The Grace of Sanctification

“So when David was old and full of days, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. And he gathered together all the leaders of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and above; and the number of individual males was thirty-eight thousand. Of these, twenty-four thousand were to look after the work of the house of the Lord, six thousand were officers and judges, four thousand were gatekeepers, and four thousand praised the Lord with musical instruments, “which I made,” said David, “for giving praise.” 1 Chronicles 23:1-5 NKJV

Why did David count and divide up the Levites? Why at the end of his reign and as he was appointing a new king? Why is it recorded in such detail and what significance does this have to me? When God created Adam and Eve it was to have a personal relationship with them. Then sin separated them (and us) from God – and God has been working on solving the sin problem ever since.  But He cannot force us and has to work with our free will. But God wants a personal relationship – face to face with humans.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of 1 Chronicles, chapters 23 through 25 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

The Levites are the priest – as we recall from reading through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus… They are separated and set apart. These people do all the worship and prayer and praise – these priest can go into the Holy of Holy’s at the prescribed time only. But no one else. In an environment with God SO separated from man – David still earnestly prayed and sought God and developed a relationship – much in the same way we can.  But when David’s sin separated him, he had to wait for a sacrifice to be restored. You and I can instantly go to God, apply the blood of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and ask for forgiveness and repent!

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV

Sanctification means to be set apart – like the Levites. Set apart for God – to deny yourself sinful pleasures and abstain to purity under grace. Like Peter begins chapter 2 of the book of 1st Peter – telling the “resident aliens”, the separated ones, the ones who are in the world but not of it to lay aside even more to be separated even more, so they may obtain more grace. And Peter continues to explain the importance and the actual calling from God to be separated, set apart, and sanctified.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJV

So reading about the provisions and protections David put in place for the Levites when the kingdom was being handed over to his son is valuable for us to understand how special we are – we are call to separate and be special for God and inherit through the Lord as the Levites.

God does still provide – after a 40 day global fast and praying for Israel (and all the things we are so heavily burdened with in times such as these) did you see the green-pass was abolished on the 40th day along with lifting all covid restrictions?!?! Praise the Lord! When there is unity – God promises to MOVE. We need more genuine unity and to put aside our fleshly thoughts, opinions and concepts. Just agree in prayer!

I am in New York State – here we can only go maskless if then a long list of ifs that in reality are vague and unclear and can be misinterpreted by both the people and the government.  This has left most people in masks. And those without may be required to provide proof of their vaccinations.  I am not vaccinated. I will have to wear a mask. And it leaves me wondering at what point to we stop applying 1 Peter 2:13-17 and start being tossed literally into a lion’s den (or a position of imminent death).  It is just a thought on my mind as I watch Christian refuse to obey this scripture in unity to achieve the blessing promised in it: “that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men”. Just something to ponder – especially as I listen to the prayers to God to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 1 Chronicles 23-25 NKJV

The Divisions of the Levites

23 So when David was old and full of days, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.

And he gathered together all the leaders of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and above; and the number of individual males was thirty-eight thousand. Of these, twenty-four thousand were to look after the work of the house of the Lord, six thousand were officers and judges, four thousand were gatekeepers, and four thousand praised the Lord with musical instruments, “which I made,” said David, “for giving praise.”

Also David separated them into [a]divisions among the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

Of the Gershonites: [b]Laadan and Shimei. The sons of Laadan: the first Jehiel, then Zetham and Joel—three in all. The sons of Shimei: Shelomith, Haziel, and Haran—three in all. These were the heads of the fathers’ houses of Laadan. 10 And the sons of Shimei: Jahath, [c]Zina, Jeush, and Beriah. These were the four sons of Shimei. 11 Jahath was the first and Zizah the second. But Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; therefore they were assigned as one father’s house.

12 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel—four in all. 13 The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses; and Aaron was set apart, he and his sons forever, that he should [d]sanctify the most holy things, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister to Him, and to give the blessing in His name forever. 14 Now the sons of Moses the man of God were reckoned to the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses were [e]Gershon and Eliezer. 16 Of the sons of Gershon, Shebuel[f] was the first. 17 Of the descendants of Eliezer, Rehabiah was the first. And Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many. 18 Of the sons of Izhar, Shelomith was the first. 19 Of the sons of Hebron, Jeriah was the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. 20 Of the sons of Uzziel, Michah was the first and Jesshiah the second.

21 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. 22 And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but only daughters; and their [g]brethren, the sons of Kish, took them as wives. 23 The sons of Mushi were Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth—three in all.

24 These were the sons of Levi by their fathers’ houses—the heads of the fathers’ houses as they were counted individually by the number of their names, who did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and above.

25 For David said, “The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever”; 26 and also to the Levites, “They shall no longer carry the tabernacle, or any of the articles for its service.” 27 For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above; 28 because their duty was to help the sons of Aaron in the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts and in the chambers, in the purifying of all holy things and the work of the service of the house of God, 29 both with the showbread and the fine flour for the grain offering, with the unleavened cakes and what is baked in the pan, with what is mixed and with all kinds of measures and sizes; 30 to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at evening; 31 and at every presentation of a burnt offering to the Lord on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons and on the set[h] feasts, by number according to the ordinance governing them, regularly before the Lord; 32 and that they should attend to the needs of the tabernacle of meeting, the needs of the holy place, and the needs of the sons of Aaron their brethren in the work of the house of the Lord.

The Divisions of the Priests

24 Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children; therefore Eleazar and Ithamar ministered as priests. Then David with Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, divided them according to the schedule of their service.

