Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Picture of the Cross in Joshua

When the tribes of Israel began to conquer the land of Canaan, each tribe was given a specific portion of land as an inheritance. This is true of every tribe except Levi. What was Levi's inheritance? Did Levi get the "short end of the stick"?

This question is answered with a resounding "NO!" in Joshua 13, where the inheritance of Levi is presented in two parallel statements:
Joshua 13:14 To the tribe of Levi alone Moses gave no inheritance. The offerings by fire to the LORD God of Israel are their inheritance, as he said to him. 
Joshua 13:33 But to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance; the LORD God of Israel is their inheritance, just as he said to them.

Levi had the best inheritance! 
Did you notice the similarities and the crucial differences in these two verses? Levi had only one inheritance, yet it is described in two different ways. Can you see the cross in these verses? 

In the cross, the LORD is the offering made to the LORD. He is both the sacrifice and the offerer. He is the one who offers and the one offered - as well as the One most pleased by the sacrifice. We are the beneficiaries of the propitiation thus effected. God has worked salvation with His own arm, all by Himself. As a result, we get HIM, both as our sacrifice and as our inheritance. He gives Himself for us and He gives Himself to us!

The tribe of Levi could not gain its inheritance by conquest or battle. The inheritance could only be received by faith, as a gift. The tribe would sustain itself by feeding on the sacrifices offered . . . sacrifices that prefigured the cross.

Why couldn't Moses give an inheritance to Levi?

Because "the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

Acts 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


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