"Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord's side? Let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him" (Exodus 32:26).
How would God crush the corruption in Israel? Who would He choose to be His instruments in a time of evil? Would angels come down and execute righteous judgment? Aaron and his sons had already corrupted themselves so who would God raise up to shine forth as His soldiers of holiness?
Of all people, He chose the sons of Levi—sons of that murderer who, with his brother Simeon, had caused Jacob’s family to be shamed before the heathen. Simeon and Levi each took a sword and slew Shechem for raping their sister Dinah. They also killed his father Hamor and then took their sheep, oxen and donkeys, their wealth, and their wives and children.
Oh, the matchless grace of God—to choose the most unworthy, the weakest of them all—to be His instruments. “All the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. . . . And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses” (Exodus 32: 26, 28).
Perhaps there was something deep within them that said, “We will not fail God as our father did! We will not bring reproach on the name of our God; we will step out and take our stand with the Lord!”
Moses had promised them, “God will reward you if you consecrate yourself and take a stand among your family, friends and brothers” (see Exodus 32:29). And God did reward them with a semi-priestly order called the Levites, who were given to the service of God’s house.
Being on the Lord’s side is taking His sword and using it to combat the forces of unbelief, putting down all doubts and fears. It means standing true to God and His Word no matter what the crowd does; no matter how faithless our friends become; no matter how worldly our dearest loved ones are. We must step out and declare, “I am on the Lord’s side! I come out against all attacks on the majesty and faithfulness of our God!”