“20 The rest of the Israelites, with the priests and Levites, were in all the towns of Judah, each on their ancestral property.21 The temple servants lived on the hill of Ophel, and Ziha and Gishpa were in charge of them.22 The chief officer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mika. Uzzi was one of Asaph’s descendants, who were the musicians responsible for the service of the house of God. 23 The musicians were under the king’s orders, which regulated their daily activity.24 Pethahiah son of Meshezabel, one of the descendants of Zerah son of Judah, was the king’s agent in all affairs relating to the people.25 As for the villages with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in Kiriath Arba and its surrounding settlements, in Dibon and its settlements, in Jekabzeel and its villages,26 in Jeshua, in Moladah, in Beth Pelet, 27 in Hazar Shual, in Beersheba and its settlements, 28 in Ziklag, in Mekonah and its settlements, 29 in En Rimmon, in Zorah, in Jarmuth,30 Zanoah, Adullam and their villages, in Lachish and its fields, and in Azekah and its settlements. So they were living all the way from Beersheba to the Valley of Hinnom.31 The descendants of the Benjamites from Geba lived in Mikmash, Aija, Bethel and its settlements, 32 in Anathoth,Nob and Ananiah, 33 in Hazor, Ramah and Gittaim, 34 in Hadid, Zeboim and Neballat, 35 in Lod and Ono, and in Ge Harashim.36 Some of the divisions of the Levites of Judah settled in Benjamin.“NIV
We are continuing to look at this section which lists the various towns where the remaining people of Judah and Benjamin had settled, each on his ‘’ancestral property’’ (20), i.e.the land originally allotted to each family back in in the days of Joshua (Joshua 15:1;18:11).
When I first read verse 23 I thought it to be a picture of living under the Lordship of Christ. The King’s ‘’orders’’ should regulate our ‘’daily activity’’. This, of course is true. It is how we should live as Christians – under the authority of the King of all kings. We don’t take off our Christianity with our Sunday clothes. It must affect every part of our daily lives.
But although this is a correct observation, I came to see that it isn’t what the verse is getting at. It’s actual about the King providing for these ‘’singers’’. F.B. Meyer brings this out well:
‘It was the king’s command, and it was very right and sensible, because they enlivened and quickened the life of the entire community. A mere utilitarian spirit might have refused to maintain them, because they did not contribute to the handicrafts of the community. They only sang the praises of God; but they fulfilled a very important part in the life of the city, and they deserved the portion which was regularly contributed to them.’
Meyer goes on to apply this principle quite beautifully:
‘You sometimes feel your life to be comparatively useless. You can only say a kind word to those who are doing the main business of the world…But it is well. You are needed in God’s world…The King will see to it that ye do not miss your maintenance, your portion day by day.’ (‘Great verses through the Bible’, p.171).
PRAYER: Bountiful God, I take encouragement from knowing that your work done in your way will never lack your provision.
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