SERVING GOD using our MINISTRY GIFTS
April 30 Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles Chapters 25-27
"As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 4:10-11)
King David made elaborate preparations prior to his death to gather the materials and funding to build the temple of God. Along with that, he also planned elaborately and selected people to serve the temple and his kingdom in various capacities according to their inherent gifts and talent for the common good of all the people of Israel. Each person was hand picked and given specific responsibilities according to his/her abilities so that the operations would go smoothly. In fact, 1 Chronicles 25-27 discusses seven areas of service for the children of Israel:
- Singers and Musicians (1 Chron. 25:1-31): David appointed singers and musicians in the temple who would prophesy with harps, stringed instruments and cymbals according to a specific set order for the service of the temple. To prophesy means to praise God with great earnestness and passion under the influence of the Holy Spirit. A total of 288 skillful and talented singers and musicians were meticulously selected and commissioned for service (v. 7-8).
- Gatekeepers and Porters (1 Chron. 26:1-19): David appointed gatekeepers and porters to guard the sacred treasures of the temple. They would use their physical strength and valor to resist those who wrongly would attempt to enter the sanctuary and steal the various items including flour, wine, oil, salt and fuel, along with the lamps, sacred vestments and utensils that were the treasures of the house of God.
- Treasurers and Storekeepers (1 Chron. 26:20-28): David appointed treasurers and storekeepers who would oversee the treasuries, and keep an accurate tally of all the treasures dedicated to maintain the temple. They were people with accounting and math skills who would make sure that all things are accounted in the house of God.
- Judges and Officials (1 Chron. 26:29-32): David appointed judges to determine solutions to questions and controversies which might arise among the Israelites as they interpret God’s law in specific situations. The officials were appointed to serve the king in the execution of his decrees by which the several rights of the king and people were established. These were clearly people of superior intellectual abilities and leadership skills.
- Military Captains (1 Chron. 27:1-15): David appointed military Captains to oversee the twelve legions (corresponding to the number of tribes) who were enlisted in the king's service. Each legion comprised a body of twenty-four thousand men, whose term of service was a month in rotation, and who were stationed either at Jerusalem or in any other place where they might be required. Thurs, there was always a force sufficient for the ordinary purposes of state, as well as for resisting sudden attacks or popular uprising.
- Tribal Princes (1 Chron. 27:16-24): David appointed princes of the tribes to be tribal rulers who had a superior power to the military Captains, and were probably the king's chief counselors and assistants in the great affairs of his kingdom.
- State Officials (1 Chron. 27:25-34): Last but not the least, David appoint state officials who had oversight and charge of the king's property, his vineyards, his herds, and his flocks which formed the wealth of the king.