1 CHRONICLES 25:1 – 27:34 and ACTS 3:1–26
1 Chr 25
You will note that the names mentioned in verse 1 are all mentioned in the Psalms. We know that many of the psalms were compiled as songs and we are introduced to some of the chief song musicians. This was not just a skill but an anointing, especially when you consider that many of the psalms ended up as being prophetic of future events, specifically that of the Lord Himself. When you have an anointed worship service you then have the potential for the release of the prophetic. David understood this so he took great care in the arrangement of the musicians. You will later see during the reign of the kings where the musicians played a powerful role in the purposes of God. Judah was not only the tribe that would bring forth the Christ but they were also noted for their praise.
2Ch 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
2Ch 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
Who were these worshippers and musicians? They were the anointed musicians and singers from Judah. Have you ever heard the song “Send Judah first” from the days of the charismatic movement? Here are the lyrics: Send Judah first, and the battle will be won, Send Judah first and the foe is overcome, singing praise to the Father and glory to the Son, send Judah first! That song is taken from 2 Chr 20:21-22. It was the singing of songs just like these that helped the Bible come alive with greater vibrancy for me. We want to consider one other verse that raises interest in this chapter.
1Ch 25:7 So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight.
We have noted the particular care that David has taken in the appointing of musicians. These are men who were princes among the group and people who were priests. We know that priests and Levites had special ministry in the appointed worship around the Ark as seen at the dedication of Solomon’s temple. There were also appointed singers that were appointed as mentioned in verses 8-31. Why is the number 288 highlighted above? We know from the Book of Revelation that that one of the scenes that John sees on a consistent basis is the worship that takes place before the throne of God. In Revelation chapter 7 you have a group of 144,000 mentioned who are representatives of the 12 tribes of Israel. In Revelation 14 you have another group of 144,000 mentioned who refer to those of the New Covenant who follow the lamb where ever He goes. The two groups of 144,000 seen in Rev 7 and Rev 14 are not the same. If you take the root number of 288,000 you come up with 288; the same number referred to in 1 Chr 25:7.
The worship around the throne of God in eternity will consist of those from the time of the patriarchs, meaning the Jewish people and the Gentiles represented by the New Covenant. In short, David is assembling a picture of what the end time worship leader will look like. It is a picture of what worship in eternity will look like. His appointment of Levites and priests around the Ark and at the center of worship will help prevent the catastrophe that occurred at the fall of Lucifer. This is just a cursory look at what David was putting together in helping to prepare Solomon for his coming to the throne.
1 Chr 26
The divisions of the porters would be the doorkeepers of the temple. There were 4 different gates that accessed the temple and these porters had the responsibility of keeping impure or vile persons from entering the temple. They also helped to ensure that the vessels were secured within the temple and not taken out. There were four thousand in number all of whom were taken from the families of the Kohathites and Meraites of the Levites (1 Chr 23:6). We see the sons of Obededom given a charge in verse 4. This is from the same family that housed the Ark before David brought it to Zion (1 Chr 15:24, 2 Sam 6:11). The Lord brought blessing to this household that extended beyond the period of their having the Ark in their household. This serves as a reminder to the blessings of God as expressed by Moses before Israel passed over the Jordan. It is a promise that still exists today:
Deu 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
The warning is clear and it must be observed. There needs to be a hearkening unto the voice of the Lord and a keeping of His Laws and statutes. Finally, there was the casting of lots as to who would be positioned at the respective gates of the temple (vs 13-19). The appointments over the treasures of the temple were appointed to Ahijah and other Gershonites, Amramites, and Hebronites (vs 20-28). The appointment of outward business was given to Chenaniah, an Izharite and to those who have been proven to be worthy of given such a position. We can see that David was particular in these appointments. The glory that came upon Solomon’s temple was more than an event that just happened. There had to be an order in every area of the temple, particularly in the realm of worship. What was being offered to God had to be pure and undefiled. This should serve as a sobering notice to all of us as we look forward to a manifestation of His glory to take place in our day. Is the praise and worship we bring before the Lord acceptable unto Him?
1 Chr 27
The account of the military force of Israel is accounted for in verses 1-15. It seems that David assembled this militia at the beginning of his reign. The forces would be comprised of 12 legions (one for each tribe) which consisted of about 24,000 men each. They worked on a rotation basis in a way that assured Israel were being adequately protected at any one time. They were stationed in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel where required. These forces were nimble and could adapt to any given situation of need. In verse 24 the account of the census that David insisted upon at the end of his life is alluded to. Joab did not finish the census either because of his disdain for this particular order (1 Chr 21:6) or because the judgment of God was already released due to David’s sin in this area.
