July 4, 2020
David is preparing and making ever possible arrangement for Solomon to begin the building of God's Temple. After collecting the materials and labor, he has set about organizing the temple servers for the Lord. He has divided the priests and Levites into four groups, by family (sons of Levi)--Levites, priests, musicians, and gatekeepers.
In a previous post I reviewed Chapter 23 and the Levites. Next, the chronicler focuses on the Priests.
Chapter 24: The Priests
Aaron had four sons, but two died (with no sons) because they thought they could do what they wanted in the Tabernacle. The other two, Eleazar and Ithamar, served at the priests.
David divided the priests by descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar. Zadok, descendants of Eleazar was the head of one division for their appointed order of ministering and Ahimelek, descendant of Ithamar headed the other.
Eleazar had more descendants, by a wide margins, so they were divided accordingly- 16 heads of families from Eleazar and 8 for Ithamar. At this point, they cast lots for the each groups order of ministering when they entered the Temple of the Lord. This all happened in the king's presence. This was that important.
Casting lots is significant to me. When the Israelites arrived in the Promise Land, under Joshua's leadership, each tribes of Israel, founded in the sons of Jacob, decided their inheritance of the land by casting lots. The Levites were not given a plot of land, instead they were given designated cities and some land to work immediately nearby. The reason being that they were to serve the Lord by ministering to the people around the nation. So, now, they are drawing lots for their family's order of ministering. They are receiving an inheritance in the Temple Service.
I'm always amazed at just how detailed is God's plan. And it unfolds over many generations. There is something really significant there for me; but I just can't quite grasp it today.
July 5, 2020
The rest of chapter 24 is a list of the exact name of the lots drawn for the ministering order followed by the names of the rest of the Levites, apart from the sons of Aaron. It goes on to explain that lots were also drawn for them. And interestingly, there was no preference for being oldest.
The families of the oldest brother were treated the same as those of the youngest.I Chronicles 24:31b
Chapter 25: The Musicians
Oh, wow. Plot twist.
I expected that the musicians would also be from some portion of the priests or religious leaders; but no. The military! I know our military branches have musicians; but whatever conception I have in my head of musicians, they don't give up fighting duties to play in the temple. But that conception is wrong; because that is exactly what David had them do.
Along with his commanders, David set apart sons from specific families to play harps, lyres, and cymbals. And...for prophesy! That's another surprise. I wouldn't think you could just assign that. But it's vital to keep in mind that it was assigned by David, who was being guided by God. So...exception to the rule. 🙂
Verse 2: The sons of Asaph prophesied under the supervision of the king.
Verse 3: The sons of Jeduthun prophesied under the supervision of the Jeduthun, who, "prophesied", using the harp in thanking and praising the Lord."
That just confirms what we all sense, music puts us closer to the spiritual- for better or worse depending on what music you pour into your soul. It's amazing what a difference it can make to put on some music that glorifies God. It can turn a whole day around.
Verse 4: The sons of Heman, David's Seer, were the musicians. He had 14 sons and three daughters and it says in parenthesis (v5) that he was given so many so they could exalt God through ministry in the house of God. They were under the supervision of their father, Heman.
Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the supervision of the King.
Total, there were 288 skilled musicians for the Lord and they cats lot for their duties.
The rest of the chapter is a list of the names/families in order of their lots drawn.