In (15) you get the impression of a mutually supportive team. They pulled together and did their jobs so that everyone could enjoy the Passover. As with the Musketeers, you get a sense of: ‘All for one, and one for all’ in their attitude. They were helpful to one another. Each knew that they needed the other: The security guards were on duty at each gate – the Levites also served them because they couldn’t leave their posts. The Message. That picture paints a thousand words. It speaks of a thoughtfulness that is so important for lubricating the ‘wheels’ in human relationships. Such sensitivity tends to bring people closer together. It is also interesting to note the statement about the musicians being in their prescribed places. I read a review of a book published last year by ‘Moody’, entitled ‘Worship Leaders, We are not rock stars.’ It is written by Stephen Miller. He makes the point that worship leaders are simply Christians, using their particular gifts and passions to worship God and bless Christ’s body. But the glare of the Sunday-morning spotlight has obscured the true nature of such a leader’s calling. As I have suggested before, we can get the very real place of music (and it does have such an important role in church life) all out of kilter in our minds and hearts. Let’s make sure that whatever our gifts, we are using them to glorify God and serve the body of Christ. No wonder it goes on to say in (16): Everything went without a hitch in the worship of GOD that day… The Message. People were working co-operatively with a good heart.
The challenge I both see and feel here is that of spending quality time worshipping God. It can be applied corporately and personally (16, 17). Obviously, we don’t have these Jewish Feasts as part of our worship. Their meanings have been fulfilled in Christ. But there is the abiding inspiration, I believe, of the willingness of those worshippers to devote chunks of time to come before God along with others. This seems to stand in marked contrast to the prevailing attitude where many believers seem reluctant to devote much time to worship gatherings.
So they pulled off something very special (18, 19). It was a Festival the like of which had not been seen in the land for many a long year. It happened because, under godly leadership, the people had a desire to honour the Bible, a willingness to work together, and a heart to glorify God. They were prepared to put selfish desires to death and work together for a greater cause. We too may achieve something remarkable in our day, if such attitudes and motives drive us also.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that I do not stand alone, but I am part of your family. Help me to consider others better than myself.