King David’s Kingdom (see below)
We are both comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time with the division of duties in our companies and organizations. We yearn for better clarity and division when someone else is doing what we think we are supposed to be doing. Yet at the same time, we don’t like the division of duties when there is something we want to do, but we are told that it is outside the scope of our responsibilities. And we get uncomfortable when there is ambiguity about duties being shifted. Being able to recognize that we have to hold these thoughts together at the same time is not easy. The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald says as much and more: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Yes, we must function within a defined set of duties and also be open to the them shifting on us at any given time.
This came to me as I was reading in 1 Chronicles a very intricate description of a set of duties of King David’s Kingdom. It is a long set of verses so I have listed them below, rather than at the top of this post as I normally do. What I find fascinating is that today’s organizational models and divisions of duties are not all that far off from what King David used. There is a breakdown between finance, product, distribution, operations, strategy, human resources/training, and risk management/security. These verses remind me that there is a bigger division of duties at play within our lives. God has already done so much of the work for us to give us examples and accounts by which we can live and operate our lives. He did this so that we can spend our energy and efforts on executing to His plans and His ways without having to figure out or worry about the rest.
Reference: 1 Chronicles 27: 24-34 (New Living Translation)
Officials of King’s David Kingdom:
Azmaveth son of Adiel was in charge of the palace treasuries.
Jonathan son of Uzziah was in charge of the regional treasuries throughout the towns, villages, and fortresses of Israel.
Ezri son of Kelub was in charge of the field workers who farmed the king’s lands.
Shimei from Ramah was in charge of the king’s vineyards.
Zabdi from Shepham was responsible for the grapes and the supplies of wine.
Baal-hanan from Geder was in charge of the king’s olive groves and sycamore-fig trees in the foothills of Judah.
Joash was responsible for the supplies of olive oil.
Shitrai from Sharon was in charge of the cattle on the Sharon Plain.
Shaphat son of Adlai was responsible for the cattle in the valleys.
Obil the Ishmaelite was in charge of the camels.
Jehdeiah from Meronoth was in charge of the donkeys.
Jaziz the Hagrite was in charge of the king’s flocks of sheep and goats.
All these officials were overseers of King David’s property.
Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a wise counselor to the king, a man of great insight, and a scribe.
Jehiel the Hacmonite was responsible for teaching the king’s sons.
Ahithophel was the royal adviser.
Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend.
Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada son of Benaiah and by Abiathar.
Joab was commander of the king’s army.