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. – Numbers 18:8
The priests and the Levites have important work to do. Because of their work, Israel can continue to function as people of the Lord. But they have to live too. They need income, food and drink. Since the Levites had no inheritance in Israel, the LORD makes sure they can live and do their work. He is their inheritance and for this reason, gives to them a portion from what the people give to Him. Certain parts of the sacrifices, the wave offerings and the price of redemption, which the people had to give to the LORD, the LORD now gives to the priests. When it comes to the Levites, the LORD gives to them the tithes which Israel are commanded to give to the LORD. The Levites needed to give a tithe of their income as well.
The importance of these laws is that in this way the ministry of the tabernacle could continue. The same counts for us. True, we do not have priests and Levites anymore, but in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14, Paul refers to these laws and connects them to providing for those who preach the gospel. In Lord’s Day 38 of the Heidelberg Catechism, we confess that the Ministry of the Gospel has to be maintained. Are we willing to give? The support of the priests and Levites had the LORD in the centre. Our support for the ministry of the gospel also is a spiritual service. We give to glorify the Lord, and we do so thankfully.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank the Lord that we have opportunity to give to Him. Pray that we may give thankfully and willingly. Pray that the ministry of the Gospel may continue throughout this world.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Douwe G. J. Agema is currently minister of Living Word Canadian Reformed Church in Guelph and also teaches several courses at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers’ College.