective action on people through making sure that they are given the chance to know their role in the organization. Knowing what they are doing and what they are contributing towards the development of the organization gives them better meaning therefore motivating them to work in a much convincingly effective manner. Relatively, such approach is what Jesus Christ used when he was on earth as he chose his twelve apostles. Mark chapter three verse four specifically notes how Christ chose and motivated his twelve apostles to continue with him and preach with him. Besides personally knowing them as individuals, he knew what their strengths and weaknesses are especially when it comes to their behavior. He used both their weaknesses and their strengths to give them the ideal position to preach and teach the people about the truth. For leaders in organizations today, it is rather important to know who the people are, what they can and cannot do therefore providing the roles that they can contend with and assigning them with tasks they can practically accomplish. This way, everyone becomes an asset to the organization therefore having a reason for existence in the process of invoking the development that the organization needs.
International Association of Bible Scholars. (1984). New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. Brooklyn, New York.
Ramm, Bernard. Protestant Biblical Interpretation: A Textbook of Hermeneutics. 3rd edition. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1970.
Tate, W. Randolph. Biblical Interpretation: An Integrated Approach. Rev. ed. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 1997.
Thistleton, Anthony. New Horizons in Hermeneutics. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1992.
De La Torre, Miguel A., “Reading the Bible from the Margins,” Orbis Books, 2002.