DO YOU WANT TO REAP BLESSING?
by Daniel Yahav
I think most all would answer this question positively.
Who would not want a blessing?!
But unfortunately, many seem to be totally ignorant of the basic law demonstrated in all the natural world around us, and is true in the spiritual realm as well : "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that he will also reap. (Gal. 6:7). This is a very simple truth, with a very deep meaning, affecting all of our lives. In the following teaching we will look at the life of both Levi the son of Jacob, and the tribe of Levi, which descended from him. We will see what happened when bad actions were sown, and the fruit was not good, but also, when they chose to obey God, He could take even the bad results and turn them around for good. It doesn't matter what we have done in our life, where we have failed, or what bad memories torment us, we need to know that with God there is always the chance for a new beginning.
We read in Gen. 34 that Dinah the daughter of Jacob goes out from her father Jacob's covering to visit the local girls, and there she is accosted by Shchem and raped. Shchem then asks his father Hamor to get her to be his wife. When Dinah's brothers hear about it they are very angry (Gen 34:7). Shchem then goes to Dinah's father and brothers to ask for her to be his wife. The brothers answer that they will only agree on the condition that all the men are circumcised. "Now their words seemed reasonable to Hamor and Shchem, Hamor's son. And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he was delighted with Jacob's daughter" (Gen 34:18-19) . So they go ahead with the circumcision. However, this is the moment that Simeon and Levi - Dinah's brothers – were waiting for: "Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword and came upon the city unawares, and killed every male. And they killed Hamor and his son Shchem with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shchem's house, and went forth. Jacob's sons came upon the slain and looted the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their flocks and their herds and their donkeys, and that which was in the city and that which was in the field; and they captured and looted all their wealth and all their little ones and their wives, even all that was in the houses". (Gen 34:25-29). Simeon and Levi took advantage of the situation and killed all the men of Shchem. When Jacob heard about it, he said: " You have brought trouble on me, by making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and my men being few in number, they will gather together against me and attack me and I shall be destroyed, I and my household. But they said: Should he treat our sister as a harlot?" (Gen 34:30-31)
Simeon and Levi killed without mercy - not everyone there was guilty of the crime committed against their sister Dinah. Their anger was so great that it was out of control and it caused immense problems for Jacob. If the fear of the Lord had not fallen on the Canaanites, they would surely have attacked and destroyed Jacob and his whole camp. Jacob never forgot what Simeon and Levi had done. Many years later, in Genesis chapter 49, we read about Jacob calling his sons to his deathbed, in order to bless them. "Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are implements of violence. Let my soul not enter into their council; let not my glory be united with their assembly; because in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they lamed oxen. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel . I will disperse them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel". (Gen 49:5-7). Jacob had not forgotten their anger and the trouble they had caused him and he declared that their anger was so great he would disperse them and scatter them.
Jacob's declaration over them came true about 400 years later, after they had left Egypt and were entering the land of Canaan. Joshua divided up the inheritance and it is written: "Then the second lot fell to Simeon, to the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families, and their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Judah. So they had as their inheritance Be'ersheva or Sheba and Moladah". (Joshua 19:1-2).
The other tribes all preserved their identity, but Simeon was swallowed up by the tribe of Judah and became absorbed into the kingdom of Judah and we hardly hear of them again. The tribe of Levi were not given an inheritance but were entirely scattered throughout all the tribes of Israel. Every tribe gave certain cities to the Levites - the larger tribes gave more land and cities and the smaller ones gave less. We see that what Jacob said to them did actually happen: Simeon and Levi's inheritance was scattered, and this was a direct result of what they had done. But this is not the end of the story.
When we look at the tribe of Levi, we remember what happened after the children of Israel left Egypt and reached Mount Sinai - there was the sin the of the golden calf. When Moses goes down with the stone tablets and Joshua joins him, and they approach the camp and hear the sound of voices, and Moses sees what is going on, he is so full of righteous indignation that he smashes the tablets of the Covenant on the ground. And then we read: Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said:' 'Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!' And all the sons of Levi gathered to him. And he said to them: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Every man of you put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor' So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. Then Moses said, 'Dedicate yourselves today to the Lord – for every man has been against his brother – in order that He may bestow a blessing on you today". (Ex 32:26-29).
