“But to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance; the LORD God of Israel is their inheritance, just as he said to them.” (Joshua 13:33 ESV)
This week I have had the privilege of leading worship at the World Evangelization Conference. It has been an incredible week challenging the students of DTS to be a part of God’s great mission in the world. It has been a busy week, which has made it difficult to blog, but I wanted to share something that struck me today after Afshin Ziafat, the main speaker, preached.
Today Afshin talked about our tendency to treasure the effects of God and miss God altogether. To show what he meant he talked about how the nation of Israel, after being chosen by God and given the land of Canaan, abandoned God and made the land the important thing. When he was sharing that, it reminded me of something I read last week. After Joshua conquered the land, he distributed the land between all the tribes. This was a big deal because this was part of the covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 17. God’s promise and choosing was attached to the promised land beyond the Jordan.
Now this is one of those sections of the Bible that is easy to gloss over. Descriptions of maps just aren’t that interesting. Somehow though, a verse struck me as I was reading the section talking about the allotment to the tribe of Levi. The Levites, if you remember, were the priests of Israel. As such, they didn’t get any land. At first, I kind of felt bad for them. They fought alongside the rest of the other tribes. They suffered through the wilderness wanderings with the rest of the tribes. If anything, they worked harder and did more for the nation of Israel than any of the other tribes. They seemed the most deserving of the land that they waited so long for.
But then I was struck by Joshua 13:33. The reason they don’t get the land is because their inheritance is the Lord. They get the direct access, the presence, the sacrifice. Their inheritance is that they get to worship God constantly.
As Christians, the inheritance of the Levites is ours as well. We may not get earthly riches, we may not have all our dreams come true. But we get Christ! Our inheritance is confidence in approaching the throne of grace!
I’m ashamed how often I envy the earthly inheritance of people around me. Or even worse, how often I look at God and wonder if this is all I’m get for following him. I’ll be faithful to him, seek him, do my best in ministry, love my family well, sacrifice my time and talents to do full time ministry and get mad that God doesn’t give me the prosperity of other believers around me doing the same thing. I wonder if the Levites felt this way.
As I was thinking about this and chewing on the message given today at the conference, my heart broke for my ingratitude. My heart broke for the vain jealousies I have for the things God can give me. The Lord is my inheritance! That is enough!
I pray that this week we would examine ourselves and our ambitions. If God told you today that you get nothing of this world but him, would that be enough?