The book of Leviticus is full of instructions to and about the Levites of the tribe of Levi. Moses, Aaron, and Miriam were all of the tribe of Levi. Aaron was the first high priest, and all of his descendants were appointed as the priestly class among the Israelites. The priests were expected to display Godly behavior and be faithful in carrying out sanctuary rituals that included making sin and guilt offerings and sacrificing animals on behalf of the people. The families of the priests were also expected to keep themselves pure and clean. If they did not, they could be punished by death. Leviticus 21:9 says:
If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.
We aren’t told specifically that any priest’s daughter disgraced her father by becoming a prostitute. The threat of being burned by fire probably kept such a thing from happening. Though we know none of them by name, the daughters of priests are distant examples for all who claim to believe in Christ because:
1. We are daughters and sons of the High Priest, Jesus the Christ. The book of Hebrews references our High Priest in two instances,
For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. (2:17)
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (4:14)
Like the Levitical priests, Jesus also offered a sacrifice on our behalf so that we would not perish by sin. Unlike the Levitical priests, Jesus did not repeatedly offer sacrifices. He offered only one perfect sacrifice, that of Himself, and through this selfless act pleased God and conquered death forever. Because every priest is appointed from among men, Jesus also became a man like Aaron and Aaron’s descendants. He experienced every emotion, weakness, and temptation that they experienced, but unlike them, He remained without sin.
If the families of imperfect priests were required to live righteous lives, how much more should we as daughters and sons of the perfect High Priest live lives that are a reflection of His goodness and grace? We do not do the right thing out of fear of being burned by fire or out of fear that we will receive some other awful punishment. We do what is right out of love, and we best show our love for God by keeping His commandments.
The tribe of Levi was set a part from the other tribes, and so are we. We are a chosen people, a holy nation, God’s special possession – let’s live like it.