Reward for Faithfulness: Deuteronomy 33:6-11

Deuteronomy 33:6‑11  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Special blessings came upon Levi and Joseph because of their faithfulness, for God never forgets anything done for Him. We may do something for the Lord as Joseph did, and even get into a great deal of trouble for it at the time, yet the Lord who searches the heart values it, and His reward will surprise us. He will never be our debtor. Let us be willing to suffer and endure hardness for Christ! If we think of what He endured for us, our fainting hearts will be encouraged and we will find that “the end of the Lord” is blessing unbounded.
The Blessings of the Tribes
The blessing of Reuben, “Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few,” makes us think of the grace that saved is when we were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:11And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (Ephesians 2:1)). We deserved to die, but instead of this we “live through Him” (the Son of God, 1 John 4:99Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. (John 4:9)). This is the grand starting point of all blessing with us, as it was with Israel, and there will not be “few” but “many sons” brought home to glory (Hebrews 2:1010For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10)).
We might notice as to Judah, who comes next in our chapter, that the expression, “bring him unto his people” and “be Thou a help to him from his enemies,” looks on to a future day when God will bring back the Jews (those of Judah) to their land, and bless them there. They are a despised people today, having many enemies, but the Lord will deliver them and rule the world in and through them. It is also precious to apply this passage to ourselves. After we have been given life instead of the death we deserved, the Lord brings us to His people. We become “fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”
The Faithfulness of Levi
Next comes the tribe of Levi who had proved themselves faithful at a time when Israel worshipped the golden calf. They had thought more of the Lord’s glory than even father or mother. They were obedient to the Word of God, and stood on the Lord’s side regardless of what others were doing, and this is most important. We must be faithful if we are to be used of the Lord on His behalf, for “it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:22Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)). Because of this faithfulness, the tribe of Levi was chosen to be the priestly tribe, and Moses requests that the Thummim and Urim, which mean lights and perfections, might always be with them. This is so needed for all who serve the Lord. Moses (who was of the tribe of Levi) had failed when tested at the waters of Meribah, for there is nothing that tries the patience of the servant like the strivings of the people of God, especially when it is our heart’s desire to help and built them up. But God allows these testings so that we might turn to Him and count upon Him, even in the darkest days. When there is an interceding for the people of God, and a counting upon God, there is sure to be blessing as a result, but let us remember that the trials in the path of serving the Lord make manifest if we are really walking with Him or not. No strength of natural character will keep us when difficulties arise, but let us never forget these three words, “God is faithful,” and count upon Him. His love to His people never falters, and if we are to act on His behalf let us “walk in love” always.
Further Meditations
1. Why were the tribes of Levi and Joseph blessed in a special way?
2. Why does God allow us to be tested? Why doesn’t he just make it “easy” to obey? Besides Levi who else faced some difficult tests in the book of Deuteronomy?
3. You might find real encouragement from the clearly written pamphlet, Discipleship — Its Terms, Tests and Rewards: Seven Things That Characterize a Disciple Indeed by B. Anstey.