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Guardians of the Gift

Numbers 18:6-7a
“And behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the people of Israel. They are a gift to you, given to the LORD, to do the service of the tent of meeting. And you and your sons with you shall guard your priesthood for all that concerns the altar and that is within the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood as a gift …”

Why did the framers of our Constitution write as the second most important amendment, “You shall have the right to possess and bear arms”? Simple: so that every man, without the aid of police forces and sheriff deputies and armed guards, could protect themselves and their families from harm. It’s the same reason we lock our front doors at night and keep our expensive treasures in a safe and carry mace or pepper spray or a handgun with us in our vehicles. Ultimately, we’d never need firearms or self- defense training or security passcodes if there weren’t malevolent forces in the world all round us. But tragically, there are malevolent forces in the world, spiritual ones and earthly ones, demons as well as cruel men, lurking in the shadows of city streets and in the shadows of our deepest thoughts, waiting to exploit any weaknesses in our security apparatuses.

Friend, God calls Aaron to guard the gift of his priesthood with his life, and we, too, as priests under the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, should be adamant to do the same. We can’t let our guard down even for an instant. We can’t leave a door unlocked, a sin unconfessed, a crack in the wall that the enemy could slip through unsealed. That’s why Paul described our holy priesthood as a spiritual war in Ephesians 6, exhorting us to put on the full armor of God, arming ourselves defensively and offensively against the forces of evil. The purity God has given us through His redemptive work in our lives, the light He’s poured into our souls by which we illumine the cavernous world around us, the truth He’s spoken into our hearts to mold and transform our ambitions, needs serious guarding.

The discomforting news is that our relentless enemy will never give up the fight in this lifetime. But take heart! He’ll lose every battle as long as we persevere in our God-empowered commission to stand guard.