May 13, 2006

Read 1 Chronicles 6

In Today's Reading:

Descendants of Levi; Temple singers and keepers appointed; descendants of Aaron; cities of the Levites; numerous genealogies

The long and seemingly uninteresting genealogy in these chapters reveals that God does not look on mankind as just a multitude of human beings who populate the earth. The name of every individual priest and Levite, along with the family and tribe he belonged to, was carefully registered. In gratitude for their spiritual leadership, the other tribes were given the responsibility of sustaining the Levites who lived within their communities through their tithes and offerings. We see a striking contrast in the character of the men mentioned in these chapters.

Of first consideration in this listing was the high priest, who was chosen only from the family of Aaron (I Chronicles 6:3). Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar were devoted to their calling as priests, but Aaron's two oldest sons Nadab and Abihu were struck dead when they ignored the Commandments of God. Samuel was a godly judge, but the sons of Samuel; the firstborn Vashni, and Abiah (6:28) were evil.

The Israelites knew that they had returned to holy ground. God had said the land is Mine (Leviticus 25:23). But it was equally important for the Israelites to recognize that they were a peculiar people (Deuteronomy 14:2; 26:18; Titus 2:14; I Peter 2:9) — this means a special, privileged people who belonged to God. And these facts remind us that we too belong to the Lord, as well as all that we possess. Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

Consequently, there must be a practical expression in every aspect of our life, of the allocation of our time, talent and tithes — for maintaining His work in spreading His Word. Where these aspects of one's daily life are ignored, then it is meaningless to say that we belong to God and are looking forward to hear Him say: Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter . . . into the joy of thy lord (Matthew 25:23).

Christ Revealed:

By the cities of refuge (I Chronicles 6:57,67,71-72,78,80). For a person to have protection from the avenger of blood, he had to flee to a city of refuge. God provided His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to be our Refuge from His judgment against sin. (Compare John 3:14-18; 10:24-30; Galatians 2:16; 3:1-14; Hebrews 10:1-18; I John 2:2; Revelation 1:5.) When, by faith, in obedience to His Word, we come to Christ, He becomes our Refuge (Hebrews 6:18).

Word Studies:

6:32 waited on =b> performed service in; 6:66 the residue =b> balance; 6:74 suburbs =b> pasturelands; 7:23 it went evil with =b> tragedy had happened to his family; 7:24 nether =b> lower.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Country: Taiwan (22 million) in eastern Asia · Major languages: Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese · Limited religious freedom · 93% Chinese religions; 4% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your life will always be pleasing to God (John 8:29).

Optional Reading: Romans 16

Memory Verse for the Week: Ezra 3:11