Friday, October 7, 2011

The Tangible

Josh 13:33 "But to the tribe of Levi Moses had given no inheritance; the LORD God of Israel was their inheritance, as He had said to them." NKJV

Property. It is a big deal. At least in America it is. Everyone wants a piece of property. Everyone wants a part of the American dream and desires to own a piece of property with a house on it. This desire is what got our banking system, our government, our economy in such a mess. We want property even if we can't afford to pay for it, and the government pushed the banking industry to give loans to people who wanted property but could not hold up their end of the bargain. When we look at the mess that we are in, we are all to blame. The people who bought the property, the banks who loaned the money and the government who strongly encouraged it.

Property was a big deal back in Joshua's day as well. Just look at all of the property that the children of Israel conquered and distributed to the eleven tribes. They all got a nice chunk to build their homes and businesses on. They all got a nice chuck to raise their families. They all got a nice chunk to put their farms to grow their crops and feed their livestock. All of them, except one. The tribe of Levi. They did not get a piece of property. They did not some land that had borders. They did not receive the "American dream". I wonder if they felt cheated? I think that this might be my reaction. I definitely believe that this is how an American would respond. "What? No inheritance? No property? No money? No stuff?"

Instead, what did the tribe of Levi get? God. At first glance you would think: "Sure...sounds nice, but not very tangible." That's our problem...that's my problem. We are stuck on the tangible. We are stuck on the physical. We are stuck on what we can see. We are stuck on the here and now. What the Levites understood and what those of us who claim to know God need to understand is this: The eleven tribes actually drew the short straw. The tribe of Levi got everything because they got the very presence of God. I know that this is hard to grasp, but when we really think about it, God vs. Property...which is more valuable? Which can meet your needs? Which can give you peace? Which can give you strength when you feel weak? Which can give you mercy and grace and forgiveness? Which can love you with a never-ending, never changing love? Which can teach you and direct you and give you wisdom? Which can provide life and not just the life we have here where we grasp for the tangible, but life forever where the tangible will be put in its proper perspective? Does property do this? Does property change lives? Does property heal relationships? No...only God does all this and more.

I need to be more like the Levites...centering what I do and what I strive for on God, then the rest will come. Sounds kind of familiar:
"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well." Matt 6:33 We need to focus on God, His Kingdom, His righteousness...not property.

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