The chapter goes on to detail several privileges, payments, and responsibilities (and punishments for failure) pertaining to the priesthood.
Their responsibilities included:
- Instilling reverence for holy things: They had to make sure the other Israelites didn't touch or mishandle the holy things in the Tabernacle. If someone touched something that should remain offlimits, both the lay person and the priest received a death penalty.
- Care for holy things, so that God's anger would be averted.
- Tithing the tithe they received from the people (who received it or what happened to it isn't specified, except that the animal and grain offerings were killed and burned).
Their payment included:
- Specified portions of the offerings to be eaten.
- The money paid in offerings.
- No land. God told them "I am your plot of ground."
- As noted above, they were in turn to give one-tenth of what they received.
- Their work. Only they served in the sanctuary.
- A unique relationship with God. "I am your inheritance," God told them.
- All their needs provided.
The principles still hold true today, don't you agree? Let's see. We still expect our ministers to teach us about holy living and to maintain holiness in their own lives. We expect them to be generous with their time and money.
We pay them (usually) so they can work for the church "full time."
They rarely remain fixed in one place long enough to call it their "home."
They are called to be our pastors, teachers, leaders.
One final thought: The work of the priesthood was God's exclusive gift to Aaron and his sons; it couldn't be delegated.
For a writer, I take joy and peace in knowing no one else can or will write the stories God places on my heart. When jealousy threatens to get the better of me (still a struggle for me), I cling to this truth. God's plan for me is unique and exclusive, and I have no business comparing myself to others.
Of course, that also means I'd better get busy--and write the stories God gave me.