Scripture Reading: Joshua 21:1-3
“So by the command of the Lord the people of Israel gave to the Levites the following cities and pasturelands out of their inheritance.” (Joshua 21:3)
A total of 48 cities were given to the Levites (six cities of refuge and 42 other cities). The Levites were to live in these cities which were scattered throughout the land. Chapter 21 tells how the cities were chosen.
God’s dealings with the Levites is another example of His amazing grace. In Genesis 49, Jacob gave a harsh word to Simeon and Levi (his second and third sons) — “Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel” (Genesis 49:7). Jacob’s curse upon them was the result of the action of Levi and Simeon when they led the massacre of the Shechemites years earlier. What they did was said to be a “stench in Israel” (Genesis 35:30). The scattering of their descendants was to be their punishment. It was a way to say that they have no inheritance.
Though the Levites had no portion in the land, the Lord turned their curse into a blessing because their portion was the Lord Himself. The Levites became special servants of God — the priests who cared for the sacred things of God. Out of them came some of the great leaders of God’s people — Moses, Aaron, Eli, Ezra, and John the baptist, to name a few. Only God can turn a curse into a blessing!
All of us were at one time under a curse because of our unbelief and disobedience. Yet God turned the curse we were under into a blessing. God sent His Son into the world to take the curse from us by paying the ultimate price for our redemption from it — “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree'” (Galatians 3:13). As a result of Christ’s work, we have now been blessed. In fact, through Jesus, we have become royal priests — “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9). Only God can turn a curse into a blessing!
Thank You, my Lord and Savior, for redeeming me from the curse of the law. You took the curse on my behalf and suffered its consequences — You were forsaken by Your Father because You took my sin upon Yourself and became a curse so that I could receive the blessing of being loved and accepted by the Father. Through Your work I am now a royal priest who has the privilege of serving and worshiping the living God.
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