God recognized the value and precision of the Levitical priesthood to the nation of Israel. He wanted the best and the strongest to perform the duties that would define the relationship between God and His people. So God set parameters for the time of active service for the Levites. The men form the tribe of Levi who worked in the actual tent of meeting, were only eligible to do lead in the duties of the tabernacle from age 25 to age 50. After that they were to retire. They could still assist, but they were no longer supposed to do the actual work involved.
So what did the Levitical seniors do to fill their days after age 50? In actuality, this passage speaks to the Temple Guard of the Levitical priesthood. The men that being described are warriors that are to guard and protect the Tent of meeting. The treasures that were housed there were significant and precious. God wanted the best and the brightest to be ready to fight to protect it. So God’s first retirement really was for his warrior priests and they were to be ready for a span of 25 years and then, they were to step back and let others fill the role.
God knows the best plans for our lives. Like the Levites, God calls us to be ready to go and willing to stand firm. But, God also knows our limitations and never wants us to be put in a position we cannot handle. We have to be ready to meet the challenges He sets in front of us, but, also know that He will not put us in something we are not ready for. Even if we may be too old to be temple warriors, it does not mean we are no longer able to serve. We simply fill other roles and serve in other ways. God really never calls us to retire; He simply calls us to refocus our energies, talents and experience to serve God and others.
God Bless You
From among all the Israelites, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the tent of meeting on behalf of the Israelites and to make atonement for them so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary.”
20 Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses. 21 The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes. Then Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the Lord and made atonement for them to purify them. 22 After that, the Levites came to do their work at the tent of meeting under the supervision of Aaron and his sons. They did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses.
23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, 25 but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. 26 They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work.This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites.”