1 Chronicles 27
To me, there is a troubling trend in modern Western society. I see it happening in schools with children, as well as in the general workplace with adults. I’m not sure what has caused this trend to appear in our culture. Perhaps it has its roots in the feminist movement or the civil rights movement. Regardless of where it came from, however, the trend has become that everybody must be seen and considered as equal in most every way.
In schools, there seems to be an effort to minimize discrepancies between children of a more gifted intellectual nature and those who, shall we say, struggle with their studies. High academic achievement may be downplayed and failure in studies may be overlooked. In the same way, there seem to be many who feel that any adult can be just as qualified to do a particular job as another. We seem to shy away from the idea that some people are inherently better at some tasks than others. Maybe we’re afraid to be labeled as "discriminatory."
But the fact of the matter is that God gives specific gifts to specific people, and I don’t think we should be afraid to acknowledge that. King David realized it, and instead of balking at the idea, he utilized specific people for their specific gifts. Did you catch the examples of that in this chapter?
Here, we had a laundry list of all these different Israelites who were in charge of all the different interests of the nation. With the exception of at least two: "Obil the Ishmaelite was in charge of the camels... Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of the flocks." (vs 30-31)
David put an Ishmaelite, an Arab, in charge of the camels. Why would he do that? Because the camel is a creature of Arabia. The Ishmaelites would have had a lot more knowledge and experience in dealing with these animals. I guess David wasn’t looking for the family ties as much as he was looking for expertise. He wanted a herd of healthy, happy camels! And an Arab was just the person for the job.
In the same way, the Hagrites were shepherds by profession. They spent their lives tending sheep. So, who better to put in charge of the flocks of Israel than someone who had a great deal of experience and expertise with these animals? It seems like common sense, but these days I wonder if we worry more about gender, ethnicity, and hurt feelings than we do about helping people use their God-given gifts for their benefit and the blessing of others.
God gives specific gifts to specific people. One of the gifts He’s given to me is the gift of music. I don’t apologize for this talent, and I don’t feel bad for the people who don’t have it, either. God gave them gifts that He didn’t give to me.
God has also given you specific gifts, and He’s given them to you for a reason! So, if you have a tendency to compare yourself to other people and even to be jealous of the gifts of others, stop it! Embrace what God has given to you, have fun discovering how to cultivate it, and be amazed at how God is going to use it! He doesn’t need you to be like everyone else. He needs you to be you, and He’s given you a very special set of gifts for just that very purpose.