Summary: "Nethinims" is a strange word. It is not a word we are familiar with today. But it is part of God’s inspired word so it deserves our attention.
Who were the Nethinims? They were servants of the Levites. Their work was humble but important. There are some great truths to be learned from the Nethinims. They were:
Ezra 7:24 "Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them."
Nethinims were free from taxation. That would be a luxury today, in a world with such exorbitant tax rates! Christians have been liberated, not from taxation, but from something far more terrible - the curse of the law. By His blood Christ has brought glorious freedom to our souls.
Free from the law, O happy condition,
Jesus has bled and there is remission,
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace hath redeemed us once for all.
The word Nethinim means ‘given.’ They were a gift from the Lord to the Levites. We are reminded of James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Let me mention a couple of very special gifts:
a) Christ - John 3:16.
b) The Holy Ghost - Acts 2:38.
Ezra 8:20 "the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites."
The Nethinims were nominated by David and the princes.
Christ is the son of David, the root of David and the offspring of David. He appoints people to serve in His work today. Will you be one of His humble servants?
Christ is the Prince of life and the prince of the kings of the earth. Will you be a modern-day Nethinim serving in the cause of the gospel?
Christ Himself was the greatest Nethinim ever. We are reminded of the astonishing incident in John 13 where the Saviour washed the disciples’ feet: "He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded."
Down from His glory,
Ever living story,
My God and Saviour came,
And Jesus was His Name.
Born in a manger,
To His own a stranger,
A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.
O how I love Him! How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine, my all in all.
The great Creator became my Saviour,
And all God’s fullness dwelleth in Him.