Sunday, April 23, 2017

Block 66: Levi

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  Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.Isaiah 43:18

Together with his brother, Simeon, Levi avenged his sister’s rape by viciously killing the Schechemites. Just before he died, when Jacob gave his final blessings (and prophecies), Levi was not given any land, but was given cities instead.  Levi was told that “God was his inheritance.” The tribe of Levi was scattered throughout Israel.  Even though Levi’s response to his sister’s rape was extraordinarily vicious, Levi had always been known to be extraordinarily pious.  He followed religious regulations, revered God and turned many others from sin.  It is said that God appreciated Levi’s pious nature, forgave his earlier misdeeds and made special provision for the Levites.  Some records indicate that on his deathbed, Jacob entrusted Levi with the “secrets of the ancients,” (Book of Jubilees) typically reserved for priests and prophets.
Compared to his brothers who all inherited land, Levi seemed to fare very well. His descendants would become the priests and prophets that would later lead the Israelites to the Promised Land.  Moses, Aaron and Miriam were all descendants of Levi’s grandson, Amram.  Before the exodus, the oldest of each family took on the priestly role, but after the exodus, only descendants of Aaron (Levites) were allowed to become priests.  The Levites sang during Temple ceremonies,  took care of the Temple and guarded the Tabernacle.  Levites also served as judges and teachers.  They translated and explained the Torah when it was read in public.
How could a murderer end up in God’s good graces?  Well this is the ultimate story of forgiveness and restoration.  The Levites were cursed, but as a result of their faith, God turned the curse into a blessing.  He can, and WILL, do the same for us.  When we our lives seamed curse, we must turn to our faith and know that God can turn our hardship into a blessing.

I chose Star of Destiny to represent Levi, because it was his destiny to beget the line of priests and prophets that set the stage for the Messiah to come — the Messiah who died that our sins might be forgiven, just as God forgave Levi’s sins.

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