Simeon and Levi: A Tale of Two Inheritances

Gary Bird

As we navigate through the Bible, we often find ourselves captivated by the incredible stories of redemption and transformation. 
Among these, the account of Simeon and Levi, two of the twelve sons of Jacob, stands as a significant example of the profound dynamic between our choices and divine inheritance.
Our story begins in the book of Genesis chapter 34, where Levi and Simeon find themselves wrapped in a cloud of unrestrained wrath following a terrible act committed against their sister, Dinah. Blinded by anger and the thirst for vengeance, they enact a deceitful plan against the Shechemites, leading to a violent assault on the city, contrary to the peaceful resolution their father, Jacob, had intended. This act of intense fury, marked by merciless violence, greatly distressed Jacob, who feared retaliation from the neighboring cities (Genesis 34:30).
Fast-forward to Genesis 49, and we witness Jacob on his deathbed, preparing to bestow blessings on his sons. However, when he turns to Simeon and Levi, the narrative takes a rather poignant turn. Instead of a blessing, he gives a stern admonishment, condemning their anger as fierce and their wrath as cruel (Genesis 49:7). Following this, he prophesies their scattering across Israel, a prophecy seen as a symbolic form of disinheritance.
Faced with such disapproval, the path to redemption for the tribe of Levi appears daunting. However, the story takes an unexpected turn. The Levites, are not assigned a physical territory in the Promised Land. Instead, they find themselves embraced by divine providence.
In response to the Golden Calf incident, when Moses cried, "Who is on the LORD's side? Let him come unto me" (Exodus 32:26), it was the sons of Levi who chose to stand by righteousness. Their dedication to upholding God's commandments, even against their kinsmen, marked the genesis of their road to reconciliation. 
God, recognizing their unwavering loyalty, appoints the Levites as the priestly tribe of Israel. Instead of an earthly territory, they receive a spiritual inheritance of divine service. The Levites were entrusted with sacred duties in the Tabernacle (Numbers 3:5-10) and provided cities spread throughout Israel (Numbers 35:1-8). 
As the Lord Himself declared, "I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel" (Numbers 18:20).
Meanwhile, the tribe of Simeon, due to their shared guilt, seems to fade into obscurity. Given land within the territory of Judah, they eventually lose their distinct identity (Joshua 19:1-9).
The contrasting fates of Levi and Simeon provide powerful lessons for us today. Each of us stands at a spiritual crossroads. Like Levi, we can choose to respond to God's call, affirming our loyalty and obedience to His commandments, thereby earning a unique spiritual inheritance. Conversely, like Simeon, we can let our choices lead us to obscurity, and lose our blessing altogether.  
These lessons from Levi and Simeon resonate with us today more than ever. As Christians, we face a daily choice: to be a Levi, embracing God's commands and serving Him wholeheartedly, or to be a Simeon, losing our blessings and fading into a distant memory. 
Our past actions need not define our spiritual future. Our spiritual inheritances await us, just as they did for Levi, if we choose to stand on the side of the Lord today. 

Gary Bird

Gary and his family are core members of our church. He assists with multiple ministries. He and his wife Jessica have five children.

Related Articles

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.