In verses 25-31 there are other areas of administration that David appoints with regard to the work of flocks, grain and husbandry within the nation. When taking all of these areas under consideration one cannot help but see how effective David was as an administrator. It sets a pattern and template for how a work and organization or any enterprise should be run. It is also a reflection of the administration in heaven and how it is efficiently run as seen in Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 1. Finally we see some of David’s counsellor’s mentioned in verses 32-34. We see the name of Ahithophel mentioned who at one time was very close to David. It is believed that he was the grandfather of Bathsheba. At the time of Absalom’s revolt against David, Ahithophel sided with Absalom. He took his life when the counsel of Hushai was preferred above his own given to Absalom. It is a very sad end to a man who was at one time faithful to David. The Bible does not give clear evidence as to why he turned on David; one can only surmise. His disdain for the king was quite apparent when Absalom revolted.
The apostles having now been endued with new power from on high arrive at the temple at the hour of prayer. There was a man who had been lame since birth who made a living by receiving alms at the Gate Beautiful on a daily basis. This seemed like any other day to him as he asked for alms. He used his infirmity to gain the attention and sympathy of people which was probably his main source of income. How often we have seen this in our years in India. Whether it would be at railway station platforms or busy intersections there would be no shortage of people (young and old) with noticeable disabilities or needs. Sad to say in many cases this was a rigged and controlled market. The infirmities in many people were real but they were controlled by touts and people who claimed territories as their own. The people who were infirmed would get a very small portion of the money received with the majority going to their controllers. One would imagine similar practices employed during the period of the above account.
Peter, once again with great boldness took the man by the right hand and made the following statement: “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (vs 6) The man immediately received strength and was able to walk and to leap while praising God. Peter then used this opportunity to once again go back to the Gospel message. He made clear that it was not by any power within himself that brought about this miracle but rather the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who glorified His son Jesus that was responsible; the one they delivered up to be crucified; the one they traded in for a murderer; the one that rose from the dead. This was a stinging rebuke to those who were observing this miracle. Peter reminded them that these things were spoken by the prophets and that even Christ’s death was foretold (vs 18).
Peter then exhorted the people to repent that their sins would be blotted out and that they might receive a season of refreshing. Remember, Peter and the disciples had seen 3000 souls come into the kingdom immediately after the Pentecost experience. It is important to notice here that Peter was not focusing on the miracle of the lame man being raised up. This miracle fascinated those who witnessed it but his emphasis was the need for them to repent. How often we get so consumed with signs and wonders and yet miss the most important element. This is similar to what Jesus said to His disciples after they came back from one their earlier commission. Marvel that your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).There is another significant verse in this chapter that does not often get highlighted.
“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21)
Our God is a God of Restoration. This is seen in so many places in scripture. The 3 stories in Luke 15 all speak to something that was lost only later to be found. The last few verses in the Old Testament make mention of the Restoration of Fathers to Sons (Mal 4:6). The above verse (Acts 3:21) makes clear that Jesus will be received in the heavens up until the time of the restoration of all things. What does this mean; Restoration of what things?
When man sinned in the garden fellowship was broken with God. Jesus had to die upon the Cross as a sinless lamb, to take upon Himself all sin. He accomplished this over 2000 years ago; the above verse being written after Jesus finished the work at the Cross. So what still needs to be restored? Can He just return at any time? There is no possibility of going into everything in this brief summary but there are many things Jesus speaks concerning His return and the things that must be accomplished. The best sequence is found in Math 24. It is from here where Jesus makes references to the Book of Daniel, such as the abomination of desolation that will take place in the midst of the last 7 years (Math 24:15, Dan 9:27). The last 7 years? Daniel speaks about one more week of years (7 years) that has yet to have been fulfilled. There are many other references from Daniel and other places that make clear that much needs to be yet fulfilled. Then you have the period of the Restoration era after Israel came back from Babylon. The lives of people like Ezra and Nehemiah help to provide key insights as to what will be seen in the last day church. A thorough reading of scripture would indicate that Christ cannot yet return due to many things yet needing to be fulfilled as mentioned in Acts 3:21. This is important because many Christians today are living with an indifferent and laid back type of attitude. This attitude is captured well in a similar Old Testament time period. Let’s consider the following verse from Zephaniah:
“And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, the Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil.” (Zeph 1:12)
Peter continues with his rehearsing of Old Testament truths by putting emphasis on the prophet Samuel and those who came after him. He reminds his audience that they were children of the prophets and of the covenant that God had made with their fathers. The anointing on Peter from Pentecost onwards is noteworthy, especially when considering what he was like just prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It bears repeating once again. We need another Pentecost!