My all time favourite people to study about in the bible is The Levites. Ever since I started to understand that they kind of represented the believer in the time of the law, I became so interested in all that God said about them and to them because indirectly, God also spoke to us, and is still expressly speaking through Jesus today.
We read about them in Deuteronomy 18 that “They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them.”
While the rest of the tribes of Israel received plots of lands and properties to their names, the levites received The Lord as their inheritance. The first time I read that portion of scripture, I remember laughing so much because I just imagined their reactions when Moses broke this news to them. Like “And now to The tribe of Levi, God says you get no inheritance because He is your inheritance”, I imagine the children and youth from other tribes mocking them for it too because while they all received things, the Levites received a person.
We read further on to the responsibilities of the Levite’s having received God as an inheritance. I was looking at 1 chronicles 23:28-32, we see there some other responsibilities given to them. As I studied, I began to see the same responsibilities that we have even now as the chosen people who have God as our inheritance.
According to 1 chronicles 23, the levites were to serve in the temple of the Lord by:
1. The purification of all sacred things. – it goes on to list out the courtyards, side rooms and other parts of the temple. For us now, living under grace, it means that as the temple, we’re charged with the responsibility of keeping ourselves pure, guarding the entirety of ourselves, being watchful of what goes in and comes out of this temple because it must be kept sacred. Not anyone was allowed to stroll in and out of the temple in the times Abba dwelt in arks and buildings, it doesn’t change now. We must keep the temple, ourselves sacred.
2. Setting out bread on the table, special flour for the grain offering, the thin loaves made without yeast, the baking and mixing and all measurements of quantity and size – The levites received all offering for the Lord and were responsible for sacrificing the offerings on the alters. For us now, this means that being the living sacrifices, we present all offerings, including ourselves at all times and seasons. Availing ourselves, our time and our resources for the work of God is our responsibility.
3. Standing every morning and evening to thank and praise the Lord – This doesn’t change much for us now. God expects to see us praise as often as we remember, just like the levites did in the time of old.
4. Serving before the Lord regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them. – this hit me the most, especially the “…way prescribed for them” part. For us now, God expects us to serve Him by the pattern He has given, not new ways we device of our thinking, but ways He has set out from the beginning. This is why we study the ancient paths, this is why we read of those who have gone ahead of us, so that we see the patterns and principles and live our lives accordingly.
The more we study the bible, the more our eyes are open to how it all points to One person, Jesus. Through every dispensation, the goal was Jesus and so even now, that we get to live through these times spoken about, we need to understand the patterns that led us here and ask the Holy Spirit to help us live our lives as God intends.
In the past, I wrote here about how we begin to understand worship at a deeper level when we see it as it was done under the previous dispensation, please check it out when you can.
Like the Levites, we’ve been privileged to host The Lord and to steward His temple, let’s know what’s expected of us so we can do it right.