The Scriptorium

Blessing the People of God (2)

Moses blesses the tribe of Levi. Deuteronomy 33.8-11

The Final Works of Moses: Deuteronomy 33, 34 (3)

Opening Prayer: Deuteronomy 32.15-18
“But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked;
You grew fat, you grew thick,
You are obese!
Then he forsook God who made him,
And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.
Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you. 

Sing Deuteronomy 32.15-18, 3

(Sagina: And Can It Be))
Then they forsook their gracious God, and scorned their saving Rock and Lord;
turning instead to every god and evil forbidden by God’s great Word.
They sacrificed to gods unknown, forgetting Him Who had made them His own.
Refrain, v. 3
I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

Today’s Text: Deuteronomy 33.8-11

1. What charge was given to the tribe of Levi?

2. How did Moses want God to bless them?

The work of the tribe of Levi is outlined here (v. 10). This tribe would not have its own homeland; instead, as we see in the book of Joshua, the Levites would be scattered throughout the tribal lands and cities of Israel. They would have no inheritance of their own and no permanent possessions or lands. God was their inheritance, and their task was to teach the Law of God to all the children of Jacob and to supervise and administer the various sacrifices of the people.

Thus, the work of Levi was both to enrich the people in their covenant relationship with God, by helping them understand and live according to the commands and promises of God, and to strengthen their relationships with the Lord by performing their sacrifices and offerings. A portion of those offerings, as we have seen, would go to the Levites for their support.

The Levites were to love God supremely – as though they had neither mother nor father, brethren nor children. This does not mean they were not to love their families and relations, but that the love they bore for God was to order and supersede all the other loves in their lives. Jesus picked up on this idea and transferred it from the Levites to all who followed Him (Lk. 14.26). Unless we love God supremely and rightly, we will not love our neighbors as we should.

The Thummim and Urim were a resource for discerning the will of God (Num. 27.21), but these were mere symbols of the work of prayer – intercession and supplication. God Himself reveals His will to His people – He is their Urim and Thummim (v. 8) – and it is Him above all else that the Levites must seek. As they do their work faithfully, God promised to provide for all their needs and to protect them from all their foes (v. 11).

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Get ready! On Sunday, October 10, 2021, it’s Pastor Appreciation Day!
Yep. The one day you have to appreciate him. A modern-day Levi. For all his work and sacrifice on behalf of your church. And all his family sacrifices of him and his time for you and this work. A good pastor does good work all year long to bring the Word of God to you. And should probably be appreciated more than just once a year. So may I suggest a daily prayer for him? Here it is:

“Bless his substance, LORD, and
Accept the work of his hands.” (Deut. 33.11 NKJV)

“O LORD, prosper [the pastor], and
Accept the work [he does] for you.” (Deut. 33.11 TLB)

“Bless all his skills, LORD, and
Be pleased with the work of his hands.” (Deut. 33.11 NIV)

The church needs to be revived. The church’s pastors need to be revived. The church’s people need to be revived. We all need to do our part to bring revival to a world that needs Jesus! “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2.10) Bless our Levi. Accept his work. Bless us Lord and accept our work. Revive Your Church!

1. Why do the people of God need a special tribe/class of people to minister the Word of God to them?

2. Why is it important that believers pray for their pastors?

3. What are some ways you might more consistently encourage your pastor?

We ought to acknowledge the bond of earthly relationship but ignore it when it blocks the journey of the mind. This happens when the faithful soul, on fire with devotion to God, does not despise what is joined to it below, rightly orders these relations within itself and transcends them by its love of what is highest.
Paterius (6th or 7th century), Exposition of the Old and New Testament, Deuteronomy 27

Increase my love for You, Lord, so that I love my neighbors more and…

Closing Prayer: Deuteronomy 32.19-21
Pray for the people you will see today. Ask God to give you love for them, so that you are able, by some means, to bear witness to Jesus with them.

Sing Deuteronomy 32.19-21, 3
(Sagina: And Can It Be)
God saw and turned His face away, their sins too wicked to behold.
Jealous and angry in that sad day, He swore to condemn their acts so bold
He called a nation to arise to judge and condemn them before His eyes.
Refrain, v. 3
I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Listen to our summary of last week’s study in Deuteronomy by clicking here. You can download all the studies in the series by clicking here. And check out our current ReVision series on encouragement.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy: Ancient Christian Commentary Series III, Joseph T. Lienhard, S. J. ed. in collaboration with Ronnie J. Rombs, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001). All quotations from John Calvin from John Calvin, Commentaries on The Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Order of A Harmony, Rev. Charles William Bingham M. A., tr. and ed. (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1863. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore