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This Chapter relates to us the appointing of Solomon king, in the room of David his father. The Levites and officers of the temple are appointed also, and numbered.
1 Chronicles 23:1
The age of David was not so great as many of his fathers. When he died, he had not exceeded seventy years. But the truth was, he had worn fast, and worn out. His whole life had been both an active, and an anxious one; and cares consume the strength.
The gathering of the Levites seems to have been a very pious act, and evidently intended for the furtherance of the divine glory.
The age of their numbering from thirty years, seems to convey very strong testimonies that a competency of wisdom and gravity were considered as necessary, before that they were numbered among the Levites.
I do not interrupt the reading of this list of the Levites, but bring the account altogether into one view, because the observations arising out of the whole are one and the same. The Reader may perhaps be led to remark, from the great number of Levites here mentioned, and which it should seem were much increased from the days of Moses, (see Numbers 4:48 ) how large an house of servants the Lord kept. And what a precious thought it is, that there was not only room enough for them, but a plentiful table for them, and every supply. The promise runs to this amount; They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fulness of thine house, and thou shalt make them drink of the rivers of thy pleasures. Psalms 36:8 . Reader! do not overlook the privilege still of Jesus's people. They are spiritual Levites, nay, they are royal Levites, for he hath made them kings and priests unto God and the Father. Revelation 1:6 . Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will be still praising thee. Psalms 84:4 . But is there not an additional note to this divine song. Yes! there is, when the believer can sing it under the Spirit's teaching. I mean, when Jesus himself is beheld as the house and home, and habitation of his redeemed. If Moses sung this song. Reader, why may not you and I? Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations, Psalms 90:1 .
This verse confirms the thought with which we closed our observation on the former. And if we read it in a gospel sense, and with an eye to the ever blessed Jesus, is it not delightful? The Lord God of Israel hath indeed given rest unto his people, for Jesus is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing. Reader, oh! for grace to say, as one of old did, concerning our Jesus; return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. Isaiah 28:12 ; Psalms 116:7 .
The employment of the Levite, probably before the temple was built, had been accompanied with bodily exercise and labour: but now they are henceforth to minister only in holy things. Is not this a beautiful type of the gospel church? When Jesus, whom this temple represented, came in the fulness of grace and truth, his spiritual worship forever did away the shadow of service. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availed anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Galatians 6:15 .
The last words of David, that is, the last words of David on this subject, lessened down the age ten years from the former appointment. Probably this means; that the introduction of younger men for the subordinate service, was now such, that under the eye and teaching of the elders, they might be in longer preparation for the sanctuary. I cannot help remarking that in a gospel church, though such as are intended for the ministry will find their account, when like Timothy, from a child they have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make them wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus; yet the clearest evidences should be seen in their life and conversation that they are truly awakened men, before they go forth to call others. Oh! for such ministers as Jeremiah, concerning whose ordination, the Lord himself gave such precious testimony. Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 .
READER! I only detain you with the reflection of one interesting thought, which seems to arise out of the perusal of this chapter, concerning the Levites. You see how numerous they were in those early ages of the church; and you will, I am sure, think with me, that in the present hour faithful ministers can never be too numerous, in labouring in the word and doctrine. If Jesus, in the days of his flesh, commanded his disciples to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest; well may we with earnestness beseech of him, now in compassion to the perishing state of thousands everywhere around, to send forth truly awakened servants of the sanctuary to his service. Lord Jesus, I would say, thou great Bishop of souls! graciously do thou ordain pastors after thine own heart, which shall feed thy people with understanding and knowledge. Let them be such, O Lord, as shall do the work of Evangelists, and make full proof of their ministry. Oh! for the dawn of that glorious day when the watchmen upon the walls of Zion shall see eye to eye! when the church of Jesus upon earth shall b ear some resemblance to the church triumphant in glory. Surely, dearest Jesus, when that hour comes, so faithfully promised, and so devoutly prayed for by the faithful in all ages, under the quickening influences of the Holy Ghost; that hour, that day, when Ethiopia, and Seba, and the multitude of the isles, shall stretch forth their hands unto God: surely, Lord, thou wilt be adored by the redeemed below, in congregations as numerous as the multitude which John saw in heaven, whom no man could number. Lord! hasten the hour in mercy to a lost world; cut short thy work in righteousness, thou that art mighty to save; and bring on the latter day glory, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 23". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
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