They weren’t going to get wealthy doing what they did, but they were rich beyond measure. Didn’t have the toys their neighbor’s did, but they had something far better. Couldn’t open up a bank account, but they were able to lay up treasures in storehouses in heaven. They weren’t able to own any land, but they had access to holy ground.
No earthly inheritance, no physical assets to show for a lifetime of labor. But given what they had instead, what more could they want?
“This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession.”
(Ezekiel 44:28 ESV)
This morning, I’ve been reading the revelation given Ezekiel of a new temple. Enough detail in his vision to measure out the footprint and draw up working blueprints for God’s reconstructed and reestablished earthly place of habitation.
But, as impressive as Jerusalem’s bigger and better place of worship might be, what catches my eye is something that could not be improved upon–the privilege of the priesthood. Just as they had in the tabernacle in the wilderness, or in the glorious temple built by Solomon, those called to be priests would again be granted access to the holy place. Invited in to draw near to the place where the glory would again reside. Set apart to minister to the Holy One of Israel.
But the job came with a price. Theirs was to be a sanctified life. A high bar set in order for mere men to enter the presence of an Awesome God. Their devotion was to be whole-hearted. They were to be all in. And, as a visible reminder that God was to be their portion and sufficiency, they and their families were to live without what most considered to be basic essentials.
There was to be no expectation of ever receiving an inheritance, or passing one on to their kids–because God Himself would be their inheritance. No land was assigned to their tribe, as was to the other tribes of Israel.
What’s more, there would be no moon-lighting at a second job in order to make ends meet. Instead, they were to live off their labor as intermediaries for God’s people trusting that he would continually provide through the generations. And when they sat back and considered what they had to show for all their labors, they would look to the I AM, alone, as their special possession.
Access into the presence of the Creator. Robed in His appointed and anointed garments. Bathed continually in His glory. Offering sacrifices pleasing to the Almighty. What more could they want?
What more could I want?
. . . 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.
(1Peter 2:5 ESV)
Called to be a holy priesthood–that’s who we are as believers in Christ.
The blood of Jesus removing all barriers for access to the holy of holies. Robed in the perfection and righteousness of the Son of God, credited to us apart from any merit of our own, thus providing a just basis for entry into heavenly realms of glory. Privileged to approach confidently and minister, through His enabling, ably. To abide in His presence and, wonder of wonders, to have Him delight in abiding with us. All this while offering up sacrifices pleasing in His sight, and laying up treasures in a future place of unimaginable joy and pleasure.
Whatever we set our affections on here on earth; whatever temporal possession we feel compelled to expend our energies toward; whatever we think we are accomplishing by laying up a legacy and inheritance for those who follow us, it pales in comparison to what we now possess in Him and what we will inherit on that day when we are with Him.
What more could we want?
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold
I’d rather be His than have riches untold
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame
I’d rather be true to His holy name
Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin’s dread sway
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today
George Beverly Shea | Rhea F. Miller
Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
Because of grace. For His glory