Numbers 7, Isaiah 32, Galatians 1

Read Numbers 7, Isaiah 32, and Galatians 1.

This devotional is about Numbers 7.

Numbers 7:2 says that the leaders of each tribe of Israel made offerings to the Lord to be used by the Levities and priest in their Tabernacle ministry. Those offerings were, according to verse 3: “…six covered carts and twelve oxen—an ox from each leader and a cart from every two. These they presented before the tabernacle.”

The oxen in this gift were not given to be slaughtered for sacrifices; they were to pull the carts that were also part of this gift. This kind of utilitarian offering was not commanded by God, so Moses might have been uncertain if it was even appropriate to receive them as offerings. God spoke up, however, in verses 4-5: “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Accept these from them, that they may be used in the work at the tent of meeting. Give them to the Levites as each man’s work requires.’”

Te oxen and carts were useful and, therefore, a legitimate gift to the Lord for his work. Not every Levite needed them which is why the Lord said, “Give them to the Levites as each man’s work requires” (v. 5). Nevertheless, they were helpful to some of the Levites and, therefore, they were a thoughtful gift for the Lord’s work.

This is a reminder that people who serve the Lord in full-time ministry—pastors, church-planters, foreign missionaries, college and seminary professors, and others—need tools. Tools are an essential part of doing our work well for the Lord. I was away from my office when I wrote this devotional, but I was able to write it on a Macbook that our church purchased for me. I’m grateful that we have money in our budget for good tools; otherwise, the only productive time I would have would be time spent in my office.

I am involved in a few ministries outside of our church. My role is small and usually consists of me just giving advice. One of these ministries is frugal and spends money carefully and wisely. In terms of raw dollars, not a lot is spent of staff salaries or ministry expenses but in terms of percentages, a fair amount goes to those things. It would be an error, however, to think that the money spent on salaries and expenses is wasted. The people who receive pay offer valuable advice, guidance, leadership, and teaching. Without them, there would be no ministry, so paying them for their work and providing them with the tools they need is money well spent for God’s work, even if it is not directly spent on the ministry’s core tasks. It is something to keep in mind when you choose which ministries to support and how that support is spent.

The men in this passage gave something they made to God’s work. As a ministry leader, I would honestly rather people gave money to the church so that we can decide whether to buy a certain kind of tool or what kind of tool we think will be most useful. But occasionally people buy stuff and donate it to the church. We’ve had people donate computers, projectors, couches and other kinds of furniture, and many other kinds of tools or materials that I can’t think of at the moment. Gifts like these–especially if they are things we actually need and will use (which is not always the case with donated stuff)–are a blessing to God’s work.

If you tithe faithfully to this church, thank you! Your obedience and generosity makes our ministries possible. If you are tithing but also have skills you can use here or see needs for physical things that you’d like to donate to the church, let this passage encourage you to contribute to God’s work in those ways.

Mechanical Keyboard

I wrote recently about my 27-inch iMac.

Connected to that iMac is another tool I use: a mechanical keyboard.

Specifically, I use the Azio USB Mechanical Backlit Keyboard for Mac. That’s an affiliate link. If you click on it and buy one, I get a commission.

The iMac shows up with a great keyboard in the box. You can choose between a wired or wireless keyboard when buying the iMac. The iMac also comes with a great mouse.

But I enjoy typing on a mechanical keyboard.

There are webpages that claim that mechanical keyboards are better for your fingers. In other words, if you do a lot of typing, like I do, a mechanical keyboard will make it less likely that you have a repetitive stress injury to your hands. PBJ has not evaluated that claim for medical accuracy. It may or may not be true. It probably isn’t in fact.

There are also webpages out there that claim you can type faster and/or with fewer errors on a mechanical keyboard. Again, PBJ has nothing to say about that.

I just like typing on this keyboard. And, because it lights up, it looks really cool.

This keyboard is designed to be used with Apple products, like my iMac. If you write a lot, and like cool-looking tools, try this one out:

27 inch iMac

Designer workspace. Minimalistic home office. Blank screen desktop computer, Mockup desktop computer
Designer workspace. Minimalistic home office. Blank screen desktop computer, Mockup desktop computer, lamp, graphics tablet, keyboard, mouse, pen, succulent plant on white desk. Copy space.

In a world of smartphones and tablets, the desktop computer is becoming a dinosaur.

Or, as the late Apple founder Steve Jobs once said that computers “are going to be like trucks… used by 1 out of X people.” See Jobs say that for yourself:

I use a digital “truck” made by Apple called the iMac. It is a gorgeous, all-in-one desktop computer.

Specifically, I do most of my work on a 27-inch iMac. Here’s an affiliate link; if you buy one, I will get a commission.

In fact, I am writing this post on my iMac.

Mine is getting older. I bought it in 2017. But it still works great. I see no reason to replace it.

I use it for:

  • Bible Study
  • Video editing
  • Writing
  • Reading & research
  • Storing and retrieving files
  • Basic office tasks like email, spreadsheets, etc.

As an “all in one” computer, it is a simple object. You can (and I do) plug many things into it but the computer is built into the screen, so there are not a whole bunch of components strung together by wires.

Speaking of the screen, this iMac has a 27-inch, 5k retna display. It looks amazing. I have a bigger display at home that I will write about someday. That display is useful but it doesn’t look nearly as good as anything does on this iMac.

If you do a lot of your work on a computer, I highly recommend the iMac. You can get a smaller one than I have but get the big one. You won’t regret it.