Today you should read: Numbers 35
In chapter 34, the boundaries of the Promised Land were defined, and the instructions on how to divvy out the land to the 12 tribes of Israel were given. The land was to be divided proportionately according to the size of each tribe. You might note that the Levites weren’t doled out a plot of land to settle and live. Well, why not? You might remember Numbers 18:20, which says,
“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.”
Where were the Levites to live? Numbers 35 gives us the answer. Here in chapter 35, the Lord wanted each tribe to allot a certain amount of their inheritance for the Levites to live. The Levites would have a place to live within each tribe, though they wouldn’t have their own inheritance like the 12 tribes of Israel. In fact, they were to have 48 cities amongst the 12 tribes.
So, what’s the big deal? I like the way David Guzik puts it in his commentary:
“This reflects God’s desire to evenly distribute the Levites – who were to be the most spiritually focused Israelites – the full-time ministers, so to speak – evenly throughout Israel, so their influence could be distributed throughout the whole nation
I. This shows the wisdom of God in not making a Levitical state that others would have to go to. God intended that these ministers go out among the people, to influence them for the LORD.
II. In the same way, God does not intend that there be a Christian country or state where all the Christians live together in spiritual bliss, and simply say to the world, “come and join us if you want.” Instead, God wants Christians to be sprinkled throughout the whole world, influencing people for Jesus Christ.”
I believe, as followers of Christ, we are all full-time ministers. For some, ministry is a vocation, but for all it should be a lifestyle. We should see ourselves as missionaries and influencers distributed throughout neighborhoods in Fayette and Madison County. We are not to be a church building where we settle down and hope people come to join us on Sunday mornings. We must remember that Matthew 28:18-20 does not say, “Settle and make disciples if people show up at your church building.”
I’m thankful to be part of a church that takes seriously the command to influence others, share the gospel, and disciple people. I pray that we each see ourselves like the Levites, who were distributed in each tribe and neighborhood in order to do what they were made to do.
When’s the last time you thought about intentionally having a spiritual influence on a neighbor, co-worker, friend, classmate, etc?
Posted by: Rich Duffield