Apr. 14, 2015
From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
Today’s Bible reading from I Chronicles 23-25 describes the appointment of Solomon as the king of Israel, and the appointing of the twenty-two divisions of the Levites. The Levites were the descendants of Levi, one of Jacob’s twelve sons. The tribe had three branches, named after the three sons of Levi: the Gershonites, the Kohathites, and the Meriarites.
According to Exodus 28:1, at Mount Sinai, God selected Aaron, Moses’ brother to be the high priest. No one but those who were descendants of Aaron could serve in this capacity, but the other divisions of Levites shared many of their privileges and responsibilities (cf. Num. 18). The non-priestly Levites helped care primarily for the tabernacle (cf. Num. 4). Later, when David began preparation for building the temple, he increased their duties making them singers, gatekeepers, treasurers, and royal officials (cf. Num. 24-26). David had the authority to do this.
The reading of the duties and responsibilities of the Levites assigned by God and even more specifically duties which only the descendants of Aaron could serve caused me to ponder the following thought. When God assigned duties and responsibilities to a particular group, we don’t have a right to change God’s assignment. The other tribes were not inferior or superior to the tribe of Levi. It was God’s preference for them to manage the spiritual matter of His people. Note no person—not Moses, Aaron or King David, could alter this without God’s approval. It would have been sinful if anyone from one of the tribes had decided to assume the duties and responsibilities assigned to the tribe of Levi. King Saul learned God’s instruction matters (I Sam. 15:1ff). Allow me to briefly deduct two thoughts for you to consider.
First, the Bible teaches that men, in the church, have been assigned the duties and responsibilities to be the leaders (cf. I Cor. 14:34-37; I Tim. 2:11-15). Women are not inferior, nor superior to men (cf. Gal. 3:28). Just as it would have been sinful for someone outside of the tribe of Levi to serve in duties and responsibilities assigned to them by God; it’s equally as sinful for women today to assume duties and responsibilities assigned to men. Also, just like Moses and others couldn’t change God’s arrangement without His approval; people today don’t have the authority to change God’s command without His approval.
A second thought for consideration is only those who were descendants of Aaron could serve as priest. Today, only those who are “spiritual” descendants of Jesus Christ can serve as a leader in one of the various acts of worship. It would have been sinful if someone who was not one of Aaron’s descendants to perform the priestly duties. Thus, it would be equally wrong for someone who is not a “spiritual” descendant of Jesus or a member of His family to lead in an act of worship.
Religiously, it matters to God how we serve Him. We are not left to do as we feel or think. God, gave Israel instructions on how to please Him, and He has given us instructions on how to please Him (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17). It matters!