Bible Pathways - May 14, 2007
In Today's Scripture Reading:
Descendants of Benjamin; priests and Levites in Jerusalem and their responsibilities; genealogy of Saul; tragic deaths of Saul and his sons
Only a small minority of Israelites were willing to leave the comforts of the new Persian kingdom and return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims (the Temple servants) (I Chronicles 9:2-3; Nehemiah 11:3). The work of the Nethinims may seem rather insignificant, but it was essential work that needed to be done for the Lord. Loyalty to their heavenly King made them willing to work and to serve wherever needed. Of the Levites, certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale (count) (I Chronicles 9:28). This responsibility appears to be of little importance. Some were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments (utensils) of the Sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices (9:29-30), which perhaps required a little more skill; still others were responsible for things that were made in the pans (9:31). All were ordinary laborers and, to us, may seem hardly worth mentioning. But God esteemed each responsibility as indispensable and worthy of recording and, collectively, all tasks were necessary to fulfill the service to the Lord in the Tabernacle.
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit . . . But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing (distributing) to every man severally (individually) as He will, and not necessarily as we prefer (I Corinthians 12:4,11). Regardless of the seeming importance or insignificance of our abilities, they are a sacred trust from God. The Lord does not expect the person who is given one talent to fulfill the responsibility of the person who has five talents (Matthew 25:14-30). But, though his talents may be minimal, everyone can do something. Paul reminded Titus that many profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being . . . disobedient (Titus 1:16).
We are required to be faithful stewards (managers) of our lives and the abilities and opportunities that God has entrusted to us. Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men (Colossians 3:23).
By Jerusalem, which means "foundation of peace" (I Chronicles 9:3). Christ is the only foundation of peace upon which man can stand before God. Jesus said: My peace I give unto you (John 14:27; II Corinthians 5:18; Ephesians 2:14).
8:31 Zacher =b> Zechariah (not the prophet); 8:33 Esh-baal (Ish-bosheth); 9:21 porter =b> gatekeeper of the entrance way; 9:22 set office =b> trustworthy position; 9:23 by wards =b> as guards; 9:28 bring them in and out by tale =b> count them when they bring them in and take them out; 10:2 followed hard after =b> closely pursued and overtook; 10:3 went sore =b> was fierce; 10:4 uncircumcised =b> those without a covenant with God.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Andrew Speckhard Staff: Karen Hawkins Government Officials: Sen. Byron Dorgan (ND) and Rep. Alan Mollohan (WV) Country: Serbia and Montenegro (11 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe Major language: Serbo-Croatian Religious conflict 41% Serbian/Montenegrin/Macedonian Orthodox; 33% Catholic; 11% Muslim; 1% Protestant Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks for trials because from them we can learn patience (Romans 5:3).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 12:6