July 9, 2019

God Is Our Portion

Numbers 18

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Duties of Priests and Levites

So the LORD said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father's house with you shall bear iniquity connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear iniquity connected with your priesthood. And with you bring your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may join you and minister to you while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony. They shall keep guard over you and over the whole tent, but shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary or to the altar lest they, and you, die. They shall join you and keep guard over the tent of meeting for all the service of the tent, and no outsider shall come near you. And you shall keep guard over the sanctuary and over the altar, that there may never again be wrath on the people of Israel. And behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel. They are a gift to you, given to the LORD, to do the service of the tent of meeting. And you and your sons with you shall guard your priesthood for all that concerns the altar and that is within the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood as a gift,1 and any outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”

Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, “Behold, I have given you charge of the contributions made to me, all the consecrated things of the people of Israel. I have given them to you as a portion and to your sons as a perpetual due. This shall be yours of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering of theirs and every sin offering of theirs and every guilt offering of theirs, which they render to me, shall be most holy to you and to your sons. 10 In a most holy place shall you eat it. Every male may eat it; it is holy to you. 11 This also is yours: the contribution of their gift, all the wave offerings of the people of Israel. I have given them to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it. 12 All the best of the oil and all the best of the wine and of the grain, the firstfruits of what they give to the LORD, I give to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to the LORD, shall be yours. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it. 14 Every devoted thing in Israel shall be yours. 15 Everything that opens the womb of all flesh, whether man or beast, which they offer to the LORD, shall be yours. Nevertheless, the firstborn of man you shall redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. 16 And their redemption price (at a month old you shall redeem them) you shall fix at five shekels2 in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. 17 But the firstborn of a cow, or the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar and shall burn their fat as a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 18 But their flesh shall be yours, as the breast that is waved and as the right thigh are yours. 19 All the holy contributions that the people of Israel present to the LORD I give to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. It is a covenant of salt forever before the LORD for you and for your offspring with you.” 20 And the LORD said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel.

21 “To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting, 22 so that the people of Israel do not come near the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin and die. 23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the people of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 24 For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.”

25 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, ‘When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the LORD, a tithe of the tithe. 27 And your contribution shall be counted to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress. 28 So you shall also present a contribution to the LORD from all your tithes, which you receive from the people of Israel. And from it you shall give the LORD's contribution to Aaron the priest. 29 Out of all the gifts to you, you shall present every contribution due to the LORD; from each its best part is to be dedicated.’ 30 Therefore you shall say to them, ‘When you have offered from it the best of it, then the rest shall be counted to the Levites as produce of the threshing floor, and as produce of the winepress. 31 And you may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward in return for your service in the tent of meeting. 32 And you shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have contributed the best of it. But you shall not profane the holy things of the people of Israel, lest you die.’”

Footnotes

[1] 18:7 Hebrew service of gift
[2] 18:16 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

God Is Our Portion



Key Verse | Numbers 18:20

And the LORD said to Aaron, "You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel."

Bio | Jon Raup

Hi, my name is Jon. I am a native Pennsylvanian, but my wife and I have lived in Texas for the past two years. We have been blessed with four children.

Some things I love: the grace God has shown me in my life, my wife, and being outdoors with my kids. My past does not define me. I am finding new life in Christ through re:generation, Watermark's recovery ministry. I humbly serve as a Plano campus group leader. Writing is not my strong suit, but I am happy to serve a small part here on Join The Journey. 

Central Truth

The Lord promises to take care of us. He tells us throughout Scripture that He is our portion. We do not need to rely on anything but God. 

Devotional | Numbers 18

Many times throughout my life, I have chosen to rely on myself. Whether it was deciding where to work or where to live, I was determined that I could do it on my own and really did...

Many times throughout my life, I have chosen to rely on myself. Whether it was deciding where to work or where to live, I was determined that I could do it on my own and really did not need anyone's help. It has been since coming to Watermark that my wife and I have really started seeking God's will and looking to God to be our all, our provider. Psalm 16:5 (NIV) says, "LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure."

In our passage we see God instruct that  Aaron's family and the Levite tribe will not receive an inheritance in the Promised Land. They will not receive any of the land. The Lord appoints them as the priests and caretakers of the tabernacle. In return, the Lord promises to take care of them. The other tribes are instructed to give a tenth of what they reap from the land as a contribution to the Lord. The Levites then will live on that contribution.

The Lord also instructs the Levites to give a tenth of this inheritance as a contribution to the Lord. The Levites had to rely on the Lord to provide for them. Without full devotion to God, they had nothing.

The times I have chosen to be self-reliant, not needing anyone's help, full of pride, I have felt the most empty. Christ calls us to be fully devoted to Him. He tells us He is our portion and our inheritance.

