Our two passages for reflection today give instructions about how to live – firstly for the community of Israel and secondly for the community of the Church.
In Deuteronomy 18:1-8, God makes provision for the tribe of Levi, who because of the priestly function they are to perform for the nation, will not receive the land-inheritance that the other tribes of Israel will receive once they enter the Promised Land. Instead they shall receive the “the Lord’s food offerings” as their inheritance. Not having land of their own in which to grow crops or herd cattle etc., it will be the obligation of the other tribes to ensure that the Levites are supported for by taking certain specified portions of the offerings and sacrifices brought to the Lord.
Real Love and the blessings which flow from it
- Hatred characterizes the world, whose prototype is Cain. It originates in the devil, issues in murder and is evidence of spiritual death.
- Love characterizes the church, whose prototype is Christ. It originates in God, issues in self-sacrifice and is evidence of eternal life.
This love is not simply to be talked about but put into practice. In keeping God’s commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and He lives in us, and as an outworking John states blessings flow:
- only way we will know we are living truly, living in God’s reality
- the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it (for God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves)
- we will no longer accuse or condemn ourselves
- we are bold and free before God!
- we are able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we are doing what He said, doing what pleases Him
- we experience His deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit He gave us.