herefore you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and behind the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood to you as a gift for service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death. Numbers 18.7
God’s love for His people was so great that He decided to step down from His magnificent dwelling place, heaven, and live among them in a tent in the desert.
Once the Tabernacle was established, the need surged to find people who could serve with the utmost zeal. This new place would be the meeting point between man and the Most High. The environment, service and intentions needed to be holy so that God could feel at home, as if He were in heaven, surrounded by holiness. But who would be prepared for such a privilege?
What criteria does He use to entrust such important responsibilities to men?
Zeal, which was shown by the Levites in not accepting iniquity among the people, attracted the attention of the Eternal God, but this choice is, above all else, an undeserved favor, because no human merit or quality could possibly make them equal.
The choice was made. The tribe of Levi was given the mission, which God called a gift. It was offered to them as a demonstration of love and trust. The Levites, priests and high priests came from this tribe. Each one had a specific role, however, they would only be successful in the Work if it were not done by imposition or obligation.
It was the duty of the priests to zeal for the holiness of the Tabernacle, not allowing it to be profaned because God would not spare them if they did. They took care of the altar, the sanctuary and the sacrifices. No one else could do this!
It was not up to them to invent something different from what was commanded them to do, nor transfer their responsibilities to others.
The Levites were helpers given by God as a gift to the priests, so that they would not be overloaded with work. However, their responsibilities were different. They helped in maintaining and transporting the Tabernacle whenever Israel moved camp.
However, they could not touch the sacred vessels, perform animal sacrifices, burn the sacred incense, refill the lamp with oil or replace the loaves of bread from the proposition table every Saturday.
If they did not follow these guidelines, they and the priests would be punished. It was not up to the Levites to make decisions or assign jobs, but as good helpers, they obeyed every given command.
We can see here how the Almighty wishes to be served today.
Ministering holy things is a cause for unspeakable glory and should never be a burden. Each person’s gift flourishes when they serve with fear, pleasure and holiness.
At that time, two priests, Nadab and Abihu, wrongfully offered a sacrifice with strange fire; this is, they used coal that was not from the altar of burnt offerings to light the incense. They were negligent and did not exercise their priestly duties as God had commanded; instead, they did things their own way. They were killed inside the Sanctuary, even though they were the sons of Aaron, the high priest.
For this reason it is written: Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully! Jeremiah 48.10
The high priest was given the responsibility of passing through the three veils, going where no other man could go: the Holy of Holies. He was the representative of the people and received guidance directly from the Most High.
To serve Him is a sublime and exclusive gift, which is solely given to those who were chosen. In the Work of God there is no place for thrill-seekers or strangers, only for servants who are honest, fearful and faithful.