Today I read Leviticus 2 where the Lord explains how meat offerings that are cooked with flour are to be handled. I was really impressed when reading this how the Lord is taking care of Aaron and his sons, the priests through the law of sacrifice. God has never, as far as I am aware, had a paid ministry or priests that earn money simply because they are priests. In the Book of Mormon culture, the priests farmed and earned their own food through their labors.
In Old Testament society, it does not state that they did so, but I believe they were sustained by offerings made by those who came to make sacrifice. For example this chapter tells the children of Israel that when they bring a meat offering, a part of it goes on the fire to be burned for the Lord, but the rest is going to be consumed by Aaron and his sons.
To me, that is the Lord taking care of those who serve Him. Aaron and his sons, especially in the beginning, were probably busy from dawn till dusk with handling the sacrifices of the Lord. I doubt they really had any time to provide any food for themselves. So the Lord allowed them to be fed by the people. Later in Israelite society there were priests who abused this privilege, but we will get to that later.
The Lord has always taken care of His servants in whatever fashion is needed. I can remember multiple instances as a missionary being cared for by God. Sometimes it was a thoughtful branch president who bought me a rain suit because I was on a bicycle. Other times it was a missionary companion looking out for my well being when a careless driver ran a stop sign and would have hit me if not for my companion's quick action. Still others it was protecting my head and back when while riding a bicycle a driver opened his car door and hit me with it and I flew over the handle bars. The Lord cares about us and wants us to be healthy and happy.
Sometimes He accomplishes this in normal means. He helps us get a job where we can earn money to feed ourselves and our families. Sometimes it's creating programs to assist those who fall upon hard times, like the Church Welfare program. Other times He has to step in more dramatically and stop a car from falling off the road. I have had many such conversations with those not of the LDS faith and all agree that God is watching out for us and that we can ensure His protection through righteous living. It is wonderful to me that while the various religions may differ on certain key issues, we all agree that God is good, He loves us and He protects us. It really is a strong comparison between our Heavenly Father and a good, kind earthly father.
I'm sure once there were enough priests to handle all the needs of the people, the priests were able to take care of most of their own food needs again. That is just my guess though, truly I don't know for sure. But at the beginning when the Law of Moses was first implemented, it makes perfect sense to me that God would use it to those who are giving up their lives in service to Him. Of course He is going to care for them. Just as He still cares for us and those that serve Him still. Until tomorrow.