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Monday: The Levites in the Fields — 11 Comments

  1. The Levites were to some extent the government works of the Hebrews. They did not own land, and were not involved in building or food production. They were essentially temple employees and because the nation was a theocracy they were among other things the clerks and bean-counters of the temple system. The rest of the nation was supposed to support them.

    I am not sure how that worked out in practice. But, it is clear from Nehemiah that the work of the temple was not being done and something needed to be done about it. If the temple workers were forced to take on other jobs to support themselves, then they are not doing what they are supposed to.

    In our modern world, not all of us are employed in food production, building, or other essential "life supporting" jobs. Some of us become academics and spend our time doing what some people regard as non-essential-to-living tasks. So we have our own people who are accountants, academics, artists, musicians and so on, - who all contribute to the warmth and fabric of our society but who do not provide food, shelter, clothing, and the other necessities of life.

    I know that in the church sense the lesson that is at the bottom of all this is that we should provide our tithes and offerings to support the Gospel Ministry. That is fair enough, but I think we also need to raise the question at the society level. The big question is how we value one another and what is out perception of their contribution to society. I know that I have had to rethink some of my own ideas about who are contributors and who are free-loaders.

    An illustration: An army pays for people to drive tanks, fire artillery, and do all the other tasks of war. But it also pays for entertainers, because they provide relief and boost morale. While not directly involved in combat they provide a very necessary service.

    Here is a church related question to think about. What tasks (in the broad sense) are there, that are not being supported by the church? Does it make sense for the church to support these tasks, or should they be supported through other means?

    Amen!(24)
    • That is probably an indicator that the situation had changed somewhat since the original occupation of Canaan after the Exodus.

      Amen!(8)
    • Thank you Albert and Neville they were given 48 cities plus the common land around them out of the areas allocated to the other tribes, 13 from Judah, Simon and Benjamin so these were probably the only ones when they came back.
      So the Levite's were given part of the other tribe's inheritance as well as the tithes and offerings.
      How do we give our ministers part of our inheritance?

      Amen!(2)
  2. It would have been good if the book of Nehemiah ended with chapter 12 with God's people being faithful in returning tithe and offering.
    They lived happily ever after.
    No, the painful reality of sin strikes again with vengeance and seems to undo all that was done by Nehemiah in rebuilding the city.
    Nehemiah's reaction
    This is the second time Nehemiah goes against the leadership in Israel.
    Nehemiah was willing to cleanse and put sin out of the camp of the Israel.
    He reappointed leaders who are trustworthy in the temple.
    When the people saw the change, they returned back to the Lord with their tithe and offering.

    We saw the same in the early church, when the conflict arose in regards to the treatment of the widows. Acts 6
    They chose seven men who were of good reputation.

    People are looking for effective and engaging leadership in church.
    Leader must give clear focus to the direction of the church.

    A strong leader will always result in strong church growth.
    "Wright accepted his call to the Potomac Conference in 1993, and became the pastor of Community Praise Center (CPC)—a small, struggling church in Alexandria, Va.

    “There were so few people that you could lay on the pews and not touch anybody,” Wright joked. “After the service, I knelt in front of the altar and prayed a very simple prayer: ‘Lord, do not make me a success here; defend your name.’” After developing a five-year plan and quickly involving all attendees into the church program, one year later, CPC averaged 200 worshipers each Sabbath.* The fruit of Wright’s ministry is evidenced when 20 years later attendance at CPC holds steady at over 1,000, over 60 ministries are active, annual tithe totals over $2 million and several churches have been planted through CPC."

    https://www.pcsda.org/2018/01/10/henry-wright-retires-after-53-years-in-ministry/

    People are hungry for the word.

    Jesus I know, Paul I know but who are you?

    Amen!(17)
  3. Holy Ghost, speak to me and cleanse my heart for you service.

    The temple workers who worked to maintain the temple leave their position and went to other jobs. Those people, the bible says were not supposed to own any land, their jobs were to do just what they leave, taking care of the temple eg by singing, cleaning and preparing the passover articles etc, etc. I was not angry with them, they had to feed themselves and families.
    The congregation who once supported the temple workers stopped bring their tithes, offering and gifts. One of the reason for such was no place to place the items. The High Priest had so much power as to evacuate the building for his friend to dwell in. I am wondering, was he acting alone, and how did he got so much power to do such a thing?
    From the quote above, “Not only had the temple been profaned, but the offerings had been misapplied. This had tended to discourage the liberality of the people. They had lost their zeal and fervor, and were reluctant to pay their tithes. The treasuries of the Lord’s house were poorly supplied....did we saw a downward slipping to apostasy?
    Then it was a domino effect.
    In our time, do we think the church funds are misapplied? Do you thing the money is not spending where it is needed most? Have you examined the tithe envelope recently?
    The office of a Pastor is one of a shepherd, one to lead the people in a spiritual way, it is not a glorified office, not a job that pays a lot, but is compensated by other things. Anyone coming to that position should not be employed for the money but wanting to help people spiritually.
    Have mercy on your people, history is repeating itself.

    Amen!(5)
  4. Yesterday there was a Christmas children's musical presentation at church, all ages, from 4 to 14 y-o. What a blessing! May we continue to invest in talents for the worship in the church. Children's worship is pure!

    Amen!(3)
  5. Is it me or am I seeing a leadership issue? Nehemiah and Tobias had beef a long time ago then Eliashib and Tobias an Ammorite work as a team for not the good. Now is there any thing showing he was going to clean house on the high priest with the Lords blessing? I’m not surprised everyone underneath was not going to follow and do their own thing.

    Amen!(3)

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