FAITH TO ENTER GOD’S PROMISES
Rest from our struggles
Jerry A Collins
God scatter the Levites all throughout the nation?
the responsibility of the Levites in the nation?
receiving their own cities assist in doing their work?
The other day I was walking
around the yard and noticing all of the new growth taking place in it. Once again I took note of the dandelions I would need to
uproot with shovel and pail lest they multiply their presence. On the patio
were some purple colored flowers that made their way through the cracks between
the bricks migrating from other places in the yard. The yearly encroachment of
seeds and weeds which will come to stay if allowed. Making their presence known—their impact felt. In a similar type way,
God scattered a tribe all throughout His nation when He planted His people in Canaan.
A tribe that God designed to make a difference—wield an influence that would be
essential for the people of His nation. That tribe was the tribe of Levi. This
scattering of the tribe of Levi among the others fulfilled Jacob’s prophecy on Levi for his senseless murder
along with bro Simeon of the Shechemites (Gen
49:5-7). However, God overruled in case of Levi’s
descendents to preserve their tribal identity and then make them a blessing to Israel.
The reason was because they stood with Moses at a critical time (Ex 32:26) and
also because Phineas, a levite, vindicated God’s
righteous name in plains of Moab
GOD ENSURES THAT THERE IS A
SPIRITUAL INFLUENCE AMONG HIS PEOPLE 1-41
1-2 Here the tribe of Levi finally steps
forward to claim their territory. This is the last allotment to take place.
Moses had promised an allotment to them in Num 35.
3-8 The distribution of the territory is
according to the three main branches of the tribe of Levi. These correspond to
the three sons of Levi, Kohath, Gershon
and Merari. First we have a synopsis of the
distribution to these three families. Then we have a detailed explanation of
this in 9-40. Eventually the allotment included 48 cities plus the six cities
of refuge mentioned in Joshua 20. In vs 4-5 the sons
of Kohath were given twenty-three cities from six
different tribes. In vs 6 the sons of Gershon received thirteen cities from four of the tribes.
In vs 7 the sons or Merari
were giv en twelve cities from
three different tribal territories. Then verse eight concludes: These cities and their pasture lands the
people of Israel gave by lot to the Levites as the Lord had commanded thru Moses. Of
these three sons, the Kohahites were more prominent
and had the most cities assigned to them. The reason was because Moses and
Aaron were sons of Kohath. So the Aaronic
priesthood came from this branch of the Levites. Since they were to be
spiritual leaders of the nation at large, the Levites were trans-tribal not
bound by any borders or boundaries. It was clear they did not own these cities
or the grazing land surrounding them. The cities and land would provide for
them but they were to focus on the spiritual influence they were to have
amongst the people.
(1) That influence included the worship life of the nation. They had
served this way throughout the wilderness encampment as they ministered in the
tabernacle, transported the ark of the covenant from place to place, maintained the tabernacle structure & furniture. But now
the tabernacle would stay put in Shiloh being a central
location for the nation as a whole. Eventually it would be moved to Jerusalem
and then replaced by the Temple.
But worship would go on in every stage and in each place. The worship of the
nation, the sacrificial offerings, the feats and festivals of the people, the
musical worship, the psalms and hymns of praise heard and sung—all of it designed to deal with the sin
problem of the people. But now they were supposed to be scattered all
throughout the territories. God did not want them siting
around Shiloh or even later in Jerusalem.
Their everyday lives in their communities were to be an influence of worship
among the people so that as they traveled back and forth to fulfill their
duties they would be a constant reminder to all the others of their need to
produce devote worship to their Lord and King. That God was
worthy of the affection of His people. Is that what people perceive when
you rub shoulders with their lives? Is this what other believers are influenced
by when you serve in some capacity?
(2) That influence included teaching the people the Law of God. Moses
in his final blessing of the tribes had said to Levi in Deut 33:10 He teaches Your
precepts to Jacob and Your Law to Israel. First, they were to instruct the
people where they lived in the Law of the Lord so that the knowledge of God’s Word would be maintained among the
people of the nation. The Levite cities in the north and the east were placed
there as deterrants against idolatry that could
easily infiltrate from Tyre
and from the Midianites, Ammonites and Moabites. So all of the nation had someone near enough who knew the Law
of God that they could easily visit and get advice, counsel and instruction. It
was essential that the nation stay faithful to the Law of God in all areas of
their lives because their propensity to stray and forget God would forfeit the
privileges they enjoyed in covenant with God. Today, we are to influence one
another with instruction from the Word of God. It is good to be part of several
groups of Christians as long as they groups honor the Word of God in teaching
and practice. We should become the teacher and leaders that keep God’s Word and His work foremost among His
people. Unfortunately we know that the influence of the Levites diminished over
time. They do not seem to have lived up to their potential nor fulfill the
mission God had given them. Idolatry and corruption eventually spread
throughout the nation and even the priesthood became corrupted until God had to
judge His nation and people. Even though God ensures a spiritual influence
among His people, that is no guarantee that the influence will produce what it
was designed too. Just because the body of Christ teaches the Bible, prays, sings, meets guarantees devote believers but
God will ensure His spiritual influence anyway.
WE CAN AFFIRM GOD WILL FULFILL HIS WORD AND WILL
Looking back at beginning, then
summarizing the conquest and division of land,
emphasizes God’s faithfulness in all
of it. It has been quite a task. Yet he affirms:
(1) That God is faithful vs 43. He gave Israel
the land, kept the covenant.
(2) That God gave victory over
their enemies and then gave them rest vs 44.
Unbelievable 40 yrs ago, now has come to pass. Amazing!
(3) That God keeps His promises vs 45. There is still territory that tribes need to possess
and while Israelites lived there many Canaanites still did too. There was still
much trouble ahead and tragedies that would develop during the judges and the
Kings. But those would be Israel’s fault, not God’s. They now had rest from war and for us today it is
contentment. What is that?
1. It is not getting what we like
but liking what we get. 2. It is making
the most out of the least.
3. It is not connected to where
you are but who you are.
4. It realizes God has given me
everything right now I need for my present happiness.