It was a breaking point, when all the people were walking in sin, who would stay faithful to God?!
And today, the sin in our land is overflowing. We are also called: 'Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!'
We have the opportunity to stand for the truth, an opportunity to stand on the side of the Lord, an opportunity to live a righteous life and stand against the tide - even if the cost is high. In the case of the tribe of Levi, Moses told them to go throughout the camp and kill anyone who was deeply involved in the idolatry, without counting the cost. And they did, because they were jealous for the Lord. They put God first. Surely under the New Covenant of grace we are not called to kill, but weare called to live out our faith, walk in holiness and preach the word of life. That too, may come with a cost – our peers may mock us, our family may forsake or even deny us, or our brothers betray us. Are we willing to put God first and say: 'Lord, I'm willing to pay the price.' In this case, the tribe of Levi made the right choice.
And what was the consequence of their choosing God above all? When Moses comes to the end of his life and is about to leave the children of Israel, he blesses the tribes of Israel: "…And of Levi he said, 'Let Your Thummim and Your Urim belong to Your godly man, whom You have proved at Massah, with whom You contended at the waters of Meribah; who said of his father and his mother, 'I did not consider them'; and he did not acknowledge his brothers, nor did he regard his own sons, for they observed Your word and kept Your covenant. They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob, and Your law to Israel. They shall put incense before You, and whole burnt offerings on Your altar. O Lord, bless his substance, and accept the work of his hands; shatter the loins of those who rise up against him, and those who hate him, so that they may not rise again". (Deut 33:8-11). In contrast to Jacob, Moses is remembering the righteous acts of the tribe of Levi and blesses him because Levi put God first, even before the closest members of his family. And Moses relates that it was God Himself who chose to give the tribe of Levi the ministry of serving Him in the Holy place, in the Tabernacle. The tribe of Levi were ones who represented all the first born sons who were dedicated to the Lord. (Deut 10:8-9).
If we look at when God chose the tribe of Levi, it was during the time that Moses was on Mount Sinai, immediately after the sin of the golden calf. God chose them because they were faithful. When Levi sowed evil, he reaped evil, his tribe was scattered among all the tribes of Israel. But afterwards, when the tribe of Levi chose to act righteously, although God did not change the fact that they were scattered, He did turn it into a blessing. And there amongst all the tribes, they were given the immense privilege of ministering to the Lord (Num.1:48-54). God also took care of them and the twelve tribes brought them their tithes - that makes one hundred and twenty percent, which the Levites received as their inheritance. (Num.18:21)
God is faithful! It doesn't matter how old we are, it doesn't matter what we have done in the past. We can always come to God in true repentance and open a new page with Him, if we come with our whole heart and say: 'Lord God, I give you my life' or 'Lord, help me, create in me a pure heart, I do not want to love the world...' We cannot love the world and love God at the same time. That is an insult to Him and grieves the Holy Spirit because, as the book of James says, friendship with the world is enmity with God. (James 4:4).
To love God is not to miss out on blessings and joy, on the contrary, it is filling the deep longing of our souls with a peace deeper than can be described in words. All the blessings and pleasures of this world are merely a sweet slippery path to death and hell. Whoever seeks true blessing and true satisfaction will only find it in the personal relationship with God our creator. When we choose to walk in holiness and in obedience to God's word, we have the privilege of sowing good seeds of faith and love, serving Him in whatever place we are, whether at home, at school, at work, and as we do so with all our heart as unto the Lord, our life is not wasted. We will have the Holy Spirit on our side, and the blessing of His abundant life will flow within us and through us with joy and peace, and we will reap God's blessing in our lives, and not just in this life but eternal life and an eternal reward in heaven.
If you realize you have been sowing bad seeds, and reaped bad harvest in your life, make a decision today to start sowing the good seeds. Repent where that is needed and ask God to show you what are the good deeds He has prepared for you to fulfill. Keep in mind that seeds need the time grow, the good results will not come immediately. You need patience as does every experienced farmer, but be encouraged, God is full of grace and love and will never reject a contrite heart.
If you are already sowing the good seeds, I want to strengthen your hands and encourage your heart to continue on and not become weary nor discouraged by anything. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not . As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Gal.6: 8-10).