John T. Willis

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I know the plans I have for you--Lesson 13

We have discussed the way Yahweh works through the Law and through kings. Now we turn to discuss Yahweh working through priests. According to the Bible, priests came from the tribe of Levi. Levi, one of the sons of Jacob, had three sons: Gershon [or Gershom], Kohath, and Merari (Exodus 6:16; 1 Chronicles 6:54-81). These three men and their descendants were Levites. Kohath had a son named Amram. Amram married Jochebed, and they had a daughter [Miriam] and two sons [Aaron and Moses]. Yahweh designated Aaron as high priest, and he four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Ithamar, and Eleazar. Nadab and Abihu committed a serious sin, and had no sons (Leviticus 10). Thus, all the high priests descended through Ithamar and Eleazar. An important descendant of Ithamar was Abiathar; and an important descendant of Eleazar was Zadok. In the days of Solomon, because of the sins of Abiathar, the lineage of Abiathar came to an end, and from then on, all the lineage was from Zadok. Hence, the Bible often mentions the Zadokites. The priests had two functions. 1. To bring God to the people. A major role of priests was to teach the people. 2 Chronicles 17:7-9 says clearly and specifically that King Jehoshaphat of Judah sent his "officials" to "teach" in the cities of Judah, the "Levites" and the "priests." and "they taught in Judah, having the book of the law ofthe Lord went them; they went around through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people." Of course, other people also taught the people, but a major responsibility of Levites and priests was to teach the people. Deuteronomy 31:9-13 says that Moses gave the law to the Levites and commanded them to read the law to all the people every seven years in order to hear and learn to fear Yahweh. 2. To bring the people to God. God commanded through Moses that all the people must come to the priests to bring their sacrifices to worship God. See 1 Samuel 2:12-17; 2 Chronicles 26:16-21. Like all the people of God, all the Levites and priests were subject to God's Law. When a Levite or a priest sinned against God, he was condemned, just as in the case of kings. Priests played a very important role in the life of God's people. Share YOUR misgivings and thoughts and ideas and reversals with others. Let me hear from YOU. John Willis