Saturday, July 9, 2016

July 9 - 1 Chronicles 9

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Chronicles 9. 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 genealogy of the first 8 chapters is basically over. This chapter flashes forward. Chronologically it really comes at the end of 2 Chronicles, as it describes the time when the Jewish exiles returned from their captivity in Babylon.
  • In verse 1 we learn that the entire nation of Judah was taken captive and brought to Babylon. It was the result of their unfaithfulness, but not everyone was unfaithful. The reality is that sin affects more than just the sinner. 
  • The priority in telling about the return of the Jews from captivity is focusing on the priests and Levites, because they were the people who led people in their faith in and worship of God. God is always the first priority.
  • Much focus is put on the gatekeepers (verses 17-32). They opened the gates for people who wanted to come in and worship, and they did the day-to-day responsibilities of keeping the Temple clean and running smoothly.
  • The priests (verses 22-32) obviously took great care in leading the worship of God.
  • We can see (verses 33-34) the emphasis that was put on worshipping God through music.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • When we think about people who work at and important in the functioning of the church we may think of paid pastors. Back then people would have thought of the priests, but we see in this chapter that there were a big group of unsung heroes (the Gatekeepers) who made sure the Temple functioned properly. In the same way today volunteers are the lifeline of the church, and many work behind-the-scenes but play an incredibly important role. For instance, at Verve there is a team of people who clean the building and make sure it's ready for everything that will happen in it. They are today's "gatekeepers" and worthy of great honor.
  • The amount of time and energy and emphasis placed on preparing for and leading the worship of God by the priests and musicians should reveal how important worship is. When we gather for services, when we sing songs to God, it is a big deal. We should make attendance at services, and giving God all our attention and hearts during the services, of paramount importance.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you volunteer in the church? Do you feel like you are functioning in a role where you are giving your best?
  • Do you make being at church and putting all your focus, energy and heart into learning and worshipping during the service a high priority? If not, think about what that says to God. He is waiting for you to show up, excited to receive your worship, desiring for you to learn more about Him and His way of life for you... What changes do you need to make to elevate the priority of all that in your life?