There were more leaders found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar, and thus they were divided. Among the sons of Eleazar were sixteen heads of their fathers’ houses, and eight heads of their fathers’ houses among the sons of Ithamar. Thus they were divided by lot, one group as another, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of the house of God, from the sons of Eleazar and from the sons of Ithamar. And the scribe, Shemaiah the son of Nethanel, one of the Levites, wrote them down before the king, the leaders, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the priests and Levites, one father’s house taken for Eleazar and one for Ithamar.

Now the first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, 10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah, 11 the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah, 12 the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim, 13 the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab, 14 the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer, 15 the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to [i]Happizzez, 16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to [j]Jehezekel, 17 the twenty-first to Jachin, the twenty-second to Gamul, 18 the twenty-third to Delaiah, the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.

19 This was the schedule of their service for coming into the house of the Lord according to their ordinance by the hand of Aaron their father, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him.

Other Levites

20 And the rest of the sons of Levi: of the sons of Amram, [k]Shubael; of the sons of Shubael, Jehdeiah. 21 Concerning Rehabiah, of the sons of Rehabiah, the first was Isshiah. 22 Of the Izharites, [l]Shelomoth; of the sons of Shelomoth, Jahath. 23 Of the sons [m]of Hebron, Jeriah was the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. 24 Of the sons of Uzziel, Michah; of the sons of Michah, Shamir. 25 The brother of Michah, Isshiah; of the sons of Isshiah, Zechariah. 26 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi; the son of Jaaziah, Beno. 27 The sons of Merari by Jaaziah were Beno, Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri. 28 Of Mahli: Eleazar, who had no sons. 29 Of Kish: the son of Kish, Jerahmeel.

30 Also the sons of Mushi were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth. These were the sons of the Levites according to their fathers’ houses.

31 These also cast lots just as their brothers the sons of Aaron did, in the presence of King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the priests and Levites. The chief fathers did just as their younger brethren.

The Musicians

25 Moreover David and the captains of the army separated for the service some of the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals. And the number of the skilled men performing their service was: Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and [n]Asharelah; the sons of Asaph were [o]under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied according to the order of the king. Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, [p]Zeri, Jeshaiah, [q]Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, [r]six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp to give thanks and to praise the Lord. Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, [s]Uzziel, [t]Shebuel, [u]Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to [v]exalt his horn. For God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters.

All these were under the direction of their father for the music in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and harps, for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the authority of the king. So the number of them, with their brethren who were instructed in the songs of the Lord, all who were skillful, was two hundred and eighty-eight.

And they cast lots for their duty, the small as well as the great, the teacher with the student.

Now the first lot for Asaph came out for Joseph; the second for Gedaliah, him with his brethren and sons, twelve; 10 the third for Zaccur, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 11 the fourth for [w]Jizri, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 12 the fifth for Nethaniah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 13 the sixth for Bukkiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 14 the seventh for [x]Jesharelah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 15 the eighth for Jeshaiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 16 the ninth for Mattaniah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 17 the tenth for Shimei, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 18 the eleventh for [y]Azarel, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 19 the twelfth for Hashabiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 20 the thirteenth for [z]Shubael, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 21 the fourteenth for Mattithiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 22 the fifteenth for [aa]Jeremoth, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 23 the sixteenth for Hananiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 24 the seventeenth for Joshbekashah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 25 the eighteenth for Hanani, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 26 the nineteenth for Mallothi, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 27 the twentieth for Eliathah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 28 the twenty-first for Hothir, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 29 the twenty-second for Giddalti, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 30 the twenty-third for Mahazioth, his sons and his brethren, twelve; 31 the twenty-fourth for Romamti-Ezer, his sons and his brethren, twelve.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Chronicles 23:6 groups
  2. 1 Chronicles 23:7 Libni, Ex. 6:17
  3. 1 Chronicles 23:10 LXX, Vg. Zizah and v. 11
  4. 1 Chronicles 23:13 consecrate
  5. 1 Chronicles 23:15 Heb. Gershom, 1 Chr. 6:16
  6. 1 Chronicles 23:16 Shubael, 1 Chr. 24:20
  7. 1 Chronicles 23:22 kinsmen
  8. 1 Chronicles 23:31 appointed feasts
  9. 1 Chronicles 24:15 LXX, Vg. Aphses
  10. 1 Chronicles 24:16 MT Jehezkel
  11. 1 Chronicles 24:20 Shebuel, 1 Chr. 23:16
  12. 1 Chronicles 24:22 Shelomith, 1 Chr. 23:18
  13. 1 Chronicles 24:23 Supplied from 23:19 (following some Heb. mss. and LXX mss.)
  14. 1 Chronicles 25:2 Jesharelah, v. 14
  15. 1 Chronicles 25:2 Lit. at the hands of
  16. 1 Chronicles 25:3 Jizri, v. 11
  17. 1 Chronicles 25:3 So with one Heb. ms., LXX mss.
  18. 1 Chronicles 25:3 Shimei is the sixth, v. 17
  19. 1 Chronicles 25:4 Azarel, v. 18
  20. 1 Chronicles 25:4 Shubael, v. 20
  21. 1 Chronicles 25:4 Jeremoth, v. 22
  22. 1 Chronicles 25:5 Increase his power or influence
  23. 1 Chronicles 25:11 Zeri, v. 3
  24. 1 Chronicles 25:14 Asharelah, v. 2
  25. 1 Chronicles 25:18 Uzziel, v. 4
  26. 1 Chronicles 25:20 Shebuel, v. 4
  27. 1 Chronicles 25:22 Jerimoth, v. 4

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