Numbers 18

* The charge of the priests and Levites. (1-7) The priests'

portion. (8-19) The Levites' portion. (20-32)

1-7 The people complained of their difficulty and peril in

drawing near to God. God here gives them to understand, that the

priests should come near for them. Aaron would see reason not to

be proud of his preferment, when he considered the great care

and charge upon him. Be not high-minded, but fear. The greater

the trust of work and power that is committed to us, the greater

danger there is of betraying that trust. This is a good reason

why we should neither envy others' honours, nor desire high

8-19 All believers are spiritual priests, and God has promised

to take care of them. Godliness has the promise of the life that

now is. And from the provision here made for the priests, the

apostle shows that it is the duty of christian churches to

maintain their ministers. Scandalous maintenance makes

scandalous ministers. The priests were to be wholly devoted to

their ministry, not diverted from it, or disturbed in it, by

worldly care or business. Also, that they might be examples of

living by faith, not only in God's providence, but in his

ordinances. The best should be offered for the first-fruits unto

the Lord. Those who think to save, by putting God off with the

refuse, deceive themselves, for God is not mocked.
20-32 As Israel was a people not to be numbered among the

nations, so Levi was a tribe to be distinguished from the rest.

Those who have God for their Inheritance and their Portion for

ever, ought to look with holy contempt and indifference upon the

possessions of this world. The Levites were to give God his dues

out of their tithes, as well as the Israelites out of their

increase. See, in ver. #31|, the way to have comfort in all our

worldly possessions, so as to bear no sin by reason of them. 1.

We must be sure that what we have is got honestly and in the

service of God. That meat is best eaten which is first earned;

but if any will not work, neither shall he eat, #2Th 3:10|. 2.

We must be sure that God has his dues out of it. We have the

comfort of our substance, when we have honoured the Lord with

it. Ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved

the best from it. We should give alms of such things as we have,

that all may be holy and comfortable to us.
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