Saturday, August 27, 2016

1 Chronicles 25-26

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Chronicles 25 and 1 Chronicles 26. 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?)
  • In chapter 25 we read about worship in the Tabernacle, and specifically who was responsible for leading worship.
  • In verses 9-31 the musicians were divided into 24 groups to match the 24 groups of Levites (priests) (see 1 Chronicles 24:7-18). Dividing the responsibility up like this gave order, probably gave variety to their worship, and provided opportunities for many to get involved and use their gifts.
  • In chapter 26 we read about the 4,000 gatekeepers at the Tabernacle. Some of their duties included checking out the equipment and making sure it was returned, ordering and maintaining food supplies for the priests and sacrifices, and caring for the furniture.
  • In verses 27 we learn that when the soldiers gained plunder in war, though it rightfully belonged to them, they would give a portion to God, at the house of the Lord, to express their gratitude and devotion to God, and to help with the functions of God's house.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • At first glance, these chapters may not seem very exciting, or practical for our lives today, but they are. 
  • In chapter 25 we see that God considers worshipping Him through music so important He gave an entire chapter to telling us who was in charge of it back then. Why is worshipping God through song a big deal? We see in this chapter that when we sing worship songs we:
    • "proclaim God's message," (verse 1) - The words we sing are not like the lyrics of songs we hear on the radio. The words proclaim the story and the message of God!
    • "offer thanks and praise" (verse 3) - When we sing to God we are offering Him thanks and praise. Life is very much about making God truly God in our lives. When we (from our hearts) sing to Him, offering Him thanks and praise" we are doing just that.
    • "before the Lord" (verse 7) - Singing to God is not just something we do on our own, or as a group at a church service, it's something we do before God. We present ourselves to Him when we sing. He is our audience.
  • In chapter 26 we see that God considers our service in His church very important. The duties the gatekeepers performed might not have seemed very significant or world changing, but they were highly esteemed by God.
  • In chapter 26, verse 27, we see that when God blesses us with any kind of income, we should give a portion back to God, to thank Him and express our devotion to Him, and to play our part in seeing His "house" function well.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • When you sing to God (either on your own or at a church service) do you understand the significance of what you're doing? Do you just let the words come out of your mouth, or do you seek to sing from your heart, and to truly address your words to God? God considers your singing to Him a big deal, and He deserves your very best.
  • Do you have a volunteer role at church? It's a big deal to God that you serve, and He considers functions that might not seem very significant to be very significant. If you're not serving, you need to start. If you are, understand the importance of whatever it is you do.
  • Do you give back a portion of your income to God? The Bible says that everything we have comes from Him, that He asks us to give some back to Him - through His "house" of the church - so His house can function properly. In fact, God says if we don't do this, we are stealing from Him (see Malachi 3:8-10). If you aren't, you need to. If you are, give with gratitude and devotion, knowing that the money is really God's, and that you are using it to make a difference for Him in the world.