Bible Readings for November 27th
In 1 Chronicles 23, David actively reshapes the worship of Israel by redefining the roles of the Levites in temple service. The rationale for all of what David does is found in 1 Chronicles 23:25–26: “For David said, ‘The LORD, the God of Israel, has given rest to his people, and he dwells in Jerusalem forever. And so the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the things for its service.’” Remember that the chief role of the various clans of the non-priestly Levites was their work in moving the tabernacle and all its holy things from site to site, as Yahweh led his people in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Num. 3–4). But with the permanent establishment of the temple in Jerusalem, those duties are no longer required. David, then, assigns new responsibilities to the non-priestly Levites: from this point forward, the Levites will assist the priests with cleansing the temple and preparing to make the offerings, and the Levites will offer praise and thanks to Yahweh whenever the priests make sacrifices (1 Chron. 23:28–32).
We should see here a shift toward greater involvement of all God’s people in worship. Previously, the priests were really the only people involved in worship at all, but now, the rest of the Levites not only assist the priests but they are also assigned the duty of praising and thanking Yahweh during the sacrifices. And, while the remaining Israelites are still relatively passive in worship at this point, this shift anticipates a day when all God’s people would be actively involved in worship. Since Jesus has offered himself as the final sacrifice and as our great high priest, we no longer need other priests who mediate between us and God. Instead, our pastors and elders are called to lead us in worship—not to perform worship in front of us as we passively watch, but to lead us into active engagement in worship. So, just as the Levites were involved alongside the priests, we also ought to be engaged when we come before the Lord in worship.
Ask yourself these questions: Are you prayerfully listening to the reading of the word and actively listening to the sermon while your pastor preaches, or do you permit your mind to wander? Are you singing out loud, or do you simply listen to others sing? Do you offer your own heart up during the congregational prayers, or are you simply letting the words wash past you? We have a great privilege—and therefore, a great responsibility—to involve ourselves in the worship of Yahweh. Why, then, do we treat worship as though we were spectators, consumers, or critics? For the glory of Jesus Christ and the sake of your soul, worship the Lord this week in spirit and in truth.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.