Script for the May 25th episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast.
Welcome to the May 25th episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast. I’m Matt Ellis and I’m the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida.
Today’s reading is in 1 Chronicles 25-27. Hopefully, you’ve already spent time in God’s Word so let’s get started.
1 Chronicles 25
We are musical beings. Around the world, regardless of culture, people like to listen to music and make music.
When we go to church, we sing. When we go to the grocery stores or many other places of business, music is often playing through the speaker system. People are often willing to pay a bunch of money to go to a lengthy concert to listen to a professional musician put on a show.
Further, we are told in the Bible that one evidence that we are filled with the Spirit is that we will have a song in our hearts.
Ephesians 5:18-19 (CSB): “18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord,”
So, we aren’t surprised when we read 1 Chronicles 25 and observe that David was working out the details so that music would be a part of the worship experience at the Jerusalem Temple.
1 Chronicles 25:1 (CSB): “David and the officers of the army also set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, who were to prophesy accompanied by lyres, harps, and cymbals…”
Then we read that those who had been selected to provide the music in the Temple area were skilled musicians and would do so on a rotation basis.
1 Chronicles 25:6-8 (CSB): “6 All these men were under their own fathers’ authority for the music in the LORD’s temple, with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of God’s temple. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the king’s authority. 7 They numbered 288 together with their relatives who were all trained and skillful in music for the LORD. 8 They cast lots for their duties, young and old alike, teacher as well as pupil.”
Worshippers that showed up at the Temple wouldn’t be met with silence. Instead, they would step into an experience. Beautiful music was playing to set the mood as the worshippers neared the place where they would have a priest offer their sacrifice to the Lord. It would create a wonderful moment that would make coming back to the Temple a desire of every Jew’s heart.
Psalm 122:1 (CSB): “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let’s go to the house of the LORD.’”
1 Chronicles 26
In 1 Chronicles 26, we read that some of the Levites were gatekeepers. These men would guard the Temple and protect its assets.
A beautiful, sacred place of worship could be desecrated or even destroyed by rogue ne’er-do-wells. It could also become the target of a neighboring enemy nation that sent messengers to tarnish Israel’s place of worship. So it needed to be protected at all times.
1 Chronicles 26:16-19 (CSB): “… There were guards stationed at every watch. 17 There were six Levites each day on the east, four each day on the north, four each day on the south, and two pair at the storehouses. 18 As for the court on the west, there were four at the highway and two at the court. 19 Those were the divisions of the gatekeepers from the descendants of the Korahites and Merarites.”
Then, beginning in verse 20, we read that some Levites were put in charge of the treasuries.
1 Chronicles 26:20 (CSB): “From the Levites, Ahijah was in charge of the treasuries of God’s temple and the treasuries of what had been dedicated.”
A lengthy list of names follows for those who were in charge of watching over the Temple treasures. What exactly were the Temple treasures?
They were primarily the spoils of war and contributions made by such men as King Saul, King David, and others.
1 Chronicles 26:26-28 (CSB): “26 This Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the treasuries of what had been dedicated by King David, by the family heads who were the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and by the army commanders. 27 They dedicated part of the plunder from their battles for the repair of the LORD’s temple. 28 All that the seer Samuel, Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner, and Joab son of Zeruiah had dedicated, along with everything else that had been dedicated, were in the care of Shelomith and his relatives.”
Talking of gatekeepers and treasurers brings up another matter in the Christian worldview. It’s the doctrine of sin.
Simply put, there would be no need for gatekeepers and people to guard the Temple treasures if there was no sin. If no one was capable of desiring what they didn’t have, or destroying what someone else has, there would be no need for people to protect the place of worship.
The fact that we have keys to our house and vehicle and other places of value testifies to the fact that we don’t trust others. The fact that alarm systems and cameras are installed in so many homes and places of business testifies to the presence of sin. The fact that ladies, in particular, don’t feel safe walking outside after dark makes it clear that we live in a sinful, dangerous world.
But this is not a new problem. There were guards in the Jerusalem place of worship 3,000 years ago.
Friend, let’s see sin for what it is. Let’s observe that it is primarily an offense against God, but it is also the very thing that causes us to not trust each other. If we sincerely and completely obeyed God’s Word, we could create an environment that is so much more conducive to human flourishing. It would be safe on so many levels.
So, resolve right now, once again, to wholeheartedly obey the Lord. When you disobey some command of the Lord today, immediately confess it to the Lord, receive His forgiveness, and get back on the road of obedience. Obedience to the Lord is really in the best interest of everyone.
1 Chronicles 27
In today’s military, at least here in the United States, our young men and women sign up to serve and commit to a specific number of years of service. For those years of service, they belong to the military. Any free time they want to enjoy away from the military has to be approved first because … they belong to the military 24/7/365.
In King David’s Israelite army, they did things differently. In 1 Chronicles 27:1-15, we read that the military was divided into 12 divisions, each with 24,000 soldiers. While we aren’t sure exactly how this worked, we do know that 24,000 men served for one month a year. It appears that they had the other 11 months off. Of course, we assume that all of them could be called up to serve if a massive battle was threatened against Israel.
One other point worth mentioning is that many of the divisional commanders sound familiar. That’s because most of them were part of David’s mighty warriors listed in 2 Samuel 23:8–38. David’s military force was formidable and there was a reason he was able to defeat other nations and cause such fear in others that he was able to pass on a time of peace to his son, King Solomon.
Then in 1 Chronicles 27:16-24, we read a list of the tribal officers of Israel. Every nation needs a government. They need those in office to lead and oversee the matters of the nation. So, while yet another list of names might sound boring to us, it is so vitally important that Israel’s tribes knew who was in charge.
But then we read a couple of verses that grab us by the collar and demand our attention.
1 Chronicles 27:23-24 (CSB): “23 David didn’t count the men aged twenty or under, for the LORD had said he would make Israel as numerous as the stars of the sky. 24 Joab son of Zeruiah began to count them, but he didn’t complete it. There was wrath against Israel because of this census, and the number was not entered in the Historical Record of King David.”
From this, we get a bit more information about why the Lord was angry with David’s census mentioned previously in 1 Chronicles 21. These two verses tell us that David didn’t count those 20 years old and younger. Yet, he did want to count all of the men older than 20.
Apparently, he wanted to know what his ultimate fighting force could be if he called up all of the men in his nation. He knew what his current military force was but he appears to have wanted to know what the backup force was just in case he needed them. It seems that David’s sin was either pride in his military potential or it was a lack of trust in the Lord that was placed in his potential fighting force.
The rest of the chapter resumes the list of officials that led in various areas of Israel’s government.
Lord Jesus, You tell us in Romans 13:1 to submit to the governing authorities. And in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, You tell us to pray for those in authority over us. So help us Lord to comply with both of these commands. As much as we are able, as we have resolved to be obedient to Your Word, we desire to be model citizens by obeying the laws of the land and supporting those in government. We also commit to praying for them so that they would have the wisdom to make good and right decisions and the courage to follow through. We pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I hope today’s episode has helped you to understand and enjoy God’s Word so that you can apply it in the power of the Holy Spirit.
If looking over the script for this podcast would be beneficial to you, hop on over to my website at mattsmusings.net. I will provide a link in this episode’s show notes.
The “Enjoying the Bible” podcast is a ministry of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida. Check us out at fbcpolkcity.com. See you tomorrow!