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  • Daniel Botkin

“It Appertaineth Not Unto Thee”


“It appertaineth not unto thee.” These were words of correction and warning spoken to King Uzziah by the priests when King Uzziah went into the Temple to burn incense unto the LORD. Uzziah got angry when the priests confronted him, and the LORD immediately smote Uzziah with leprosy. Uzziah remained a leper, cut off from the house of the LORD, until the day of his death.

This is a sad story, because Uzziah had been a righteous king. “He did that which was right in the sight of the LORD,” the Bible says (2 Chron. 26:4). “And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper” (2 Chron. 26:5).

God gave King Uzziah many great military victories and prospered him. Uzziah collected tribute from defeated enemies, he built cities and towers, he planted vineyards, and he digged many wells for his flocks and herds.

“And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong” (2 Chron. 26:15).

Uzziah was a great king and he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD. Why did God smite such a nice guy with a permanent case of leprosy? Because he did something that appertained not unto him, that’s why. Burning incense on the altar in the Temple was a job only for the priests, the men who were descended from Aaron. No one else was allowed to do it, not even a king.

Why did Uzziah think he could defy the system God had ordained through Moses, and go into the Temple and burn incense? It was Uzziah’s pride and presumption that led to his downfall. “But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense” (2 Chron. 26:16).

The priest Azariah, along with eighty other priests, confronted Uzziah and told him, “It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense.”

They told Uzziah to leave the sanctuary. If Uzziah had received their word of correction and repented and left the sanctuary, perhaps God would not have struck him with leprosy. Uzziah could have let the priests do that which appertained to them, and he could have done that which appertained to him, and reigned as king. But Uzziah ignored the warning and suffered horrible consequences.

Other people in the Bible got into serious trouble for doing that which did not appertain unto them. In Numbers chapter 12, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because he had married an Ethiopian woman. But the real problem they had was not Moses’ marriage to the Ethiopian. The real issue Miriam and Aaron had was their deep resentment of God’s choice of Moses. This becomes obvious in the words they said:

“Hath the LORD spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us?”

Yes, the LORD had spoken through Aaron and Miriam. Aaron was chosen to be Israel’s very first high priest. Miriam was the chief prophetess among the women. Those were the God-given roles that appertained unto Aaron and Miriam. But that did not satisfy them. They were not content to function in their God-given roles. They resented the fact that God had chosen their little brother Moses to lead the people. The LORD had spoken through them, and they were both older than Moses. Why didn’t God put one of them in charge instead of Moses?

God heard their words and struck Miriam with leprosy. Unlike Uzziah, Miriam was healed of her leprosy, but only after Aaron’s repentance and Moses’ intercession.

In Numbers chapter 16, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, along with 250 princes of the assembly, rose up against Moses and Aaron and challenged their right to rule the congregation. You would think these rebels would have learned a lesson from Miriam’s murmuring against Moses, but they apparently did not. Moses reminded Korah and the other rebellious Levites that they had a God-given role as Levites, and urged them to be satisfied with the role God had given them:

“And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And He hath brought thee near to Him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?”

God had ordained that only the sons of Aaron would be priests, and that the other Levites would assist the priests. But Korah and his cohorts refused to accept their God-given role. They sought to do that which appertained not unto them. As a result, the earth opened its mouth and swallowed Korah and all his company, along with “all that appertained to them.” They went down alive into the pit and the earth closed upon them. Because they tried to do that which did not appertain unto them, they and all that appertained unto them perished in the pit.

King Saul was another person who got into trouble for doing that which did not appertain unto him. In 1 Samuel chapter 13, Saul and his outnumbered army were warring against the Philistines. The Prophet Samuel had told Saul to wait for him in Gilgal. Samuel had not yet arrived, and Saul got tired of waiting. Saul decided that he would offer the burnt offering, since Samuel was not there to do it. As soon as Saul finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel showed up.

“What hast thou done?” Samuel asked him.

Saul explained that he offered the burnt offering because Samuel had not shown up when expected, and because the Israelites were leaving and hiding, and the Philistines were getting ready to attack.

“I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering,” Saul said.

Samuel said to Saul, “Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which He commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought Him a man after His own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over His people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.”

Like King Uzziah, King Saul performed a priestly duty that did not appertain unto him. As a result, his kingdom was taken away from him and given to a better man, David.

In the New Testament, in Acts chapter 19, we read about seven brothers who got into trouble for trying to do something that did not appertain unto them. These seven brothers, sons of Sceva, were vagabond Jewish exorcists. They had witnessed Paul casting demons out of people in the name of Yeshua. They thought they could do the same thing. After all, they had seen Paul do it, and they heard how Paul pronounced the Savior’s Sacred Name. If you know the correct Hebrew pronunciation of the Sacred Name, how hard could it be to use the Name?

