I know I’ve read it a number of times before in my morning readings. The fact has been repeatedly stated in Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua. So, it’s not like it came as a surprise to them when Joshua brings it up again as they are divvying out the land. But this morning it jumped off the page. This morning it had me sit back in wonder. This morning I connected the Levites’ lot with mine and couldn’t help but think, what else could they want?
There were still seven tribes of Israel that had not yet had their part in the promised land apportioned to them. And Joshua says, “It’s time. Let’s get this done!” They were to scout out the remaining land and then cast lots to determine God’s plan for the tribes of Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulen, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan. But that still left one tribe with no inheritance.
“The Levites have no portion among you, for the priesthood of the LORD is their heritage.”
(Joshua 18:17a ESV)
It’s not like the Levites would have nowhere to live or no fields to work. Within each of the tribes of Israel there were cities and pasturelands allotted to the different Levitical family lines (see Joshua 21). But while they were provided for, they had no portion. While they would partake of the fruit of the land, they had no possession in it.
Everyone else got something they could call their own. The Levites received the priesthood. Everyone else could hand the deed to their land to their children. The Levites could pass on how to minister in the holy place. Everyone else could measure and count what was rightfully theirs. The Levites could point to the curtain and declare with confidence that the glory which resided there was to be their legacy, that the LORD was their inheritance as He had promised them (Num. 18:20, Deut. 18:2).
While God would provide for their needs, they would live life having nothing to call their own save for Him alone. Sounds like a principle to be applied to every priesthood of God, doesn’t it?
. . . you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. . . . you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
(1Peter 2:5, 9 ESV)
Along with all those who have believed in Christ as the Son of God come to redeem sinners, I have been incorporated as part of a holy priesthood permitted to enter the holy of holies with spiritual sacrifices pleasing to God. As a follower of Jesus, the Risen Savior, I have been called to join a royal priesthood given the privilege of bringing the light of the glory of God to a world enveloped in darkness. If I never owned a thing, what else could I want?
Oh to be satisfied fully in the LORD as my inheritance. To have no need beyond the blessing of being called to enter the holy of holies and boldly approach His throne of grace. To not worry about what I own, but to view all that I have as “on loan”, a sacred trust as I fulfill my priestly duties.
Then would I cease flailing about trying to increase my gain in the world, but would concern myself only with being faithful in anticipation of the kingdom of God. I would stop clawing and fighting to hold onto what I think is mine and instead, realizing that nothing I have has not been gifted to me, I would seek first that kingdom, believing that all other things will be added as He graciously determines.
The Levites were to minister where the glory of Jehovah would dwell. They would eat of the food given to the LORD as His food. Their heritage was to forever be tied to the eternal God. What else could they want?
I am part of His present holy priesthood. A member of His forever family. A child of the eternal God. What else could I want?
Not a thing.
His grace is more than sufficient. He glory to be forever proclaimed.