“And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to him.”1 Chronicles 23:30 (NLT)
In my daily Bible reading, I have been working my way through 1 Chronicles. I deliberately chose the words “working through” as it is quite tough going at times! The Chronicler has quite a different angle than the writer of Kings, and so there are some stark differences between the accounts of King David and his sons.
This morning I read from chapter 23, and include a particular verse above. In this chapter, we essentially see a total staff reorganisation like you might have in the business world. The Levites, who previously served in the Tabernacle of God, would soon begin to serve in the Temple built by Solomon. This meant a change in their duties. No longer would they need to pack up the Tent of Meeting, and move it around, as the Temple would be a fixed site to stand for generations.
With this change, what would the Levites now need to do? Chapter 23 gives some of the details, but verse 30 in particular stood out to me.
Imagine the job advert or “Help Wanted” sign… dedicated servant to give thanks to God each morning and evening. Desired characteristics – strong singing voice…
The Levites were given the specific role of thanking and praising the Lord both morning and evening. It was deemed such an important task that it was noted alongside all the other necessary duties of worship in the Temple.
Two thoughts spring to my mind about this. Firstly, it is wonderful to recognise the importance of praising and thanking God. We should learn from this, and much of our prayer lives should be focussed on that very task. We have so much to be grateful for, and yet often we find ourselves grumbling that we do not have more. Perhaps I’m alone in that, but I suspect not!
I was reading a fellow blogger’s post yesterday about the terrible situation in Mozambique, where not just Christians are being attacked and killed on a daily basis. Very few of us reading this are doing so in secret, or in fear of our lives. We likely have basic comforts – a roof over our heads, clothes on our back and food in our stomachs. For this, we should be truly grateful. It is certainly not too often to thank God both morning and night.
My second thought was this: did the people of Israel become complacent about thanking God because they had a dedicated team of servants doing the job for them?
I recall a time in a previous church where we discussed appointing a “welcoming team.” The role of the team was to keep an eye out for new people and to make sure they were welcomed and looked after the first few times they attended the church. The problem we worried about was whether by having a dedicated team like this, those in the church not on the team might falsely believe it was no longer their responsibility to welcome anyone.
It is everyone’s responsibility to give thanks and praise to God. Even if you have a dedicated worship leader on staff at your church, that does not absolve you from the need to worship Him yourself. I hope that the people of Israel likewise gave regular thanks to the Lord in the same way.
How is your thanksgiving looking at the moment? Mine is inadequate I’m ashamed to admit. When I really think about how much the Lord has done for me, and all the many blessings I have in my life, I’m humbled. There is more than enough for me to thank and praise Him for the rest of my life – non-stop – and all eternity as well.
What are some of the things you need to be thankful for? Do share them below. And I leave you with this verse from 1 Thessalonians.
Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Notice Paul tells us to rejoice always. This can only be done by someone who is willing to thank God every morning and every evening.
Have a great weekend – full of thanksgiving to the Lord!