Hidden Figures, a book and then movie released in 2016, tells the true story of three female African American mathematicians who worked for NASA and played a pivotal role in launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Even though they quietly worked behind the scenes, their contribution changed history. Throughout Joshua’s quest, there was another group of hidden figures who played a crucial role in Israel’s journey. Today’s text highlights the significant contribution of the Levites and God’s fulfilled promises to them.
After the lands were allocated and cities of refuge established, the Levites requested towns to live in as promised during Moses’ time. These people, from the tribe of Levi, were the keepers and teachers of the Law (Deut. 33:10). Notice that, for the Levites, their inheritance was not land; their inheritance was Yahweh alone (13:33). Therefore, instead of requesting land, they reminded Joshua that the Lord had promised to give them towns to live in and pastures for their flocks. These were scattered throughout the region so they could more easily teach people about the Lord and His ways. Similar to the cities of refuge, their allotment of towns was in fulfillment of the Mosaic legislation.
This chapter highlights the nation’s obedience to God. For a relatively new nation, following the Lord’s commands wasn’t easy. But the Israelites recognized they would not be where they were but for Yahweh’s protection and provision. The nation learned to care for God’s servants, the Levites. They would not be able to serve the Lord and do His work if it were not for the help and support of the surrounding tribes. From tribe to tribe, everyone contributed to helping the Levites find a home.
>> In today’s Christian culture, the teachers of the law are our ministers, Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, etc. These godly servants may be overlooked when it comes to their roles in shaping our society, but they play a pivotal part. Today, thank one of these servants of God.
You’ve never met a Levite (the teacher of the Law), but most likely you remember who first brought the Word of God into your life. Pray for that teacher, parent, professor, or your first pastor today.