Daily Word

Providing for priests| Nehemiah 12:44-47 (NLT)

44 On that day men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the offerings, the first part of the harvest, and the tithes. They were responsible to collect from the fields outside the towns the portions required by the Law for the priests and Levites. For all the people of Judah took joy in the priests and Levites and their work. 45 They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as commanded by David and his son Solomon, and so did the singers and the gatekeepers.

46 The custom of having choir directors to lead the choirs in hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God began long ago in the days of David and Asaph. 47 So now, in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel brought a daily supply of food for the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Levites. The Levites, in turn, gave a portion of what they received to the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

Providing for priests

Nehemiah (we presume) appointed some guys to manage the tithes and first fruits that were coming into the temple. They actually went out to the fields and collected them. But it wasn’t an arduous task like a tax collector (remember how Matthew the tax collector was despised). Rather, the people gave willingly. It says, “they took joy in the priests and Levites and their work”. A pastor’s dream! No more talking about giving and tithing (though tithing is not an activity for Christians. See here.)

Everyone gave their required portion for the singers, gatekeepers and Levites. The Levites, then, gave the “tithe of the tithe” to the priests as prescribed in the Law (Numbers 18:21-24). 

Summary of Chapter 12

Plano Bible chapel’s Dr. Thomas L. Constable offers this nice conclusion of chapter 12: “This was the greatest day in the history of the restoration community. Israel was now back in the land more securely and scripturally than it had been since the first exiles had returned. Nehemiah had succeeded in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, reestablishing the Mosaic Law as Israel’s authority, and reorganizing the temple ministry in harmony with God’s will.”

Today

How do we take care of our priests (pastors and church workers and missionaries)? Are we exuberant about the opportunity to support them and their work? Do we willingly partner with the Lord in this? And this extends beyond finances. Do we pray for them? Take a moment now and assess, make a plan and just do it, with thanks.

Image of Catholic priests from Pxfuel.com

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