Friday, May 02, 2014

1 Chronicles 6 Service of song in the house of the LORD

From 1 Chronicles 6

1 Chr 6.1-81; Genealogy; Descendants of Levi

Genealogies Link
3) Sumerian Kings List (9 mins) (handout)

Passage and Comments
We are more than half way through the genealogies. The accounts start describing the government David installed and peoples functions.

31 These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the LORD after the ark rested there. 32 They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting until Solomon built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they performed their service according to their order. (1 Chr 6.31-32)

David installed musicians to praise the LORD in the temple. They sung songs as well. Perhaps Psalms. When the people gathered to worship in sacrifice perhaps they sung together. God’s people have been singing his praises for millennia.

33 These are the men who served and their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer the son of Joel, son of Samuel, 34 son of Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Eliel, son of Toah, 35 son of Zuph, son of Elkanah, son of Mahath, son of Amasai, 36 son of Elkanah, son of Joel, son of Azariah, son of Zephaniah, 37 son of Tahath, son of Assir, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, 38 son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Israel; .39 and his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, namely, Asaph the son of Berechiah, son of Shimea, 40 son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah, 41 son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah, 42 son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei, 43 son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi. .44 On the left hand were their brothers, the sons of Merari: Ethan the son of Kishi, son of Abdi, son of Malluch, 45 son of Hashabiah, son of Amaziah, son of Hilkiah, 46 son of Amzi, son of Bani, son of Shemer, 47 son of Mahli, son of Mushi, son of Merari, son of Levi. 48 And their brothers the Levites were appointed for all the service of the tabernacle of the house of God. (1 Chr 6.33-48)

Brothers, standing side by side in worship together. These are the names of all the muso’s who served the LORD and the people. They include Levites among them. Some other Levites had another role. The genealogies list this as well.

49 But Aaron and his sons made offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense for all the work of the Most Holy Place, and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded. (1 Chr 6.49)

Aaron and his sons were especially assigned to the service of making burnt offerings and looking after the Most Holy Place. The offerings specified in the Law are burnt (Lev 1.1-17), grain (Lev 2.1-16), peace (Lev 3.1-17), sin (Lev 4.1-5.13), and guilt offerings (Lev 5.14-6.7). Be careful not to assume that if an offering is made it is for sin. Offerings also include aspects of worship, fellowship and thanksgiving. But in this case the Levites are specifically described as making atonement for Israel. Israel continued to behave in a manner that required lots of atonement to placate the LORD’s wrath.

50 These are the sons of Aaron: Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son, 51 Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son, 52 Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son, 53 Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son. (1 Chr 6.50-53)

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu are not mentioned. They died offering unauthorised fire (Num 10.1-3). It is curious to omit them.

Story of Israel
Whenever Judah remained faithful to the LORD. We should expect the descendents of these people to have continued in their role in serving the LORD and the people.

Unfortunately when Judah and Israel divided, Jeroboam out of fear his people would return to worship the LORD at Jerusalem built idols and places of worship in Israel. Thus began their idolatry. We don’t hear any word of this kind of worship continuing there.

Story of Jesus
If we move forward to Jesus, note he used to sing with his disciples. Jesus sung a hymn with his disciples on the night of the last supper.

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Mk 14.22-26)

After he sung the hymn with them he predicted his death and resurrection.

27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” (Mk 14.27-28)

Leading up to his passion and death, Jesus still sung with his brothers praises to his Father.

The priestly service continues in slightly different ways however. We don’t worship at a temple anymore. But God’s people still serve the LORD and each other.  Peter calls all God’s people priests.

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9)