July 17

1 Chronicles 24:1–26:11

Sorry to keep repeating myself, but 1 and 2 Chronicles were probably written by Ezra, the priest, and are therefore written from a priestly perspective. After the return from exile Ezra’s intention was to restore spiritual structure in the nation’s worship of God.

In this section we have various lists of the divisions of Priests, Levites (helpers to the priests) Musicians, and Gatekeepers. All these were of the priestly tribe of Israel – Levi.

These particular lists include some of the schedules of service (1 Chronicles 24:3, 19)  – schedules that were determined by the Lord through the casting of lots. 

1 Chronicles 25:8 (NKJV) “And they cast lots for their duty, the small as well as the great, the teacher with the student.”

Tony Evans, “By including the extensive lists of names seen in this chapter, the chronicler enabled Levites and priests in his day who had returned from exile to know how they fit into the plan of temple service. One of the Levites, a secretary…recorded them in the presence of the king and the other leaders (1 Chronicles 24:6). Service in the Lord’s temple was serious business.”

King David organized the musicians in his day, and here we’re reading how hundreds of years later, that structure was still in place. 

The musicians are a huge part of the priesthood. The enemy hates it when we worship, even he knows it’s vital for victory. This is why it’s emphasized by David, who appoints musicians who are called and skillful. The most important part of writing worship songs is the lyrics, which is why we read of these musicians prophesying with a harp, giving thanks, and praise to the LORD (1 Chronicles 25:3).

Pastor Chuck Smith wrote, “The word ‘prophesied’ in 1 Chronicles 25:2 does not necessarily mean ‘foretelling’ but ‘forth telling’ the works of God. It must have been quite an experience coming to the temple day and night, hearing 4,000 musicians prophesying in worship and praising God’s greatness, glory, power, and beauty.”

The final section of today’s reading ends with the Gatekeepers. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary a Gatekeeper was, “One who guards access to a place, either a city (2 Samuel 18:26; 2 Kings 7:10–11), a residence (John 18:17), the sacred precincts of the ark (1 Chronicles 15:23–24), or the temple (1 Chronicles 23:5). Temple gatekeepers were charged with preventing anyone unclean from entering the temple (2 Chronicles 23:19) and with guarding the temple treasuries and storehouses (1 Chronicles 9:26; 26:20–22; Nehemiah 12:25).”

In the New Testament we’re all part of the priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9). Our privilege is to find our place in the body of Christ and serve faithfully. Priests represent God to the people (we share His word and love with them). Priests also represent the people to God (we pray for them).

Romans 4:1-12

In Romans chapter 4 Paul points to Abraham, who is often referred to as the “Father of the faith.” He’s the perfect illustration of how we are justified by faith – not by works.

Twice in this chapter (Romans 4:5, 22) Paul quotes from: 

Genesis 15:6 (NKJV) “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Now, the interesting thing about this statement, is not only is it given before the law (which came through Moses) but it’s also before circumcision, which was given to Abraham as a seal of their covenant relationship (that commandment wasn’t issued until Genesis 17). So, clearly God declared Abraham to be righteous simply because he believed. He was saved and made righteous by faith. It was true for him, his descendants, and all who believe (Romans 4:23-24).

How blessed we are to receive salvation apart from works, or sacraments, or ceremony…no circumcision necessary. How awesome and amazing it is that we believers have all our sins forgiven by God…He will not hold them against us (impute it to our account).

Psalms 32:1-2 (NKJV) “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”

Aren’t you blessed that your sins are forgiven? Through sincere and simple faith in Christ, we’re declared righteous in the sight of a holy God. How awesome is that!

Warren Wiersbe comments, “David wrote Psalm 32 after his great sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). Can God forgive a man who commits adultery, deceit, and murder? Yes! When David repented and turned to God, he was forgiven, even though the Lord allowed David to feel the bitter consequences of his sins (2 Samuel 12). God justifies the ungodly, not the righteous (Romans 4:5; Matthew 9:9–13).”

I pray you’d rejoice in your salvation by faith!

Psalm 13:1-6

David asks the LORD four times, “How long?”

For David it was around 10 years.

For Joseph it was 13 years.

For Abraham it was 25 years.

For Moses it was 40 years.

Wait on the Lord, even in the most trying times. My heart goes out to David as he writes in:

Psalm 13:2b (NKJV) “…having sorrow in my heart daily.”

Some of you are there. We all go through those seasons of life. Please – don’t stop believing, don’t stop doing the right thing, for the day will come when God will reward your long obedience – it happened to David and it will happen to us – the “how long” for all the wrong, will become a deep and meaningful song.

Psalm 13:6 (NKJV) I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Proverbs 19:15-16

Proverbs 19:15 (NKJV) “Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.”

Sad to say, but because of laziness, many Christians have fallen asleep, even a deep sleep.

Ketih Green wrote that song, “Open up, open up, and give yourself away, you see the need, you hear their cries, how can you delay? God’s calling and you’re the one, but like Jonah you run. He’s told you to speak but you keep holding it in. Can’t you see it’s such sin? The world is sleeping in the dark, and the church just can’t fight…she’s asleep in the light!”

We read in this Proverbs that an idle person will suffer hunger. That can happen physically or spiritually (a spiritual famine takes place).

2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NKJV) “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”

There’s a big difference between someone who can’t work, and someone who won’t work!” Let’s be sure NOT to be lazy; let’s be hard workers.

Proverbs 19:16 (NKJV) “He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die.”

Obedience to God’s Word has a built-in security for the soul, we must not be careless (letting our guards down), we must be careful.

Deuteronomy 5:32 (NKJV) “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.”

It’s only natural to let our guards down. When you were first issued your license you were probably more careful in your driving, you kept your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock…but not any longer. Be careful my friend, let’s continue to use cautious wisdom.

In one sense, when we keep the commandment, we keep ourselves.

1 John 5:21 (NKJV) “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”

Jude 21 (NKJV) “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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