1 Chronicles 23-26
(Different Gifts - One Body of Service)
May 3rd

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

David said, ďThe LORD God of Israel has given peace to his people, and he himself will live in Jerusalem for ever. So there is no longer any need for the Levites to carry the Tent of the LORD's presence and all the equipment used in worship.Ē

-1 Chronicles 23:25-26

Summary of Chapters

This group of chapters briefly notes the transition from David to Solomon and then describes the genealogy of the Levites and their respective roles, as assigned by David. A census was conducted of the Levites in order to determine how many could be allocated to each role Ė this census was not censured by God because itís intent was in line with Godís will for us to worship him. By contrast, Davidís census of men for the army, as noted in yesterdayís study, was focused on self-worship and glorification.

    In short, the Levites, with the sons of Aaron as their companions in the ministry of holy worship, were responsible for everything that had to do with worship: the place and times and ordering of worship.

    -1 Chronicles 23:32 (MSG)

Reflection and Application

The lengthy description of different roles was an important historical artifact for the people returning from exile. With this document in hand, they would have a perspective on the types of roles and volume of resources required. The specific roles mentioned in these passages include the following:

    High Priest
    Purification of sacred things
    Genealogical record-keepers
    People who give thanks and praise

Each of these roles required special skills or requirements Ė the High Priests had to be descendents of Aaron and must follow the protocol of their offices. The other roles were distributed to the remainder of the Levite clans. The gatekeepers needed to be strong and have a firm demeanor, much like a modern security guard, or perhaps more appropriately a doorman who also serves as a greeter. The musicians had to be able to understand notes and rhythm, and if required, sing in tune with good pitch and range.

Presumably those in charge of purification had to have a passion for cleanliness and an attitude of obedience and thoroughness. The bread-makers had to know how to identify and mix the various ingredients and manage the oven. The prophets did not necessarily have to see into the future but were asked to help interpret the law and advise the leaders. The Treasurers had to be honest, ethical, and accurate, with a mind for numbers. The Genealogical record-keepers also had to be accurate, but with more of a focus on history and relationships. Finally, those who gave thanks and praise only needed a sincere heart and perhaps a loud speaking voice.

Which of these are the more important roles?

None. For none of these can operate independently. The high priests could not perform their duties without the fulfillment of all the other roles, and these roles were all interdependent. Our modern houses of worship have similar human resource needs. We require worship leaders, musicians, teachers, cleaning and maintenance staff, collectors, money counters, financial managers, and other types of people.

In contrast to the staff in Davidís era, we might be able to outsource the bread-making but would have a need for mechanics, electricians, web-designers, and human resource managers! Most churches fulfill these needs with a blend of hired staff, contractors, and volunteers from the congregation. There is a need for just about any type of skill that any one of us possesses, and there certainly is a role for each one of us. The Apostle Paul underscores this point in his letter to the Romans:

    For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

    We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

    - Romans 12:3-8 (NIV)

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What type of work energizes you (either for pay, volunteer, or otherwise)?
    2. What are the types of skills that you have that can be used for Godís service?
    3. What are the current needs in your community that match with your skills?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, you are the CEO of lives. We recognize that you sit above us and the rest of us are special in your eye, but none any more special or more important than the other. Please help us to know our calling and to serve you with all of our heart and soul.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Treasurers and Accountants

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: 1 Chronicles 27-29 (Davidís Final Words)

    Comments and Questions
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