So these seven sons of Sceva found a demon-possessed man and said (no doubt being careful to pronounce the Sacred Name exactly the way Paul said it), “We adjure you by Yeshua whom Paul preacheth.”

The evil spirit answered and said, “Yeshua I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”

Then the demon-possessed man leaped on them and gave them a good beating, and all seven of them fled the house, naked and wounded.

Casting out demons in the name of Yeshua appertains only to true followers of Yeshua. The seven sons of Sceva knew how to correctly pronounce the Savior’s Sacred Name, but they did not know the Savior. They tried to do something that did not appertain unto them, and they suffered for it.

Another New Testament example of someone getting in trouble for doing that which did not appertain unto them is mentioned in Revelation:

“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols” (Rev. 2:20).

The Lord went on to say that He gave her space to repent, but she repented not. Because of her refusal to repent, the Lord said He would cast her into great tribulation and kill her children with death.

This woman Jezebel was allowed to teach men in the assembly. Women can prophesy in the assembly if they wear a head covering (1 Cor. 11:3), and older woman can teach younger women (Tit. 2:4). But it appertaineth not unto a woman to teach men in the assembly, as it is written:

“But I suffer [permit] not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:12).

Feminists hate this verse. They try to twist it to mean something other than what it says. But it means exactly what it says. God even explains the reasons for this restriction in the next two verses:

“For [gar, ‘for this reason; because’] Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim. 2:13f).

You can say that you do not understand the connection between the prohibition and the stated reasons, or that it seems unfair to you. Nonetheless, these are the two reasons given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. To theorize and try to invent some other reason for the prohibition, a reason that you think will authorize you to defy the prohibition, is to defy and rebel against the inspiration and authority of the divinely-inspired Apostolic Scriptures.

Women can publicly pray, prophesy, and testify in the assembly. They can evangelize, organize, and agonize in prayer. They can do just about any other kind of ministry work that men do. But one thing that appertaineth not unto women is teaching the Scriptures to men in the assembly and exercising authority over men. To do that is to defy divinely-inspired Apostolic instruction for church order. Male headship is the biblical norm throughout the Bible, and the biblical norm should be our goal.

King Uzziah should have been satisfied with his God-given role as king, and not intruded into a role reserved only for priests. Miriam and Aaron should have been satisfied with their God-given roles as high priest and head prophetess, and not questioned Moses’ authority. Korah and the other Levites should have been satisfied with their God-given role as assistants to the priests, and not tried to usurp Moses’ authority. King Saul should have been satisfied with his God-given role as Israel’s first king, and not forced himself and intruded into priestly duties that did not appertain to him. The seven sons of Sceva should have become disciples of Yeshua before attempting to cast out demons in Yeshua’s name, something that appertained only to disciples of Yeshua. Women today should be satisfied with their God-given roles in the Body of Messiah, and not intrude and usurp men’s authority by doing that which appertaineth not unto them.

All these biblical examples of people doing things that did not appertain unto them serve as warnings to us. In your walk with the Lord, you can start out doing things that are right in the sight of the LORD, as King Uzziah did. You can experience blessing and prosperity from the LORD, like Uzziah did. But if you let down your guard and let your heart be lifted up in pride, like King Uzziah did, it can lead to your destruction. When pride and presumption creep in, you start thinking that you can ignore God’s restrictions and the roles He has assigned to various categories of people. You think that because you are blessed, you must be special. And because you think you are special, you think you can intrude into areas that are off-limits to you. You think God will let you do things that do not appertain unto you, because you are special, you are different.

If you do things that appertain not unto you, there will be negative consequences. You might not be smitten with leprosy, like Uzziah and Miriam were. You might not be swallowed up by the earth and go down alive into the pit, as Korah and his crew did. You might not lose a kingdom, like King Saul did. You might not get beaten up by a devil, like the sons of Sceva did. You might not get thrown into great tribulation and have your children killed with death, like the Jezebel in Revelation did. But something bad will happen to you, because by doing that which appertaineth not unto you, you are in effect challenging God’s right to assign certain tasks only to certain people, and His right to exclude certain people from certain tasks.

So instead of trying to do things that appertaineth not unto you, do things that do appertain unto you. King David wanted to build the Temple, but God told David that building the Temple did not appertain to him. God had chosen Solomon, not David, to do that job. David did not say, “I’m going to do it anyway.” He humbly accepted God’s decision. When we discover that some task appertaineth not unto us, we should follow David’s example, and do something that does appertain unto us.

There are lots of good works you can do for the kingdom. You do not need to be a Moses, or a priest, or a Levite, or even a man to do great things for the kingdom. Find out what the Lord wants you to do with your life and start doing it. That which He has called you to do is that which appertaineth unto you.


| DB

 

Image: Psalm 94 by Daniel Botkin from his Psurealistic Psalms Gallery. See this and all his art pieces on his art website, DanielBotkin.com.

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