Numbers 35-36, Psalm 52
From an earthly perspective it seems like the Levites get a bad deal. Every other tribe is given a land to possess in the Promised Land, yet we read in Numbers 18:23, “But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.” From an earthly standpoint it appears they were slighted. But in reality they were most blessed for the honor of belonging to God and serving Him. When Korah rebelled against Moses and Aaron in Numbers 16, we read in 16:9-10, “Is it a small thing to you that The God of Israel has separated you from the congregation, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you?” Today, in Numbers 35, we read of the 48 cities which would be given to the Levites, not to own, but to be lived in by the Levites.
C.S Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth, and you will get neither.” The Levites were God’s priests or representatives in the Promised Land. We who belong to Christ are now God’s priesthood on earth, 1 Peter 2:9 (“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”). They were given areas to live in throughout the land so that God’s influence would be throughout the land. We must view ourselves the same way. Nothing is by coincidence. God placed each and every one of us in our particular situation (family, location, job, time in history) for a reason. The reason is that we would shed God’s light wherever He has placed us (Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”). This theme is weaved throughout the New Testament. Jesus says that we are to store up treasures for ourselves in heaven not earth in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Paul says that our citizenship is in Heaven not Earth in Philippians 3:20. Peter calls us sojourners and pilgrims on earth in 1 Peter 2:11-12, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles,…”. So as fellow sojourners, God’s representatives, may we focus less on the things of this earth and more on eternal things realizing that nothing is by accident. Pray to God to open our eyes to all of the God-given opportunities that surround us daily.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: