My daily reading is taking me through the Old Testament book of I Chronicles.
In a younger day, I spent a good bit of time looking over the two books of Chronicles. There is obviously an author who is related to the administration of the religious system in Israel. The extensive genealogy has an expectation that these people are related – and closely involved in the theocracy we would call the Jewish Nation.
I hit I Chronicles 23 a few days ago. I’m still pondering.
David changes the organizational functioning of the sect – particularly as he anticipates the building of a permanent temple versus the tent of meeting and the area involved with sacrifices. And yet, he refers back to the original patterns God set for Moses as not being changed.
First, he counts Levites who are 30 years old and older (Moses had consider 25 –50 year age range for religious service – [Numbers 8:24-25]). Then David states that service in the religious order of the Levites begins with those who are 20 years old and older.
Somewhere in here, David changes the age for service. Without consulting Moses! Something has changed in the society since Moses was running things.
The Levites are God’s – in place of all the first born males of all of Israel (Moses statement in Numbers 8:16). They perform work for the Aaronite priests (a subunit of the Levites). They care for the sacred objects and the tent/temple. They sing and they let people in and out of the door to the sacred house of God.
And they are judges – in David’s administration (I Chronicles 23:4).
A question runs around my head.
If David could change the vocational qualifications for the religious assistants – for worship leaders, judges, assistants to the priests, singers and gatekeepers – what part of the office is sacrosanct and what part is negotiable?
Are we too much taken up with ourselves when we set qualifications for church leaders related to age, and perhaps even gender?
OK, that’s two questions – somewhat related!!!