SOAP Journal – 23 March 2017 (Numbers 18:20)

Then the LORD said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land nor own any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel.”

Numbers 18:20

As God goes over the Terms and Conditions of the Levites’ service in the tabernacle with Aaron, God drops this statement in. A few verses later, God says something similar of the Levites (v 24), except that the Levites are given the tithes as an inheritance while Aaron and the priests are given God Himself.

Part of what catches my attention about the things that God says to the priests is the New Testament (NT) statement that believers are priests to our God. So everything that God says to the Old Testament (OT) priests gives me a moment’s pause while I evaluate whether or not the OT statement made has an NT analog.

Peter and Paul and the author of Hebrews all speak of an eternal inheritance that comes to those who believe. The author of Hebrews actually goes so far as to state that people of faith have often been poor and without possessions in this world, but had their eyes fixed on a better inheritance.

Which brings me to the application. The obvious observation is that the OT priests were not to have an inheritance among the Israelites, but would receive God as their inheritance instead (a far better deal, I think). But the application is a reminder that what is here in this world and this life is not my inheritance; not what God ultimately wants to give me. This is not to say that He will fail to meet my material needs — as the psalmist wrote, I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor the son of the righteous begging bread. Nor is this to say that I should not make sound financial decisions — God does want me to be a good steward of the resources He has entrusted to me. This is a reminder to hold all good things in open hands.

Houses and cars and everything else that the world sees as “necessary” to our lives (and, to be fair, some of it is necessary) can be taken away without notice. Job was a wealthy father when he woke up one day and a destitute husband bereft of his children when he lay down that night. And he had done nothing to deserve that. Everything I have — every good and perfect gift in my life — comes from the hand of God and God can take any or all of it back as it pleases Him. God wants to bless me in ways I cannot even imagine (and I have a vivid imagination), but He must first be my all. As Jesus put it, I must seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and then all the other things will be added to me.

Father of Lights, You have given me much and blessed me more richly than I could ever deserve. Thank You for all that Your generous heart has provided me and all that Your love has removed from me over the years. I do not always understand at the time, but I know Who does the giving and taking and I know that You are Good. Please work in me to increase the openness of my hand and to affirm in my mind and heart that You are my portion and inheritance.

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