I Am Your Portion and Your Inheritance

While read­ing through Joshua recently I came upon a pas­sage that caught my atten­tion. Joshua is a book rid­dled with the theme of God’s faith­ful­ness to his covenant promises. As the Lord leads Joshua and the Israelites across the Jor­dan and they con­quer the land promised to them Joshua begins to divvy the land amongst the tribes. When he came to the Lev­i­ties how­ever there was a dif­fer­ent story: “But to the tribe of Levi, Moses did not give an inher­i­tance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inher­i­tance, as He had promised to them” (Jos 13:33; cf. 14:33), and also: “For the Levites have no por­tion among you, because the priest­hood of the LORD is their inher­i­tance” (Jos 18:7). In other words, the tribe of Levi and the Aaronic Priest­hood was in need of no land, because their inher­i­tance was much greater’the Lord and his priest­hood.1

This shouldn’t sur­prise as the Lord told Aaron when insti­tut­ing the Priest­hood: “Then the LORD said to Aaron, ‘You shall have no inher­i­tance in their land nor own any por­tion among them; I am your por­tion and your inher­i­tance among the sons of Israel’” (Num 18:20). How amaz­ing would it be to have the liv­ing God say to you: “I am your por­tion and your inher­i­tance!” No amount of real estate could com­pare to the call and pres­ence of the eter­nal Lord.

The New High Priest

That thought about is edi­fy­ing in and of itself, but as I started to think about it I had fur­ther obser­va­tions. This is by no means meant to be “Gospel truth,” because this is largely an infer­ence. I find the con­nec­tion very worth investigation.

The Aaronic Priest­hood, as the author to the Hebrews tells us, has been erad­i­cated; because Jesus has become our High Priest. He says, “we have a great high priest who has passed through the heav­ens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our con­fes­sion” (Heb 4:14), and Jesus comes from the Melchizedek Priest­hood not the Aaronic (Heb 5:10) which is an eter­nal priest­hood (Heb 7:3). While I can go on for a while on the theme of Jesus as our High Priest in Hebrews for a while, I want to make the con­nec­tion I have seen.

The New Covenant Priesthood

We should remem­ber that even though Jesus is our High Priest there still exists a priest­hood. But this priest­hood is markly dif­fer­ent from the Aaronic Priest­hood. The only way to deal with the Lord was through the appointed High Priest, but Jesus, the final High Priest, has secured our con­nec­tion and rela­tion­ship to the Father through his own vic­ar­i­ous work. Peter tells us in his first epis­tle who the mem­bers of the New Covenant Priesthood.

“And com­ing to Him as to a liv­ing stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and pre­cious in the sight of God, you also, as liv­ing stones, are being built up as a spir­i­tual house for a holy priest­hood, to offer up spir­i­tual sac­ri­fices accept­able to God through Jesus Christ […] But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may pro­claim the excel­len­cies of Him who has called you out of dark­ness into His mar­velous light” (1 Peter 2:4, 9)

Back in Exo­dus 19:6 Yah­weh tells Israel that if they uphold their end of the Mosaic Covenant that they “shall be to Me a king­dom of priests and a holy nation.” We are famil­iar with the inabil­ity of depraved man to ful­fill the com­mands of God, and Israel failed to uphold her end of the con­di­tional covenant (Jer 31:32). But with the obe­di­ence and vic­tory of Christ he has ful­filled all these covenant oblig­a­tions from his work, and we obtain his very inheritance!

Con­clu­sion

In rela­tion to my point above. If New Covenant mem­bers (all believ­ers) are the “royal priest­hood” then our inher­i­tance is not real estate or any­thing periph­eral to the great inheritance’the Lord him­self. The Aaronic Priest­hood had a greater call­ing, and we as well as believ­ers in God’s vic­to­ri­ous son have a greater call­ing. What an incred­i­ble inher­i­tance and eter­nal truth!

Foot­notes

  1. The heads of the house­holds of the Levites did approach Eleazar and ask for some land, and they were given cer­tain cities from the sons of Israel (Jos 21:1–3). [Back]