But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them. Joshua 13 v 33
The work of dividing up the land continues in this chapter. It is full of all kinds of geographical detail of the boundaries for each tribe. When you examine in some detail what each received you find some had rich, fertile territory (such as that given to the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh ), and others had desert ( such as Reuben ). But the tribe of Levi was given no tribal area of their own – they had s0mething better! In Deuteronomy 10 vv 8-9 we find ‘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.’
The Levites were special: they had the unique privilege of being close to God, and ministering spiritual blessings to the people. Rather than being attached to land in a geographical location, they were to be found anywhere exercising a ministry for God, and being a blessing to the whole nation. Do you get the message of being special –‘ the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance’. Rather than having tribal lands to work they were scattered amongst the whole nation, and were to receive gifts from the people to whom they ministered.
In our culture we have grown totally accustomed to thinking of ‘inheritance’ in material terms – receiving rather than giving. The blessing for the Levites was that they would be givers of blessings and enjoy a special relationship with God as they served Him.
For reflection: Jesus said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20 v 35). Would you rather give a blessing than receive one?