Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan [opposite] Jericho, saying, “Command the sons of Israel that they give to the Levites from the inheritance of their possession cities to live in; and you shall give to the Levites pasture lands around the cities. The cities shall be theirs to live in; and their pasture lands shall be for their cattle and for their herds and for all their beasts.”
As God goes through and explains to Moses how the Promised Land is to be split up — and God is quite specific on more than a few points — God includes instruction to provide a place to live and a means of support for the Levites; those who would serve in the tabernacle. The Levites, who get no inheritance, are given cities scattered around amidst the other Israelites.
As a believer, the parallel is interesting. God orders things so that I have a place to live and a means of support, just as He did for the Levites. My wife and I recently went through the ordeal of house hunting because the new owners of the building we have lived in for years decided to do major renovations on the place. I am sure that there are people who enjoy house hunting, but we were on a deadline and a budget and neither one was terribly conducive to an enjoyable house hunt. But God opened a way and we have a place to live. The same has happened in my job. About six years ago, I was in the teaching profession and things were rough for teachers — particularly English teachers, since there are (or were) so many, apparently — and no doors were opening for me. I got this crazy idea to try my hand at something other than teaching and applied for jobs in the technical writing field. God opened a door with an awesome boss who saw potential and hired me on. I can go on recounting the times and ways that God has provided a place and a means of support for me throughout the years, but there is a second component that needs to be addressed.
The Levites were the tribe who received God as their inheritance. They served in the tabernacle and ministered to the LORD alongside the priests. Christians also receive God as our inheritance — Heaven is not Heaven if God is not there — and Christians are called to serve God in various capacities. The Bible does recount times when the priests and Levites left the service of God to support themselves, and those were dark times for the Israelites.
The application comes down to two things for me. First, I can rest confident that God will provide my needs. Second, I need to be found faithful in my service to God and His people.
Thank You, Father, for providing my needs and being my portion. Thank You also for the privilege of serving You and Your people. Please teach me to rest in Your provision and to be found faithful in ministering to You and my fellow believers.