10.06.08, Joshua 13:29-33

PP: So sorry this is late!  I hope it did not throw off your QT schedules!

29 This is what Moses had given to the half-tribe of Manasseh, that is, to half the family of the descendants of Manasseh, clan by clan:

30 The territory extending from Mahanaim and including all of Bashan, the entire realm of Og king of Bashan—all the settlements of Jair in Bashan, sixty towns, 31half of Gilead, and Ashtaroth and Edrei (the royal cities of Og in Bashan). This was for the descendants of Makir son of Manasseh—for half of the sons of Makir, clan by clan.

32 This is the inheritance Moses had given when he was in the plains of Moab across the Jordan east of Jericho. 33 But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them.

That’s IT??

After the main conquest, the land is divided up and proportioned to the tribes of Israel as their inheritance.  But one tribe seems to get the short end of that stick: the Levites.  To this tribe, God simply says that He is their inheritance!  Instead of getting a portion of land, they receive a tithe from all the other tribes as outlined in Numbers 18, so that they can devote themselves to serving God as priests for the nation of Israel.  God does this because the Levites are completely dedicated to serving God and his people through worship and nothing else, and so taking care of a plot of land would have made that kind of service virtually impossible.  

While this is most relevant to those who have entered ministry, it really highlights a fact of human existence – that we can’t serve two masters.  For some us, we want it ALL.  We want to be completely dedicated to the Lord, and also have all the best the world has to offer.  We also want to have a big house in the cool metropolitan city of our choice.  We want a successful and well-paying career that also is socially enriching.  We want to get married when we are 28 (no later that 32) and have 2.5 kids.  We want to have fun all the time.  We want to be able to please both men and God.  

These are not mutually exclusive life goals, but the fact is that if you want to serve the Lord with all your heart, you must be prepared to sacrifice other things as the Levites did.  We can try to deny this fact and say, “No, I can do it!  I can have everything this world has to offer, and have the fullness of God as well!”  But Jesus doesn’t call us into partnership with him, but into Lordship under him, where he is in control of your time, your money, your studies, and your future…not you.  But the beauty is that as we give God all of our lives, we experience a fullness of life that the world could never offer.  Personally speaking, as someone who gave up many other paths to follow a life of ministry…I WOULD NEVER TAKE IT BACK.  Ever.

Questions:

1. Looking at your schedule, time, and money, what are the highest priorities of your life?

2. Have these priorities ever conflicted with serving God in some way?

3. Take some time to pray and ask: is there an area of your life or mentality that God is calling you to sacrifice?

4. Is there some way in which God is calling you to serve him more faithfully and whole-heartedly?

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10.06.08, Joshua 13:29-33

PP: So sorry this is late!  I hope it did not throw off your QT schedules!

29 This is what Moses had given to the half-tribe of Manasseh, that is, to half the family of the descendants of Manasseh, clan by clan:

30 The territory extending from Mahanaim and including all of Bashan, the entire realm of Og king of Bashan—all the settlements of Jair in Bashan, sixty towns, 31half of Gilead, and Ashtaroth and Edrei (the royal cities of Og in Bashan). This was for the descendants of Makir son of Manasseh—for half of the sons of Makir, clan by clan.

32 This is the inheritance Moses had given when he was in the plains of Moab across the Jordan east of Jericho. 33 But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them.

That’s IT??

After the main conquest, the land is divided up and proportioned to the tribes of Israel as their inheritance.  But one tribe seems to get the short end of that stick: the Levites.  To this tribe, God simply says that He is their inheritance!  Instead of getting a portion of land, they receive a tithe from all the other tribes as outlined in Numbers 18, so that they can devote themselves to serving God as priests for the nation of Israel.  God does this because the Levites are completely dedicated to serving God and his people through worship and nothing else, and so taking care of a plot of land would have made that kind of service virtually impossible.  

While this is most relevant to those who have entered ministry, it really highlights a fact of human existence – that we can’t serve two masters.  For some us, we want it ALL.  We want to be completely dedicated to the Lord, and also have all the best the world has to offer.  We also want to have a big house in the cool metropolitan city of our choice.  We want a successful and well-paying career that also is socially enriching.  We want to get married when we are 28 (no later that 32) and have 2.5 kids.  We want to have fun all the time.  We want to be able to please both men and God.  

These are not mutually exclusive life goals, but the fact is that if you want to serve the Lord with all your heart, you must be prepared to sacrifice other things as the Levites did.  We can try to deny this fact and say, “No, I can do it!  I can have everything this world has to offer, and have the fullness of God as well!”  But Jesus doesn’t call us into partnership with him, but into Lordship under him, where he is in control of your time, your money, your studies, and your future…not you.  But the beauty is that as we give God all of our lives, we experience a fullness of life that the world could never offer.  Personally speaking, as someone who gave up many other paths to follow a life of ministry…I WOULD NEVER TAKE IT BACK.  Ever.

Questions:

1. Looking at your schedule, time, and money, what are the highest priorities of your life?

2. Have these priorities ever conflicted with serving God in some way?

3. Take some time to pray and ask: is there an area of your life or mentality that God is calling you to sacrifice?

4. Is there some way in which God is calling you to serve him more faithfully and whole-heartedly?