Saturday, July 2, 2016

July 2 - 1 Chronicles 6

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Chronicles 6. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The book of Chronicles continues (it will end pretty soon!) to chronicle the history of God's people through a genealogy. Chapter 6 tells about the Levites, who God designated as the priests for the Israelite people.
  • In these times, becoming a priest was not a choice a person made, or something anyone could aspire to, it was reserved for those in the family line of a man named Levi and his descendant Aaron.
  • The people mentioned in verse 3 are important parts of the period of Israel's history we read about in the book of Exodus.
  • Samuel (verses 27-28) is one of the most important people in the Israelites' (and Bible) history. He turned the nation around (and back to God). We will read about him in the book of Judges and in 1 Samuel.
  • We see (in verses 31ff) that music was a central part of the worship of God.
  • The other family tribes of Israel were given specific areas of land to call their own. The Levites were not. Instead, they were given towns or pasturelands within the territories of the other tribes (see verses 54ff).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The Levites were the priests. The word priest literally means bridge. A priest is supposed to be a bridge for other people to get to (to gain access to) God. Back then one specific family were the priests, but today, every Christian is a priest. Check out what we're taught in the New Testament book of 1 Peter:
    • "But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light. 'Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God's people. Once you received no mercy, now you have received mercy.' Dear friends, I warn you as 'temporary residents and foreigners' to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world." (1 Peter 2:9-12)
  • The idea is that because Jesus came and tore down the "wall" that divided us from God, through Jesus we can now all be priests. We can all have immediate access to God, and we can all help other people to get to God.
  • That is HUGE. If you are a believer, you are a priest!
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Think of how revered the priests must have been back in the time of 1 Chronicles. They were the special one's who had direct access to God. You should feel incredibly honored that you are a priest. 
    • Do you feel that way? How does it impact your life?
  • Also think of how the priests represented God, how God spread them throughout the land so everyone could know and have access to a priest, so they could know and have access to God. Now you are a priest, and God wants all of His people (His priests) spread throughout the "land," living and working in every area, so that people can know Him and, through us, be brought to Him. 
    • Do you think that way? Wherever you live or work, do you feel like you are there to represent God and help others to know Him? You are!
  • In the 1 Peter passage there's a strong emphasis placed on living in a way that makes God looks good, because we are priests and represent Him.
    • Do you think about your actions, words, relationships, and how they might cause others to think of God? You should.
  • Pray and ask God to give you this way of thinking, and to transform your life through your thinking this way...