Let our music rise to You, O Lord Most High

22 02 2013

DAY TWO HUNDRED AND NINETEEN : 1 Chronicles 24 v. 1 – 26 v. 19; 1 Corinthians 3 v. 1 – 23; Psalm 92 v. 1 – 15
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1 CHRONICLES
The Division of Priests – Aaron’s sons – Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar – are divided into appointed orders of ministry (e.g. ‘officials of the sanctuary and officials of God’). Shemiah, the scribe, lists their names, in the presence of the king, as they are appointed by drawing lots.
Jehoiarib wins the first lot, and Maaziah the twenty-fourth; each one in between is listed.
‘This was their appointed order of ministering when they entered the temple of the Lord…’

even then, rotas were drawn up…not a lot has changed, eh?

The Rest of the Levites – the remaining descendants of Levi are listed – the sons of Amram, Izhar, Hebron, Uzziel, Merari, Mahli, Kish and Mushi – and they draw lots – it was a way of ensuring ‘the families of the oldest brother were treated the same as those of the youngest’.

The Singers –
the role allocated to the ‘singers’ – those David chose from amongst the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun – was that of ‘prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals’.
Asaph’s sons are listed – Asaph supervises them, under the king’s supervision, too, as they prophesy.
Jeduthun’s sons are listed – they prophesy using the harp, thanking and praising God, supervised by their father.
Heman’s sons are listed.
‘All these men were under the supervision of their fathers for the music of the temple of the Lord, with cymbals, lyres and harps, for the ministry at the house of God’.
The lots are cast, once again to assign ‘young and old alike, teacher as well as student’ their duties.

The Gatekeepers – the sons of Asaph, from the Korahites, are listed. They are described as ‘capable men’, leaders in their families.
Lots were cast for each gate of the temple. East gate fell to Shelemiah; North gate to Zechariah; Obed-Edom got South gate (including the lot for the storehouse, which fell to his sons); West gate went to Shuppim and Hosah.
‘Guard was alongside guard’ – none were alone; either six or four were on duty at each gate (and two at the storehouse).

1 CORINTHIANS
On Divisions in the Church – Paul addresses spiritual maturity in this chapter, and is at his most critical about the Corinthians – they are showing their spiritual immaturity (not ready yet for spiritual solids, still on milk) through their ‘jealousy and quarrelling among you…are you not worldly?‘ The choice to divisively follow different leaders is showing their worldliness.
Paul is quick to identify Apollos and Paul (etc) as ‘servants, through whom you came to believe’ – it is the Lord who appoints each person their task.
‘I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow’
It is God’s work, not the work of human beings, to bring people to faith.
‘We are God’s fellow-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building’.
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that is one of those mind-blowing phrases, that we are fellow-workers with God – that He would choose to use us, in the work in His field, constructing His building – may we be faithful workers, sticking closely to His plan and purpose

Paul uses the image of constructing a building – he laid the foundation ‘as an expert builder’ (putting in place the basic building blocks of faith – clear teaching), and others then come and take things to the next level.
‘Each one should be careful how he builds. For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.’

elsewhere, Jesus is referred to as the ‘cornerstone’, the solid rock foundation upon which all else is built in the kingdom
Jesus said, ‘I will build my church…and the gates of hell will not prevail against it’

It is clearly possible to build inappropriately – even with flashy, costly stones (silver / gold etc) – but it will all be tested in the fire (of God’s Holy presence).
‘The fire will test the quality of each person’s work – if what he has built survives, he will receive his reward’.

The temple of God is not a building, but people, Paul insists. ‘You yourselves are God’s temple and God’s Spirit lives in you’. God’s temple is sacred, holy. No-one should work to destroy what God is building.
Paul concludes this chapter with a reminder of the wisdom and foolishness of the age. ‘The wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight’. And he underlines his point about the futility of putting faith and hope in following different leaders, and importance of knowing our identity ‘in Christ’:
‘So, then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, where Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future – all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God’.

psalm92
PSALM 92
a song of praise written for Sabbath day
My Lord, my God,
how good it is to praise You
to let our music rise to You, O Lord, Most High.
We sing of Your love each sunrise
We sing of Your faithfulness each night
Lyre and harp, play your strings, sing Your praise.

My Lord, my God,
everything You do makes me glad
Your handiwork makes me sing for joy
Your works are great – Your thoughts so deep.
Beyond understanding, beyond knowledge;
though the wicked seem to flourish…like grass…
they will wither and be utterly destroyed.
But You, my Lord, are lifted high, for ever and ever.

My Lord, my God,
Your enemies will be scattered and defeated.
You have lifted my head, and anointed me with finest oils.
I have seen You defeat those who work against me;
I have heard the surrender of those who oppose me.

Those whose lives are put right before You
will flourish like palms, like Lebanon’s cedars
planted within Your household, my Lord,
flourishing within Your courts, my God.
These trees will continue to fruit in old age,
ever fresh, and evergreen
These trees sing out,
‘The Lord is my Rock, my Righteousness. In Him is no wickedness at all.’

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