My family and I live in a state called Texas in an area called DFW (Dallas-Ft. Worth) in a city called Lewisville in a neighborhood called Castle Hills.
One might think that we’re here by chance, and one might think that it’s simply a place to live and raise our family– that it’s no more than a place to take advantage of the wonderful and plentiful resources that this area provides. But God through His Word, reveals to us that we’re here for so much more.
In Joshua 21, the Levites (priests) were assigned towns to live in, with pasturelands for their livestock. Unlike the division of land to the tribes we saw in the preceding chapters of Joshua, the Levites were to have no physical inheritance of the land, but rather, their inheritance was the Lord Himself and His calling upon them. Remember that the tribe of Levi was set apart to lead worship and lead the ritual sacrifices in the tabernacle and the temple. Their role was to minister to the people, and God likewise gave them the responsibility of teaching and upholding the Law.
“The towns of the Levites in the territory held by the Israelites were forty-eight in all, together with their pasturelands.” (Joshua 21:41)
These “Levitical cities” were dispersed all across the nation of Israel. While they weren’t the only people to exclusively live in these cities, they essentially “set up shop” in houses and pasturelands throughout each. When you look at the map of where they were placed, you can see that the Lord had strategically placed them so that no one in the Israelite nation would be further than a day’s journey away from one of these cities. They were placed where they were to provide “umbrella coverage” so-to-speak, to minister to God’s people.
So what’s my point? My point is that in the New Covenant, ALL of us who are followers of Jesus are His priests. When Jesus gave Himself on the cross, He tore the veil and became the mediator between us and God the Father. No longer do we have to rely on a human intermediary, such as a Levitical priest was to the people of Israel. Through Jesus, God’s plan has come to pass in that WE are now the true priesthood of believers with direct access to God.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
God has specifically placed you where you are, where you live, where you work, where you play, and where you worship, for a reason. It’s not by happenstance or coincidence, and it’s not for you to simply live off the land for yourself.
I myself am reminded today reading through the placement of the priests in Joshua 21, as the Lord reminds me that God has called my family and I here to be priests in Texas -> DFW -> Lewisville -> Castle Hills. He has called us to be priests in our workplace, in our neighborhood, in our schools, in our places of activity, and in our places of worship. He has called us to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth wherever we are and wherever we go.
Just as God distributed the Levitical tribe across the whole land, He likewise has distributed you and I, His royal priesthood, across this state, this country, and this earth. And like the Levitical priests, we are called to serve and minister to others while teaching them about Jesus and His beautiful plan of salvation for all who have ears to hear.
Be encouraged brother and sister, that God has justified (saved) and is continually sanctifying (purifying) you, that you may be the holy nation and royal priesthood that He has set you apart to be. He will use you exactly where you are, with exactly what He’s given you, to fulfill an amazing purpose that goes beyond simply “being”. What an awesome and exciting truth that your life and your circumstances have eternal purpose that go well beyond yourself!
Walk in His power today, priest of the Most High! You’re where you are for a reason!