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Discussion Questions

1. In what instances are you most likely to be self-reliant? Do you count on God to give you your "daily bread" (Matthew 6:11)?

2. Have you ever had a time in your life when you had to rely on God because the circumstances or the situation were beyond your control? What was the outcome?

3. What is one step you could take today to ask God to help you relinquish control and depend on Him as your portion?

12 Comments available

Jay Caruso 2 months ago

Welcome to Texas Jon. Thanks for your service in regen. It has been so encouraging to read these devotions and a perspective that helps me retain and understand what our God the Father want from us and for us

Linda Green 2 months ago

Thank you, Jon, for a short and sweet devo today! Your words made me realize the importance of the people giving a portion regularly to God, so that the priests who served them had adequate provisions to live and do the work. This is still true today- asking God to stir hearts to give generously and faithfully to the work of His church.

Scott Jones 2 months ago

There is a parallel in the New Testament to the priests bearing the iniquity of Israel. Hebrews 13:17 says that the leaders of the Church will “give an account.” It encourages me greatly to know how seriously the elders of Watermark take this charge.

Scott Jones 2 months ago
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Sue: Patti and I are praying daily for Ray’s Surgery.

greg jones 2 months ago

Q1 If Matthew4:4 happens to be your life verse this is your life question to go with it. You ask your past the question in order to inform your future present.

The temptation of Jesus in Matthew chapter 4 can be read like a one and done deal on the Jesus bucket list. I don’t believe that was the case. I believe Jesus carried those temptations with him throughout his ministry. To objectively struggle with this question should be a sign of strength.

If asked this way-when does my self reliance become selfish reliance? Who are you relying on to answer the question?

Being in that answer spiritually, being in your circumstance physically-

“and behold, angels came and were ministering to him” Matthew4:11b.

The place between self reliance and selfish reliance.

“Then the devil left him.” Matthew4:11a

True, but why should I think he took his questions with him?

Sharhonda Conner 2 months ago

Jon, great devotional and reminder of the truth that God takes care of us. Self-reliance is something I’m learning to lay down more often and trust His perfect provision with a grateful heart.

@Sue love the phrasing and remind that God is not a stingy giver! Will pray for Ray and his surgery!

Sue Bohlin 2 months ago

(1/2) Thank you, Jon, for serving in re:gen, and for how you focused on the ditch of self-reliance in your devo. To repent of it seems so . . . un-American, right? But biblical!

I was struck by the numerous uses of the words “give” and “gift” as Yahweh spoke to Aaron and Moses. It shows us how generous our God is, and how giving is a natural manifestation of love. “For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) I was also struck by the fact that while the priests and Levites did not receive a land inheritance from the Lord, what He did give them was the BEST of the offerings from the people. God is not a stingy giver!

Sue Bohlin 2 months ago

(2/2) “Is this your best?” is one of the best parenting questions I’ve ever encountered, and it’s also one of the best discipleship questions we can ask ourselves. “Our best” is a heart issue between us and God–we’re the only ones who know.

It always comes down to a heart issue in the Word, have you noticed that?

P.S. JTJ Friends, would you please pray for my husband Ray, who is having serious back surgery tomorrow (Wednesday) morning? Recovery has been described as “rough” and “hard,” and he needs a LOT of grace for it. Thank you!

Hope Harris 2 months ago

GM friends,

The opening verses captured my attention this morning. “You shall bear iniquity.” That phrase just put a whole new meaning to role of priesthood.

It also directs my attention to Jesus who bore my iniquity and paid the price for my sins. Spending some time today reflecting on Isaiah 53.

Lindsey Driscoll 2 months ago

Thanks for the devo Jon and for serving in the RE:Gen ministry. I see God’s call to stewardship here as he instructs Aaron how the priests and the Levites are to depend on him for their provision. Verse 18:29 speaks to the tithe being the best and holiest part given to the Lord. This month we are teaching elementary age kids at Watermark about Stewardship - honoring God with everything he has given you. I see his instructions to the priests and Levites to steward what he has given in order to remember his provision and to liven in dependence on Him.

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

GM Jon. Love this, “[w]ithout full devotion to God, they had nothing.”

I love this truth, “God is sovereign, supreme and sufficient”.

In the Prodigal’s ministry we often work with participants who are saved in their professions of faith, but an examination of their life conveys doubts about how fully Jesus really is the Lord of their life. Way too often what really drives them is something else.

For most of us, an unsaved prodigal child is a burden that often seems unbearable. Is God really enough? Contemplating our child’s eternal future can be overwhelming.

We want God to be our “portion and our inheritance”. We crave the promised peace and serenity. We experience it from time to time.

Often, we have to get to the end of ourselves and have nothing left before He is enough. A painful path to peace.

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

The description of the priests is a reminder that with the office comes responsibility and accountabily

“…So the LORD said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear iniquity connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear iniquity connected with your priesthood. …”

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