The Levites have a job to do. They are in charge of the sanctuary. They have to guard the tent of meeting and take care of the tabernacle, and the priests handle the sacrifices. Then the Lord tells them the long list of sacrifices that will become theirs.
When the people of Israel come and bring their offerings, they will be offered to the Lord and then given to the priests and their families for their food. Only the best and the first is brought for an offering. It’s a good gift.
The priests, however, only receive what God offers. They aren’t given any inheritance in the land. They aren’t landowners. They can’t farm, so God will provide their food another way. I like that His priests aren’t landowners. They don’t get a place to call their own. It’s reminiscent of how this world is not our own, how we are just sojourners passing through. And I like that they have to rely on God to bring them their food instead of working to provide it for themselves.
I also love how the priests tithe their gifts. The congregation gives the gifts to God and He gives the gifts back to the priests. The priests then offer the best part back to God, and the rest is theirs. God doesn’t need our gifts. He doesn’t need our money. The giving is for us, not for His benefit.
I always enjoy the shuffling around of God’s money. A friend surprises me with a gift and I take it and gift someone else. And the gift keeps circling. How does the giving benefit us? Why is it more blessed to give than to receive? What did it benefit the Israelites to give?
It was another one of those reminders. It was a reminder that everything we have is from God. It’s a reminder that our crops don’t grow and animals don’t multiply without God. Choosing to give Him the first crops and the firstborn is showing a trust that He will continue to provide. We don’t have to horde and save up because we can trust that He will provide.
Giving Him the best shows that we recognize His worth. It’s a dying-to-self type move. It’s a letting go of the lusts of the flesh because there is Someone we desire more. Have you figured out your reminders in your days and weeks and months and years? They are important! Those moments like praying before each meal are markers of again recognizing God in our lives and how He is behind all the blessing we know. Thank Him. Acknowledge Him. Give Him your first and your best. It will only result in blessing.