Highlights In Today's Reading:
Levi's descendants include Moses, Miriam, and the priestly line of Aaron. Note the various tasks they performed in the Temple. Note, also, how God provided for their care and upkeep. Genealogies prove their ancestors are priests, or they couldn't be a priest (Ezra 2:59-63).
The long and seemingly uninteresting genealogy in these chapters reveals that God does not look on mankind as just a crowd of human beings who populate the earth. The names of the priests and Levites were documented in detail. The name of every individual, along with the family and tribe he belonged to, was carefully registered. And each person had a personal responsibility. We see a striking difference in the spiritual character of the men mentioned in these chapters. Some were devoted to their God-given responsibilities while others, at first, seem to be blessed with remarkable spiritual beginnings; but, when tested, betrayed and forfeited their heaven-born opportunities.
Of first consideration in this listing was the high priest, who was to come from the family of Aaron (I Chr. 6:3; Num. 3:10). Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar were devoted to their calling as priests, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded (I Chr. 6:49); but two of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, were struck dead when they ignored the commandments of God (Lev. 10:1-2). Samuel was a godly judge, but the sons of Samuel; the firstborn Vashni, and Abiah (I Chr. 6:28) were evil. For years, Abiathar was a dedicated high priest, but later he became a traitor to David (I Kin. 1:5-7; 2:26-27).
Just as every Israelite returning from the Babylonian captivity was individually and carefully registered to ensure his participation in worship at the Temple (Ezra 2:2-63), those whose names were not included in the genealogy of I Chronicles, in the priestly or Levitical lines, could not minister in the Temple. So this long list of names became exceedingly important as the Israelites searched the records for their own names. And this is still true today. Our Lord is now drawing to Himself a second chosen generation, a royal priesthood (I Pet. 2:9). Today's Bible reading contains devout saints as well as sinful, undisciplined men.
We should all rejoice that God is just as concerned with each one of us today as He was with the Israelites. Manasseh, the ungodly son of godly King Hezekiah, was taken prisoner by the Babylonians, but when he repented, he was restored to his throne, God is still merciful and longsuffering to everyone today who repents and then seeks to redeem the time (see Eph. 5:16). He calleth His own sheep by name (John 10:3). In fact, God is so concerned with us personally that even the hairs of our heads are numbered (Matt. 10:30). Our names must be written in the Lamb's Book of Life to ensure our citizenship in heaven (Rev. 21:27).
The Apostle John wrote: I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works (Rev. 20:12).
Thought for Today:
We no longer have to be born in a certain earthy family in order to be used by God, but we do have to be born into the family of God (John 1:12-13; 3:3-7).
By the cities of . . . refuge (I Chr. 6:57, also 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 our sin. (Compare John 3:14-18; 10:24-30; Gal. 2:16; 3:1-14; Heb. 10:1-18; I John 2:2; Rev. 1:5.) When, by faith, in obedience to His Word, we come to Christ, He becomes our Refuge (Heb. 6:18-20).
6:32 waited on =b> performed service in; 6:66 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.
Pray for Arabic International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Kelly Witt • International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Linda S. Borrelli • Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Dr. Lewis Hylbert, late missionary to China • Staff: Karen Hawkins • Country: Malawi (10 million) in southeastern Africa • Major languages: English and Chichewa • Religious freedom • 34% Protestant; 23% Roman Catholic; 16% Muslim; 16% animist; 4% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Continue to watch and pray with thanksgiving (Col. 4:2).
Optional Reading: Romans 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:20