Wrong Tribe, Right God

Levi was angry and violent. In a rage, he committed an act of revenge that ended up defining him (and his family) for a long time to come. Though on some level his deed was understandable (avenging the rape of his sister), it wasn’t excusable, and as a result Levi’s tribe would live with the consequences.

His dark legacy dogged them like a shadow.

Yet, generations later the hapless tribe of Levi would finally catch a break. A baby was born that providentially survived infanticide, a scheme designed to control population growth. They named him Moses. He was a descendent of Levi and he was about to change the reputation of the whole tribe. Before long the stigma and shame of being a descendent of Levi would be gone.

With Moses as leader, the tribe of Levi would become the prime ministers of a nation. They would be go-betweens. They would assist people as they worshiped God by serving as priests and temple assistants.

Moses’ tribe was wrong, but his God was right.

Maybe you are blessed to have been born into a great family and you’re proud of it. Or maybe you have some other affiliation that makes you feel good about your social standing today. If so, thank God.

But if not, take heart. What matters more than any social tribe you might belong to is the fact that there is a God who knows you, loves you, and claims you. Whether you come from money and power or not, your God is wealthy, powerful, and extremely kind. Whether you have a distinguished last name or not, Jesus has the Name that is above every name and by His grace, the name Christian is available to you.

If you feel that for reasons beyond your control you have been cursed, this story should give you hope. You have a choice. You need not give into the attitude that “It is what it is” and that you’re just stuck for life. Why? Because it isn’t true. Because of Jesus, the curse of sin is reversed and the blessings of God abound to you.

In Ephesians 1, Paul itemizes some of these blessings that are ours in Christ:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Ephesians 1:3-7

In and through Jesus we are not condemned by past sin, be it our own sin or someone else’s. What’s more, we receive a permanently new status. And like the tribe of Levi, we even get the honor of serving as priests.

Tribe is important but not all-important. Moses was from the wrong tribe, but he had the right God. His life reminds us that the part of our bio that matters most is not our memberships but our relationships, especially our relationship with the great I AM.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

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