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May 8 Today’s Reading: 1 Chronicles 22-24
“Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.”
1 Chronicles 22:16
O Lord, my God, give me grace by your Spirit to begin and go through every day of my life in the service of your church and kingdom in this world, to have this charge from the very mouth of my God stirring my heart. — “Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.”
In these three chapters of Inspiration we have read about David’s preparations for the building of the temple in Jerusalem. He was not permitted to build it himself; but he was permitted to make all the preparations for it. The honor of building it would be another’s; but that did not keep David from doing the lesser work with all his might. That is the way we must serve our God. Let us be pleased to have our names forgotten and left in obscurity, and the name of God our Savior be known and exalted alone.
Having gathered all the material required for the building of God’s house, David gave Solomon his son a solemn charge. Solomon was then appointed to be king in David’s stead; and the Levites and officers were appointed to their specific work.
1 Chronicles 22
God’s servant David prepared his silver and gold for the service of him from whom he received all and to whom he owed all, with generosity and greatness of mind, determined to use everything at his disposal for the glory of God, and in the service of his church and kingdom. May God the Holy Spirit sweetly constrain you and me to do the same. We are not driven by law to do so. We are not motivated by fear, by hope of reward, or by dread of loss. — “The love of Christ constraineth us!” There is no power to motivate, inspire, and lay claim to all like love. Blessed Son of God, so flood my soul with the knowledge of your love for me that I have no will to keep back anything for myself; neither of talents, nor of time, neither of power, nor of purse, but to cast all at your feet. Use me, my God, for your glory and the service of your people. What an honor that would be for you to heap upon such a useless, sinful wretch! How we, your people, rejoice to know that it is your good pleasure and your glory to use just such things as we are for the salvation of your elect and the benefit of your saints (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
Make us, blessed Savior, pillars in your temple, built upon the same foundation as the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building is fitly framed together, that we may grow up unto an holy temple in the Lord for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
1 Chronicles 23
What a great multitude of Levites there were whose lives were devoted to the service of the house of God! There were multiplied thousands of them. Yet, there was not only room enough for them, but also plenty for them all! — “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures” (Psalm 36:8). Child of God, remember that promise; and remember that all God’s people are spiritual Levites, “a royal priesthood.” Christ has made us kings and priests unto God our Father. — “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah” (Psalm 84:4).
No doubt there is in these Levites a representation of God’s faithful servants in every age. He calls them “pastors according to mine heart” (Jeremiah 3:15). As you taught us, we beg of you, O Lord of the harvest, send forth laborers into your vineyard today. Raise up and send forth men able because they are gifted by your Spirit, and willing because they are inspired by your glory, to labor in your Word and Doctrine, to devote themselves to your cause, and anxious to do the work of evangelists, sounding abroad the gospel of your grace among all nations!
1 Chronicles 24
Here the Levites are set apart by lot to stand before the Lord and serve him and his people according to the order of their course and according to the abilities God gave them for their specific work. So all the members of Christ’s spiritual temple, the church, are each set apart to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God in Jesus, because this is our “reasonable service”.
O royal priests of God, my brothers and sisters in Christ, what vast dignity our God has put upon us! Our great High Priest has brought us nigh. He has opened for us a new and living way by his blood into the holiest of all, and bids us ever to come to him (Hebrews 4:16). God give us grace to live as his priests in this world! Let us continually draw near with true hearts, in full assurance of faith, confident of God’s acceptance by the blood and righteousness of his dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. — “Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.”