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Dedicated to the Lord, the Lord is Our Inheritance

October 5, 2009

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 1 – 9

This morning I was reading about how Hannah was barren and prayed for God to bless her with a child.  She promised that if God gave her a son she would dedicate him to the Lord.  She declared to Eli the priest:

“For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.  Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.” ~ 1 Sam 1:27-28

It has occurred to me that this is what has happened to all of those who have been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.  We have been dedicated to the Lord and His service.  Samuel stayed permanently in the temple and ministered for the Lord there.  When we grew up he replaced Eli as the priest and prophet and ministered to all Israel.  His whole life was devoted to the Lord.  Those of us who have been bought by Jesus and a great price have given up all claim to our life, our plans, our way.  We live life now as servants of the Lord to do His will and ministry.  We are His priests.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  ~ 1 Pet2:9

That is profound.  Think about that next time you find yourself resenting God demanding that you change your plans for Him or feeling like God owes blessing to you for the ministry or service you provide.  You are His.  You are devoted to the Lord.

Additionally, your inheritance is the Lord.  As I have been reading through the Old Testament I noticed that much time is spent on defining for the Israelite tribes exactly which pieces of land, herds, flocks, and wealth belonged to which tribe.  However, the tribe of Levi was chosen by God as his special possession.

“I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the LORD.”~ Num 3:12-13

“In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.” ~ Num 8:14

“The LORD said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.   “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.” ~ Num 18:20-21

“At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today.  That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as the LORD your God told them.” ~ Deut 10:8-9

I realized that we are the Levites, those who He has called and set apart for His service.  He has chosen us just like he chose the tribe of Levi.  Like the Levites, we are to have no inheritance in this world.  We live here only temporarily.  We are not to see things in this world as our possessions and our inheritance.  We are called to have the same mindset as the Levites that God alone is our inheritance.

Yes, God knows that we have needs and He promises to provide for them (Matt 6:19-34), just as he provided for the Levites by way of the tithes and offerings of the nation of Israel.  Everything we have is not ours.  Rather, we are actually using the Lord’s money, and possessions in the same way that the Levites ate the meat given as sacrifices to the Lord and used the money given as a tithe to the Lord.  The point here is that we are the Lord’s.  Everything that belongs to us is the Lord’s.  Therefore nothing belongs to us.  We have no inheritance except Him.

When we eat, we are eating the Lord’s food.  When we spend money it is the Lord’s money.  When we use our time, we are using God’s time.  This is why Paul says “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” ~ Philippians 1:21

This should give us all something to think about and evaluate how we live our lives.  Are you really living your life like you are borrowing everything from God, including your time?  Like the servants in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, we will all someday give an account to our master of how we used everything he entrusted to us.

Is God enough for you?  Are you clinging to an earthly inheritance?  What do you feel entitled to?  Success, wealth, health, children, your time, hobbies, entertainment, fun, comfort?  Is God enough?  Can you lay it all down at His feet and say . . .

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart  and my portion forever.” ~ Psalm 73:25-26

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