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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Pride - a Bible study

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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2779
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Pride - a Bible study

Pride - The Sin of the Levites

The earlier part of the book of Numbers seems to spotlight the Levites. The Levites were one of the twelve tribes of Israel and they were appointed and called by God for a special service.

1) Read 1 Chronicles 23:24-28 and write here what their duties were.

The Bible also tells us that the Levites were not to be numbered for war because of their special service to the house of the Lord, they were to be free from some of the ordinary, secular duties of daily life. They were what you might call full-timers in God’s service. In Numbers 1:50 and 4:15 there is a telling glimpse of what their service involved-“they shall bear”- and certain sections of the Levites had to bear even heavier burdens than others.

2) Read Numbers 7:6-9. Gershon, Merari, and Kohath were different families within the tribe of the Levites. How did the sons of Kohath have to bear their burdens in the service of God?

To the sons of Kohath came the tremendous responsibility of bearing the ark of the covenant, although they never actually saw what they carried. To the priest belong the glory of handling and packing up the precious ark but to the sons of Kohath belonged the hot march, the aching shoulders, the unglamorous work.  
In Numbers 3:45-51 we see that the Levites were numbered, not for war, but because each one was to represent before God the redemption of an Israelite. They stood responsible before God for the spiritual life of another. Because of this God said some special things about the Levites.

3) Read Numbers 3:12; 8:14-17. Describe in your own words what God is saying about the Levites.

Lastly we read that they were to have no inheritance in the land (18:20). They could never settle down. Everyone else would have their own secure homestead, but the Levites were forever spiritual strangers and pilgrims.

4) Read Numbers 18:20. What was the inheritance given to the Levites?

So we see the Levites had the duties of serving others who were higher than they were and doing the routine jobs day in and day out. Working hard and yet without the comfort and security of a material inheritance that the others of Israel had. Unless they were fully aware of the intrinsic honor and glory of God’s calling and in love with His true Inheritance, the Levites would have had every reason to be discontented. Judging by material value, the Levite wasn’t very well off, and the whole glory of his calling seems to have been to do without.

But some of the sons of Kohath got into bad company.

5) Read Numbers 16:1-3. In your own words describe the attitude of the sons of Kohath.

Do we sometimes think that if we were to stand in a more prominent place that we would somehow be a greater man of God? It is easy to lose sight of that great, basic principle of service, that my spiritual importance and stature is measured by what I am, never by what I do, say, or wear, still less by what anyone else thinks or says about me.

Spiritual pride blinds our spiritual understanding and discernment, and Moses turned and spoke to Korah alone, the man who had known God; he had nothing to say, just then, to the sons of Reuben.

6) Read Numbers 16:9-10. In your own words, what was the message of Moses to Korah and the Levites?

We each have the opportunity of knowing God and serving Him, and drawing near to Him. Is that a small thing in our eyes? It is for that task, and none other, that He will fill me with His Holy Spirit; it is just there, in that routine position, doing those dull jobs, meeting that same old set of uninteresting people, that He has promised His blessing. Don’t despise these circumstances, because they are the medium through which God purposes to make Himself known to you, and be very, very sure of His leading before you seek to change them.

Read Numbers 16:16-35. Notice that Korah’s spiritual pride totally blinded his eyes to God’s requirements. He must have really thought that God would accept incense offered in pride and anger and self-vindication, or he would have never dared to bring it. By what tortuous process of thought he mentally justified himself, we do not know; his reason and self-knowledge were clouded by his pride. Apart from the continual light of God’s judgment on our life , we can justify almost anything we please.

7) Read Psalm 139:23-24 and write the verses here.

David cried out to the Lord with these words because he knew that apart from God’s searchlight, he could not always see the wicked ways of his own heart. What a ghastly moment of self-revelation there must have been, when God’s glory suddenly shone on them, not in mercy now, but in judgment. It had been there all the time and that glory should have transfigured him and lightened his daily load, and made him the happiest man on the earth. But the light that would guide and cheer, becomes, if refused, the light of judgment. We cannot escape, one way or another. The glory will never be dimmed.

So the earth swallowed them up and fire consumed those who offered incense in pride, because the service of spiritual pride is neither acceptable to God or man. Heaven refuses it and earth rejects it. The whole tainted family of Dathan and Abiram disappeared, but we read that the sons of Korah died not (read Numbers 26:9-11). God judges and purifies His chosen people, but He does not annihilate them.

8) Read Numbers 18:2-6. Did God cast off the Levites? What was their duty?

The Bible tells us that the sons of Korah became some of the sweetest singers in Israel, for no one sings so sweetly as he who has been redeemed from death. The burden of their song was this: “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup, Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage…Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, they will still be praising Thee…I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness…”

Following is a list of the Psalms for the sons of Korah, read them with this lesson in mind; 42,44,45,46,47,48,49,84,85,87,88.

Ron Halverson

 2010/4/17 13:05Profile

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