Numbers 18: . . . I am thy part and thine inheritance. . .

Songdove Books - an EstateNumbers 18:20  And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.

During a time when, as Israel was stumbling quite badly getting into the groove of all God had just handed down to them in the Law, they begin to grumble, complain, get jealous, and start murmuring against those God had chosen for His service in the Tabernacle and its courts.  Over the course of a couple chapters, this behaviour resulted in several bouts of death and disease.  God then tells all heads of the tribes to bring a rod, and of course we have the famous budding rod of Aaron as God reconfirmed all over again, His calling upon Aaron and his household and those of the Levite tribe.

Then we come to chapter 18.  God’s been speaking alternatingly to Aaron and Moses about inheritance, about the final results of sacrifices and who can eat them, etc.  God reconfirms all over again that the Levite tribe and the Aaronic priesthood will not be given portions of land in the Promised Land when they get there.  They instead are to settle around the Tabernacle, and in the tithes of land the Israelites give to the Levite priests.

Now it could very easily become the still newly-established priesthood’s turn to be jealous and start complaining about their lot within the nation of Israel.  But listen to what God says to them:

Numbers 18:20  And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.

It is so easy at times for those who have been set apart by the Lord, to look around at others who seem to have everything, and get a bit envious.  It can be easy to fall into jealous behaviour, because, after all, we are God’s children equally as much as them, doesn’t God owe us a decent lifestyle just as they have?

First off, God doesn’t owe anyone anything.  There is dangerous teaching going on out there that God owes us something, and it’s simply not true.  Preachers are out there teaching a sense of entitlement as the Children of God when Scripture says that if we live how God asks us to live, then the blessings and promises will follow.  It doesn’t say that God owes us those blessings and promises merely because we put on the salvation parachute pack.

Secondly, God knows better than we do, what we can handle and what will draw us away from Him.  God will not bless us with anything that in the long run, will ultimately destroy our relationship with Him.  If that means keeping us poor so that we learn to constantly rely on His provision, so be it.  If that means keeping us single to realize He is our unseen Bridegroom, then so be it.  If that means keeping us from being able to accumulate material goods, so be it.  Whatever will take our eyes off God, He will either not provide, or provide in less measure than someone else for whom it is not a stumbling block.

Songdove Books - CallingThirdly, there are times when being set apart unto God for a given purpose and/or season, means foregoing what everyone else can take part in freely.  It doesn’t mean what they do is bad or wrong, but for us, in this season and in this calling, it is.

In the New Testament, we read:

Galatians 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Anyone who has read the Torah will know how many times by the 18th Chapter of Numbers, that the Israelite people had figured the slave life in Egypt was better than freedom in the desert.  God knew such faulty memories weren’t right and refused to give in to such foolishness.  God spoke about such foolishness and the resulting dire consequences very clearly when He had Peter write:

2 Peter 2:20  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

Songdove Books - Wine GobletPaul put it another way when writing to Timothy:

2 Timothy 2:3-5  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.  5  And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Again, and more specifically, Paul wrote to Titus:

Titus 1:5-9  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:  6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.  7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;  8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;  9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Paul says the same thing to Timothy in 1 Timothy 3.  I’d encourage my reader to read that entire chapter.

Compare the Titus and Timothy verses above to these below:

Leviticus 10:8-11  And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying,  9  Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:  10  And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;  11  And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.

Leviticus 21:5-8  They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.  6  They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy.  7  They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.  8  Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy.

Do those look like similar lists???  Perhaps it’s because of a verse in 2 Peter:

1 Peter 2:5-11  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.  7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,  8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.  9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:  10  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  11  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Songdove Books - solitary crossFalling into the trap of desiring what others have may very well disqualify you from enjoying all that God has for you during this particular calling on your life.  God said HE would be your portion.  HE would be your inheritance.  We are not to seek our portion among our brethren.  We are not to seek our value among the pursuits of others around us in or out of the faith.  Just because it seems others in the faith have more than we do, or are being blessed more than we are, is no indication that there might be something wrong with us, or that God is holding out on us!  Yes, sometimes we have chosen a sinful path and God is unable to bless that.  But other times, the reason you don’t seem to be enjoying what others have, is merely because you are set apart unto God for a higher calling than they were called to.

Just as Aaron, his sons and the Levites were called to a higher calling than their Israelite peers, and were to look to God as their inheritance and portion as a result, so must all who are called to a higher place in their faith walk with God today.  What is perfectly ok for someone else to engage in as a believer, may not be ok for you, because of where you are in your faith and ministry.  It’s okay!  Ask God for contentment and a spirit of gratitude to cheerfully accept where you are right now.  But take care not to look down on others who have been granted more freedom than you.  It may be that when God places a particular call on their life to set them apart, they too will be abstaining from those things you currently can’t partake of.

What has God blessed you with during this current season in your faith’s journey?  Make a list and thank God for those blessings.  He, all by Himself, wants to complete and fulfill you.  Will you let Him?