1 Chronicles 7-9
In today’s reading, an interesting little nugget is worthy of our consideration. Much of 1 Chronicles 9 is an account of Jewish efforts to reestablish themselves in Jerusalem after their return from Babylonian exile. The remnant of God’s people looked to the glory days of David to serve as a template in restoring Jewish life in Jerusalem. Among the returning remnant were the priests, the Levites, and the temple servants (the Nethinim). Much of this chapter focuses upon their own respective functions, but simply notice what is said of some of the Levites:
Now these, the singers, the heads of fathers’ houses of the Levites, were in the chambers of the temple free from other service, for they were on duty day and night. These were heads of fathers’ houses of the Levites, according to their generations, leaders. These lived in Jerusalem (1 Chron. 9:33-34, ESV).
Since these chief Levites were free from other temple responsibilities, they were available to praise God twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week! Obviously, these temple worshipers must have been some sort of a rotation. As Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mt. 26:41). Still, what a tremendous blessing and honor for each of these worshipers to live to sing God’s praise.
The origins of this perpetual practice of praise likely began with David himself, who was ‘the sweet psalmist of Israel’ (2 Sam. 23:1). David well understood that God is worthy of praise — all day and every day.
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psa. 34:1).
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever (Psa. 145:1-2).
We should learn from the worshipful examples of both David and the temple singers (cf. Rom. 15:4). For, they understood that God was to be praised at all times. Do you recognize the same for your own life? In Christ you have been made into a living sacrifice and are called to continually engage in thankful praise to God.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom. 12:1).
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Heb. 13:15).
Christian, keep that fire burning within you; never let it go out (cf. Rom. 12:11; Lev. 6:9-13). Praise him in the morning, and praise him in the evening. Praise him in the good times and the bad (cf. Acts 16:25). Never stop praising him! One day you will not be confined to the limitations of your bodily temple (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:1-2). In heaven, you will be able to abound in the unending praise of eternal worship (see Rev. 4:8-11; 7:15-17). Then, you will sing and never get weary. Free from all other service, and having entered your rest, you will have the sweet realization that praising God is the only thing you will ever do. Praise the Lord!