Numbers 4:1 – 5:31; Mark 12:18-37; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 10:26
“Work and carry burdens” is a phrase that stood out to me today as I read. I thought about ‘women’s work’ and my life as a wife, mom, and grandmother. Though my life is easier now, there were lots of days when I worked and carried burdens—just the sheer labor needed to take care of our family. My children grew up in the 70’s and I washed diapers for all five of them. My husband’s shirts needed ironing and the children’s clothes needed to be mended—ripped jeans were definitely not in style. There were groceries to haul home, floors to scrub and sick children to care for.
‘Women’s work’ is honorable work, and it certainly has its own rewards, just as the work of the Gershonite clan was worthy as they carried the curtains of the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, its covering, etc. and all the equipment used in its service (Num. 4:24-27). It was burdensome, physical labor, but it was worthy; doing this work did not demean the laborers.
A different kind of burden is put on the woman in Numbers 5—the burden of proof. I do not think that the woman in Numbers 5 is being demeaned when she is asked to drink the bitter water to prove her innocence or guilt. She is actually being protected from an overbearing, jealous husband, for she can prove her innocence and he must believe. Of course, if she is guilty, she must pay the penalty.
In Mark, we read of a different kind of burden—the Sadducees taught there is no resurrection. Their followers had the burden of not being able to believe there was a heaven to come! Quite a heavy burden, if you ask me!
We will have work and burdens while we live on this earth; it’s not all of our life, but it is an important part. Here is the strong conclusion for today in Psalm 48:14 - “This God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end."
That is a God worth working and carrying burdens for.
- Nell Sunukjian
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