Where are the Levites?

As I’ve been studying out the city of Shechem these past few days, I came
up with a horrifying insight, one very troubling and applicable for today within the Community of God. Where are the Levites? Strange as that question may sound, they are nowhere to be found in a place they’re supposed to be. In the Torah, God commanded that the Levites be given forty-eight cities among the children of Israel. Of those, six were to be cities of refuge and Shechem was one. Except for the stirring episodes of the Covenant renewal ceremonies of Joshua 8 and 24, Priests and Levites are absent at all other times. These men, chosen by God to represent Him,ones’ whose duty was to teach the people the ways of God through words and deeds. Absent.
This absence of the Word of God and of the men of God left an opening for something other than what is good and right. After the death of his father Gideon, Abimelech decided he wanted to be king of all Israel. The kingship had been offered to Gideon and his descendents by the men of Israel years before, but Gideon wisely declined by stating that neither he nor his sons after him will rule over Israel but that the LORD shall rule over them all. Yet Abimelech elevated himself to where he wasn’t meant to be. And he persuaded his mother’s father’s family and they persuaded the leaders of Shechem and they the people. Thus Abimelech became king over Israel for three years and brought about judgment by God on all those involved who rejected God as King. Many, many people died and Shechem was leveled as a result of covetous desires and foolish choices. If only the teachers of the Word of God had been in Shechem, the people might have responded differently. How about where you live? Are there teachers there? Are you the teacher? By words and deeds? Or will your city end up someday as rock and stone ruins in an archaeological park surrounded by a fence? Will your city become like Shechem?


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