The Levites had a unique role among the Israelites. They were to be the ones that served as the priests and caretakers of God’s tent of meeting and God’s stuff. In that role, they had no assigned lands, nor any fields from which to build an inheritance for their families. they lived among the rest of the tribes, and carried out the spiritual functions. In that role, God allowed them to take the tithe for Him from the people of Israel. God made it clear, the people were to give back to him. They were to give a tenth of what they brought in, and it was to be the “best” and not the rest.
The Levites were to receive the tithe; and, they were to give a tithe of that to Aaron and his family. That 10th was also to be the “best” and not the rest. Aaron and his family were to sacrifice as well–you got it…”Best” and not the rest. The purpose was to remember that God provided it all. It was also a reminder that as a community, God’s people were to do their part to support the ministry. The priests and Levites were God’s Liaisons. As such, they were given special responsibilities. They were not given typical lives to grow and build an inheritance. Everyone had to give; and as everyone gave, God blessed it, and allowed the nation to grow and thrive.
God still calls us to give-we need to give our best and we need to do so knowing that it supports the ministry and allows God to bless us. In 2nd Corinthians 9:7 Paul says, “As each man purposes in his heart, so let him give. Not grudgingly or out of necessity–for God loves a cheerful giver.” God never strong arms us. He simply reminds us that our gifts are from His wealth and as we trust him, God will provide for our needs. It is a difficult part of faith to release our treasure. God understands. But, as we continue to give; rest assured, that the Lord will make sure our needs are met! Thanks Lord, for sharing your stuff with us!
“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. 22 From now on the Israelites must not go near the tent of meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die. 23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the tent of meeting and bear the responsibility for any offenses they commit against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites. 24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the Lord. That is why I said concerning them: ‘They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.’”
25 The Lord said to Moses, 26 “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering. 27 Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the wine-press. 28 In this way you also will present an offering to the Lord from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the Lord’s portion to Aaron the priest. 29 You must present as the Lord’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’
30 “Say to the Levites: ‘When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the wine-press. 31 You and your households may eat the rest of it anywhere, for it is your wages for your work at the tent of meeting. 32 By presenting the best part of it you will not be guilty in this matter; then you will not defile the holy offerings of the Israelites, and you will not die.’”