DON’T FORGET YOUR LEVITE!
Joshua 21:1 Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel; 2 And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle. 3 And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs.
Isn’t this always the way it is with us as well? The warfare in Canaan had ended. Everyone else had received their portions of real estate. But then the Levites had to come remind those in charge that they had been overlooked and left out of their rightful place! For did we not have an earlier time, after regeneration, of greater spiritual vitality that gradually came to be set aside as we engaged in the warfare of life? And are we not now needful to hear the Spirit say to our spiritual man, Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love? (Rev. 2:4).
And this pattern is also set forth to us, to caution us not to forget the spiritual matters of the worshipful heart. 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. The Apostle Peter informs us that we shall suffer for a while, but then be made complete, mature, or using his word, perfect! We need to be continually watchful that after all other matters are settling in our walk with the Lord, we don’t fall asleep, which even the wise virgins did!
James also informs us that our faith is made perfect after being coupled with the works which the Lord has ordained! (Eph. 2:10). Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (James 2:22). Did you ever notice that after their personal “issue” of faith, that biblical personality brought to our attention by the Spirit, then passes off the pages of the Scriptures? Abraham lives many years after the issue of faith has passed on to Isaac. We only have a certain amount of alloted days upon this earth. Let us make sure that our latter times are like the righteous who flourish like the palm tree. For they still bring forth fruit in old age! (Psalm 92:12-14).
And the final word spoken by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church was that they should be perfect. 2 Corin. 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. He could have spoken of many different things that he wanted them to attain, or shun, as he left them, never to return. But the one thing he spoke of was for them to come to a final perfection before the Lord. For they would see him no more, but the Lord would ever be with them! Therefore we see that this is a time to carefully guard against indifference concerning our spiritual being.
Two Necessary Things
Before we are brought to the subject of the last three verses in this chapter of the rest the Lord affords his people, we find two things needful in order to finally come to this sabbath rest. And these two things are still essential today for coming to our desired rest and the true spiritual worship of our dear Lord.
First, as we have seen in a previous article, in chapter twenty of Joshua, wherein the cities of refuge were afforded for the ‘accidental’ murderer, we must come to the personal experience of mercy granted in the awareness of justice! And as previously stated, justice has no mercy, and but mercy never sets justice aside. One may receive mercy who only deserves justice, but in doing so, justice must be satisfied!
One of the greatest questions of all is, how can God forgive the sinner and remain just? The sinner is justified freely by his grace. But grace being free to him, certainly is not cheap for God! For God cannot just arbitrarily forgive a sinner. That would make him an accomplice in the sinners crime! The sinner receives the mercy, but justice crys out for satisfaction!
Therefore we read that the sinner can only receive grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Rom. 3:24-26).
God forgave the sinner, but God did not forgive the sin without the Lamb of God having to pay for it, in order to satisfy the justice of God! THIS is the glorious mystery of the gospel! THIS is the only way a sinner can come to God, so that God does not become a co-conspirator!
Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
That, dear reader, is the greatest word in the entire bible! “Satisfaction!” Talk of mercy, and we should, but it cannot be experienced except with the satisfaction of God’s justice! Talk of regeneration, of sanctification, of the Incarnation, of whatever true christian doctrine you please, but none can be known, theoretically, or personally, apart from the satisfaction of God! Blessed be God and the Lamb forever!
Therefore only that soul who has come to a personal experience with justice crying out for his blood, but has been gloriously spared by receiving God’s mercy, can truly come to the spiritual sabbath of soul rest, both in time and in eternity, in Jesus Christ!
The Second Thing
Then in our chapter there is the second necessary thing! – “Don’t Forget Your Levite!” This was an early warning from the Lord! Deuteronomy 12:19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth. 14:27 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.
Deuteronomy 26:12 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; 13 Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:
But just what does the Levite of ancient Israel have to do with your present spiritual walk in this age? Let us observe some things concerning the Levite.
First, he was come to be a Levite by birth alone! There was Abraham who begat Isaac. Then Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Levi! This was a man by a birth! It was not a club one could join! And the spiritual man within each and every true believer is existence only by being born again! John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
That inner, spiritual man is born of the sinless Spirit of God! 1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. He came into being by a birth from above, just as the natural man came into being by a birth from the natural realm! John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Second, he dealt with the holy things of the Lord! Num. 1:48 For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying, 49 Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel: 50 But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle. 51 And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. 52 And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts. 53 But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony.
In order to stay in a right relationship with the Lord God, the Levite had to provide things in a proper order for the worship of Israel! And the Lord is still seeking Levites for his proper worship today! John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Our land is filled with those describing themselves as going to “a worship service,” on certain prescribed days! But it is a vain effort, as there is no true Levite heart in them! Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Third, His portion is only the Lord! Deuteronomy 18:1 The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: 2 Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.
Multitudes professing themselves as “Christians” in our land are filled with self, and expect their God to compensate their religious efforts. For a salvation by works thinks to put God in debt, and therefore seeks materialistic rewards! But the true Levite does not seek what God can give, but who God is! Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
It is as the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:14; I seek not yours, but you! That is, I’m not trying to get your worldly possessions, but I’m seeking to benefit you with my spiritual gifts!
Fourth, the Levite eats of the holy things of God! Deuteronomy 18:1 The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire… That which the Levite carried home for supper that night for Mama and the kids were the very offerings brought by other Israelites to atone for their sins that day! Leviticus 7:32 And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33 He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. 34 For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel.
Listen to 1 Samuel 2:13-14: And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; 14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.
Dear Soul, the Lord God didn’t go to all “the trouble” of the full configuration of the atonement in order to make you a “Calvinist,” or a “Sovereign Gracer!” But he did all in order for your spiritual man to actually feast off His very Self! You are to know him in that mystery of eating his flesh and drinking his blood. If you are not doing that, you have no Levite spirit within! For one absolutely must hunger and thirst after righteousness in order to establish that they are even born from above!
But this will separate the church boys from the spirit creations, whose first cry after their spiritual birth is Abba, Father! They, like the natural child return to the body that birthed them to find sustenance for their souls! John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Pastor Gene Breed.