Scripture: Joshua 18:6 You shall describe the land in seven divisions and bring the description here to me; and I will cast lots for you here before the LORD our God. 7 The Levites have no portion among you, for the priesthood of the LORD is their heritage; and Gad and Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan eastward, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.”
Observation: When the Israelites were occupying the promised land, the Lord gave lands to each of the 12 tribes – except the tribe of Levi. Why? Because the Levites didn’t farm or raise cattle or sheep or whatever. They served the people as priests, interceding on behalf of the people, overseeing their sacrifices and receiving the tithes and offerings the people brought to God. God dwelled close to the Levites, in the tent of meeting and surrounding. They didn’t need land because they had the very presence of God in their midst.
Application: I remember being a young adult getting serious about faith for the first time. I had nothing. But God was drawing near to me and that made all the difference. There is something about the presence of God that changes things. God gives peace in the midst of struggle. God gives direction when we’re lost. God whispers in our ears when we are lonely. God stands with us when the world is convulsing all around us. So when I read that the tribe of Levi received no land as an inheritance, I get it. When you have the presence of God, you just don’t need it.
Prayer: Gracious God, it’s wonderful when you draw near. I wish that were all the time, but it’s not. There are long stretches when it seems you’re far away or not present at all. Sometimes it’s hard to believe you even exist. And, frankly, there are some of us who desperately need a sense of your presences today. We’re struggling with the difficulties and burdens of life. Give us grace to discern your presence with us. Draw near to us that we might get through the day. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.