February 9, 2023
“The Lord told Aaron, ‘You will not have an inheritance in the land; there will be no portion among them for you. I am your portion and your inheritance among the Israelites.”
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“The Lord told Aaron, ‘You will not have an inheritance in the land; there will be no portion among them for you. I am your portion and your inheritance among the Israelites.” Numbers 18: 20
Zionism is essentially the belief that Jews have a birthright to the land of Israel. That is, by virtue of being born, they have inherited the right to the land of Israel. This belief is founded by God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…promises that are repeated often throughout the Bible.
Zionism is obviously easier to believe if you are Jewish, but what of the Middle Eastern non-Jew? Welcome to the Mid-East conflict.
It is easy to understand conflict when there are two claimants, but what if there is a THIRD party? Where do Christians fit in, as it pertains to any claim to the land of Israel? I bring up the question simply because some Christians believe the Church has replaced Israel in the eyes of God. To them, Gentile Christians have not merely been grafted into the “vine” with Israel. Instead, Christians have replaced Israel altogether. Of course, Jesus is the true Vine, and I’m just glad to be here by His grace!
In the Middle Ages, Christian profiteers crusaded to free the “holy land” of Jews and Muslims. These Crusaders believed the land of Israel should be the sole possession of Christians. That plan did not work out well.
So what is the Gentile Christian’s inheritance, and more importantly, perhaps, what does it mean to be a co-inheritor with Messiah Jesus? If followers of Jesus (Jew or Gentile) were to relate to a particular Israelite tribe, it would be the tribe of Levi. The New Testament speaks of all believers being part of a holy priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9) Yet, followers of Jesus should not yearn to build an earthly kingdom but the Heavenly one.
Question: Whenever Israel was driven from the land by a conqueror, which tribe got to keep their inheritance?
Answer: The Levites.
Levitical inheritance was not earthly. Neither is the heritage of followers of Jesus. God gave the Levites a birthright from which they could not be driven. They were given the privilege of serving the Lord.
No matter where a follower of Jesus may wander (or be led), their obligation, inheritance, and joy should be to serve the Lord by serving others, without regard for building personal kingdoms on earth.
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©Steve Wiggins 2021