“Instead, give the Levites charge over the tabernacle of the testimony, its equipment and everything else connected with it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its equipment, serve in it and set up their camp around it. When the tabernacle is to be moved onward, it is the Levites who are to take it down and set it up in the new location; anyone else who involves himself is to be put to death.”-Numbers 1:50-51
Whenever we think of a priest of God, the general stereotypical image that pops into our minds is a meek and non-violent Gandhi-like person who would never so much as hurt a fly.
Let’s get something straight.
A Levite priest of God was as far away from that gentle, sentimental, maple-syrupy image as the north is from the south.
Let me give you the proper Biblical ideal of what a Levite priest was or was supposed to strive to be.
Recall in the Book of Genesis after God kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden after their transgression.
Remember he placed an angel to stand guard to prevent Adam and Eve from reentering the garden.
“So he drove the man out, and He placed at the east of the garden of ‘Eden the Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned in every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”-Genesis 3:24
Notice the Cherubim was carrying a flaming sword.
Now what’s a sword used for?
The only thing a sword is used for is as an implement of destruction, right?
If any unauthorized being was to attempt to enter the garden, the Cherubim was to immediately slay it.
There wasn’t to be any special pleading or interrogation of the violator.
The Cherubim had the divine right to on the spot kill any and all transgressors, no questions asked.
Am I saying the Levites carried weapons they were ready to use?
Yeah man, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
These guys were armed and dangerous and would without a moment’s hesitation kill anyone who came too close to God’s Holy sanctuary.
When I visited Jerusalem recently, I went to the Old City and one couldn’t help but notice armed soldiers strategically placed in certain locations to guard this HOLY area.
I took a couple of photographs with these soldiers and boy I can tell you the machine guns they were carrying were BIG!
I don’t think the Levites were carrying machine guns in Moses’ time, but they did carry weapons and they would put them to full use if the situation called for it.
Ideas of mercy, sympathy, and fairness were irrelevant.
A violator wasn’t arrested to later stand trial.
If somebody with evil intent approached the HOLY grounds, the Levite was obligated to take him down, period.
Folks, this demonstrates the extreme value HASHEM places on His Holiness.
Sure, God values human life but His Holiness is of the ultimate importance.
In fact, we’re told in the Bible that God would sacrifice all human life to protect His holiness.
Fortunately for us, He has already appointed one man as the atoning substitute for all mankind.
To close, recall how in my last post I drew a few parallels between Levites and believers today.
I said that just as believers were protectors of God’s holiness in Moses’ time, so are believers today.
Well, today’s post underscores that point.
As modern day believers, just as the Levites were, we too need to be careful custodians of God’s Holiness.
I’m not saying we’re to go around with machine guns and blow away the pagans like the muslims do.
But we are to prayerfully live our lives according to God’s Word no matter what we may have to sacrifice in the process.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN NUMBERS CHAPTER TWO