Because of Alice's position in the family there were different expectations placed upon her.
Reference: v.2 They (the Levites) shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them. (NIV Bible)
Explore: The other night I was talking to Alice, an eight year old girl who is the oldest of her siblings. Just recently she has had some wires put in her mouth to expand her jaw and this means that she is now restricted in what she can eat. Clearly hard food like apples and carrots are out of the picture, but also sticky foods like lollies and toffees are no longer allowed. Not surprisingly Alice was a lot more upset about the limited lolly factor than the restrictions on fruit and vegetables! Alice was telling me that her little sister will not just stand in front of her eating some forbidden lollies but she'll wave the lollies in front of Alice's face singing, "You can't have this, you can't have this." While Alice was rightfully annoyed at her younger sibling for this blatant act of rubbing salt in her wound she also reflected on what it would be like if the shoe was on the other foot. Alice felt that seeing she was the oldest, if she did the same thing to her younger sister then there would be howling and tears from her sibling and Alice would be severely told off. Because of Alice's position in the family there were different expectations placed upon her. [As a younger sister, I apologize to both my older siblings for no doubt doing a very similar thing on many occasions!]
Application: When I read in Deuteronomy that the Levites didn't get an earthly inheritance I wondered whether this was fair. Just because of their role in society they were not to obtain any inheritance with Israel. And yet what do they get instead… God. Now, as great as land and crops and livestock are, it's hard to deny that the best inheritance you could ever have is a relationship with God. While we live in a very tangible, physical world we hold on so dearly to the things we can obtain, however a relationship with God is what we should long for most. The Levites were to do the work of the Lord on earth, even if that meant little earthly reward.
When we look at our lives we are very quick to compare it to the lives of others: I'm not as rich as that person; I have a better car than that person; I've been able to get more for my money than that person. And yet as followers of God we already have all that we need. Our relationship with God is the best reward we could ever have, no physical item could ever outweigh its significance. As a Christian we are called to hold tightly to God and not to the objects of this world. We hold a position in the family of God and that gives us a different perspective on what we hold dear and what we give away.
Prayer: Lord, You are all we need. Forgive us when we hold so dearly to the things of this world. Amen.
What object do you hold dearly? What sacrifice have you made as you live out the life of a follower of Jesus?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.