Read I Chronicles 6 -- 7
The long and seemingly uninteresting genealogy in these chapters reveals that God does not look on mankind as just a mass 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. We see a striking contrast in the character of the men mentioned in these chapters. Some were devoted to their God-given responsibilities, while others profaned their holy calling.
Of first consideration in this listing was the high priest, who was to be chosen only from the family of Aaron (I Chronicles 6:3). Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar were devoted to their calling as priests, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded (6:49); 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. For years, Abiathar was a dedicated high priest, but later he became a traitor to David (I Kings 1:5-7; 2:26-27).
As we look around us, we see some who, at first, seemed to be blessed with remarkable spiritual beginnings, but, when tested, they betrayed and forfeited their spiritual opportunities.
The Levites included the families of Gershom, Kohath, and Merari. They were responsible for all spiritual activities, including teaching the Word of God, presiding over worship, and maintaining the Temple. Worship in the Temple was ordained by God and was regarded as a sacred trust. It was the Lord's House (Haggai 1:2; Ezra 6:16), the Temple of the Lord (Zechariah 6:12-15). In order to serve in the Temple, one's name had to be among those recorded as belonging to the tribe of Levi (Numbers 3:6-7; I Chronicles 23:24).
Although the Levites had not been given a particular territory when Canaan was divided among the tribes, they were given dwelling places . . . according to their settlements within their borders (I Chronicles 6:54). Since there were 48 of these cities established throughout the land (Numbers 35:7), spiritual help would be near and available to all God's people. In this way, the Levites were to provide daily spiritual influence among all the tribes. In gratitude for their spiritual leadership, the other 11 tribes were given the responsibility to sustain the Levites who lived within their communities through their tithes and offerings.
God is just as concerned with each of us today as He was with the Israelites. He calls His own sheep by name (John 10:3). 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), our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 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 (Revelation 20:12).
Christ Revealed: By the cities of refuge (I Chronicles 6:57,67,69). 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 holy and righteous coming judgment against sin. (Compare John 3:14-18; 10:24-30; Gal. 2:16; 3:1-14; Heb. 10:1-17; I John 2:2; Rev. 1:5). When, by faith, in obedience to His Word, we come to Christ, He becomes our Refuge.
Word Studies: 6:32 waited on means performed service in; 6:66 the residue means balance; 6:74 suburbs means pasturelands; 7:24 nether means lower.
Government Official: Rep. John Kasich (OH) · Pray for Shirley Dobson, Chairman, 2001 National Day of Prayer · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mantych · Country: Guyana (705,000) on the northeastern coast of South America · Major languages: English and Amerindian dialects · The government is becoming increasingly Marxist, radical, and atheistic · 36% Hindu; 28% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 9% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Prayer with an upright spirit and heart is a delight to God (Proverbs 15:8).
Optional Reading: Romans 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 20:12