About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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Chapter 18

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ch. 18:1-7  ch. 18:8-32

Duties of the Priests And Levites (ch. 18:1 - 7)                                                

 

In this section God confirms a choice He had already made.  The Levites would be responsible for all aspects of the tabernacle.  No other tribe could carry out any of these responsibilities. 

 

Verse 5 says that the Levites were responsible for the tabernacle so that the rest of Israel would not experience the wrath of God.  Now this is quite the responsibility.   The Levites had one very important job to do.  Christian leaders today should view themselves in somewhat of a similar light as these priest, although in one real sense of the word, we are all priests.

 

In verses 6 and 7 we see the word "gift" twice.  The Levites were a gift to the rest of Israel, and the priesthood was given to them as a gift. 

 

Concerning this idea of being a "gift".  In the New Testament it is clear that all true believers have become priests to the Lord.  Not one particular group of believers are priests.  That means we are all gifts and the priesthood itself is a gift to us.  As the Levites had their responsibilities for being priests, so does the Christian today.  In one real sense of the word, we are a gift to the rest of the world.  That should not make us proud.  It should humble us because along with being a gift is a very large responsibility to do the work of a priest in the way the Lord wants.  More often than not, we perform our priestly duties with our own methods and not our Lord's.  How God felt in Old Testament times concerning abuse of the priesthood is how He feels in New Testament times concerning abuse of the New Testament priesthood.

 

Chapter 18:8 32

 

I will not comment on the issues of law in the rest of this chapter.  I will only make one comment and that is concerning verse 20 where God tells Aaron that the Levites will not have any portion of land once they enter Canaan as the other eleven tribes would have.  God Himself is their inheritance. 

 

I think there is something for us to learn in this verse.  True Christians are all priests in New Testament times.  We don't have a special class of priests, or at least we shouldn't.  For the non-Christian, the world right now is their inheritance, but for the Christian our inheritance is God Himself.  As the writer of Hebrews states in Hebrews 13:14, we don't really live in this world, but we seek a city yet to come.  We should not view this world as our home.  Our real home is in and with Jesus, which will be further realized in the new earth that is seen at the end of the book of Revelation.   

 

For prosperity teachers who believe that this life is the abundant life Jesus spoke of in John 10, I think this passages helps show that thinking to be false.  Our inheritance will come in the next life.  This life is all about ministry, not about indulging in our inheritance. 

 

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