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Bible Commentaries

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

Numbers 4

Verse 19

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"Every one to his service and to his burden."Numbers 4:19

Another aspect of individuality.—This is the individuality of endurance as the former was the individuality of service.—As a matter of fact every man has a burden of his own.—"Bear ye one another"s burdens."—The burden is adapted to the man who bears it.—It is easy to exhort another man to carry his burden, but here as everywhere example is better than precept.—There is no limit to the influence of example in this matter.—People are looking on and drawing their conclusions as to what can be done under circumstances of distress, and sometimes they are shamed into greater resoluteness by the bravery which they note in others.—A difference is always to be marked between the burdens which we make for ourselves, and the burdens which are appointed by God. It is profane to create a burden by our own wickedness and then to speak of the mysteries of divine providence.—Let a man examine himself carefully: to live is to endure trial; to be in the world is to feel somewhat of its cruel pressure; but besides this there may be the special burden of infirmity, temper, appetite, or some form of selfishness.—How jealous are some hearts! how peevish are some spirits! how narrow in conception are some minds! how resentful are some tempers! Every man must examine himself in the light of such suggestions and determine the magnitude and weight of his own burden.—But the text speaks not only of burden but of service.—Every man has his own gift of God.—The service is one, although the servants have different work to do.—Each man must find out what he can do best.—For want of this definiteness of conception much energy is misspent or utterly wasted.—Infinite mischief arises from the supposition that all men should serve alike.—"Every one of us shall give account of himself to God."—The doorkeeper will not be blamed because he was not high-priest; the least of the brethren will not be overlooked because he did not hold high office.—The spirit of the Bible is thus just to human nature in all its variety of gifts and opportunity.—There is no indiscriminateness or confusion in Bible judgments.—Of one it was said, "She hath done what she could."—This is the spirit by which the judgment of all workers will be determined.

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Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 4". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. 1885-95.