Sunday, August 21, 2016

1 Chronicles 24

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Chronicles 24. 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 priests were divided up into 24 groups (verse 4). This would have allowed each group could work at the temple in Jerusalem for two weeks once each year (the schedule that was used during the New Testament times - see Luke 1:5-9). When they weren't serving at the temple in Jerusalem, they would have been serving back in their hometowns.
  • The names of the five of the twenty-four divisions have been found in one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which provides further evidence of the "historicity" of the book of 1 Chronicles.
  • In verse 10 we read of the eighth division, led by Abijah. In the New Testament, in Luke 1:5, we read that John the Baptist's father belonged to this priestly division.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • In this chapter we read about the priests being assigned for their work in the temple. They would be in charge of helping the people connect to God (the word "priest" literally means "bridge") and of offering sacrifices to God. Being a priest would have been a big deal, because they were the people who were able to be closer to God and help others get closer to God.
    • So, ready to have your mind blown? Read 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-12.
    • That's saying that anyone who puts their faith in Jesus is now a priest. We're all priests. Because of Jesus we all get to go directly to God. Because of Jesus we can all help others connect to God. And because of Jesus we can all offer sacrifices to God. Wow!
    • What sacrifices can we offer to God? Money (see Philippians 4:18 and Hebrews 13:16). Our selves (see Romans 12:1). Serving other people (see Philippians 2:17). Praise and thanksgiving (see Hebrews 13:15).
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How are you doing in your role of priest? If you think back to the priests of the Old Testament, it must have been such an honor, and been the main concern of their lives. It should be the same for us. Is your relationship with God that important to you? Do you take seriously your responsibility to help other people to get connected with Him? Do you regularly and enthusiastically offer the kinds of sacrifices He asks of you?
    • What needs to change?