I was reading the parable of the Prodigal Son this week (Luke 15: 11 – 32) and the greatest insult of the younger son’s request is what is implied by the request. To ask for your inheritance now is wishing your father was dead. ‘I wish you were dead so I could get on with spending your money. Your being alive is really getting in my way.’
I would never do this. I can honestly say that I would take a bullet for my father; two even! I have seen in his garage; I have seen my inheritance: Two (possibly three) engine blocks with the related parts attached and otherwise, a 1940 something hot rod with french doors (very classy), enough ladders to reach from here paradise (and one that could easily send you there), at least a couple outboard motors, outboard engine bracket, recently re-upholstered boat seats, one-piece stainless steel deck railing, and that is just what is on top! I know that I will likely be serving as his executor one day. I have seen the ‘promised land’ and I am not ready for it. I’ve got my boy’s ‘inheritance’ in my garage to clean up.
I will need to be free of the obligations of a young family, gainful employment, etc. before I can tackle that mess so, here’s to long life Dad! We are both going to need it. (By the way Dad, that Mitre saw, is it still in the corner? Never mind, I’ll talk to you later about it 🙂
Speaking of inheritance, the Levites had an interesting arrangement. If you read in the book of Numbers (18: 8 ) you see how the Levites were to serve in the temple. They would not receive land in Israel but would instead be dependent on the tithe being brought by the other 11 tribes.
A Levite father would leave no land to his Levite son, no land, no crops, no livestock. Instead a Levite would leave his son a legacy of ministry; No security, except in the Lord. Later in Israel’s history we read of the Levites keeping herds and working the land. Both their trust in God to provide, and the nation’s faithful offerings were no longer there. In restoring the nation of Israel after the Babylonian exile, Nehemiah and established four treasurers to ensure that Levites would receive their tithe. (Neh. 13: 10 – 14)
Asaph, a Levite, writes in Psalm 73, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26). We also read in other Psalms,
“You are my portion, O LORD; I have promised to obey your words.”
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Portion here means, personal division, or part you are entitled to. It is translated, my heritage (GWT), my inheritance (BBE), my satisfaction (The Message), my choice (CEV). Rather than an inheritance that is granted once, and handed down through the generations, a Levite trusted God to provide his inheritance each year. It might appear that the Levites get the short end of the stick but Asaph sees it differently. Not only does God provide them each year with their inheritance, He is their inheritance.
May we trust Him to be our inheritance.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.