We’ve all been at kids’ birthday parties when a child opens a gift they don’t like – usually it’s clothes or some other non-toy item. The younger the recipient, the more likely they are to turn their nose up and say, “I don’t like this.” Older children have usually been coached to force a smile and say, “Thank you.”
Or perhaps at your family’s annual Christmas celebration you open a gift and find it’s a silver moose nutcracker. While you try to grin and gush about how much you love to eat nuts, and how now you can sit around cracking them to your heart’s content with just a twist of the ole’ antlers, there’s no denying the disappointment.
In Old Testament times, the Israelites, led by Joshua, took possession of the land God promised them, and Joshua began to assign land to each of the tribes. First, he points out where the half the tribe of Manasseh will live along with the tribe of Gad and Reuben.
“Okay, Reuben, Moses already gave y’all this pretty piece along this gorge and all the way past that plain over there past Medeba. You’re going to get Heshbon, Dibon, Bamoth-baal, Beth-baal-meon, Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, Kiriathaim… You’ll have some great fishing along the Jordon River.”
“Now, Gad, you guys are going to get this valley over here, along with…” Joshua described all the towns to be included.
He continued to list the wonderful towns these tribes could now call home. All the while, the Levites were just hanging tight. You see, verse 33 tells about their gift.
But Moses gave no allotment of land to the tribe of Levi, for the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised that he himself would be their allotment. Joshua 13:33 NLT
God chose the Levites as priests to perform any religious duties. They were responsible for making all the sacrifices for the people. They were the only ones who could enter the tabernacle. This tribe was not given land, instead they were given GOD HIMSELF!
I don’t really think you can compare any gift to getting the Creator of all things as your allotment.
Just imagine the tribes all hanging out at a bonfire talking about their new lands, comparing milk and honey, when they notice the Levites a little quiet. “Hey guys, what’d you get?”
The Levites look their brothers in the eye and say, “The I AM.”
As awesome as that sounds, when reading it in the Bible, I still wondered if there was some disappointment. Everyone else was getting land, while the Levites gift seemed a little less tangible.
While it’s easy to gasp and say, “How could they possibly be disappointed in God as their gift?” I wonder how often I am just that – disappointed with the gift of God.
I become consumed with how much I don’t have instead of being consumed with God. I stand around the bonfire, wishing for other people’s milk and honey instead of saying, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.” (Psalm 16:5 NIV)
When God calls us out of a life of sin and promises a home with Him forever in Heaven, it’s time we as Christians stop turning up our noses.
It’s time I stopped telling God He is not enough. Maybe not with my words, but with my actions and my attitude.
God. Is. Enough.
I’ve got to start living my life like I believe it. I’ve gotta talk about, tweet about and Facebook share about the gift of my Savior.
I don’t want to be the spoiled kid at the birthday party. Do you?
Lord, forgive me for acting like You are not enough. Lord, You are my refuge and my portion. Help me to stop worrying about what I don’t have and instead realize what I do. I have You, God. Thank You for Your incredible gift. Amen.