They cast lots for their duties, all alike, the small as well as the great, the teacher as well as the pupil… They cast lots, the small and the great alike, according to their fathers’ households, for every gate, (26:8, 13).
A building does not a temple make, or for that matter, a church. It was God’s Presence that defined this building. And because it was the place of Holy God’s dwelling, careful planning was needed in order to fulfill the essentials needed for ministry.
- The Ministry of His WordMoreover, David and the commanders of the army set apart for the service some of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun, who were to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals… (25:1).
- The Ministry of Praise and Worship…who prophesied in giving thanks and praising the Lord…to sing in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, harps and lyres, for the service of the house of God…7 Their number who were trained in singing to the Lord, with their relatives, all who were skillful, was 288, (25:3, 6-7).
- The Ministry of the GatekeepersFor the divisions of the gatekeepers there were… 6 Also… they were mighty men of valor. 7 The sons of Shemaiah… were valiant men. 8 All these were… able men with strength for the service… 12 To these divisions of the gatekeepers, the chief men, were given duties like their relatives to minister in the house of the Lord, (26:1, 6-8, 12).
- The Ministry of the TreasurersThe Levites, their relatives, had charge of the treasures of the house of God and of the treasures of the dedicated gifts… 26 This Shelomoth and his relatives had charge of all the treasures of the dedicated gifts which King David and the heads of the fathers’ households, the commanders of thousands and hundreds, and the commanders of the army, had dedicated. 27 They dedicated part of the spoil won in battles to repair the house of the Lord. 28 And all that Samuel the seer had dedicated and Saul the son of Kish, Abner the son of Ner and Joab the son of Zeruiah, everyone who had dedicated anything, all of this was in the care of Shelomoth and his relatives, (26:20, 26-28).
- The Ministry to the CommunityAs for the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were assigned to outside duties for Israel, as officers and judges. 30 As for the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his relatives, 1,700 capable men, had charge of the affairs of Israel west of the Jordan, for all the work of the Lord and the service of the king. 31 As for the Hebronites, Jerijah the chief (these Hebronites were investigated according to their genealogies and fathers’ households, in the fortieth year of David’s reign, and men of outstanding capability were found among them at Jazer of Gilead) 32 and his relatives, capable men, were 2,700 in number, heads of fathers’ households. And King David made them overseers (26:29).
The temple was the place where God’s people would be granted access to almighty God through His mediators, the priests. It was to be the gathering where His Word, and Praise and Worship were emphasized; the place heroically guarded with vigilant courage; the place of generous offerings scrupulously handled with honesty and integrity; and the place that would go outside its own walls to capably care for the community. Sound familiar? Sounds like the church to me.
Careful attention was given to the selection of the ministers, each numbered and named. And twice, in the selection of positions, Scripture records the method to be used in His Selection Process. Yes, His Selection Process is twice repeated: so it’s safe to say there must be a nugget just waiting for us!
They cast lots for their duties, all alike, the small as well as the great, the teacher as well as the pupil, (25:8).
To these divisions of the gatekeepers, the chief men, were given duties like their relatives to minister in the house of the Lord. 13 They cast lots, the small and the great alike, according to their fathers’ households, for every gate, (26:12-13).
Consider His Selection Process
His Selection Process would be completely impartial. While there was training to be had, positions were not granted based on competency or accomplishment. The “small and the great alike” were assigned their duties… by a random drawing?
I daresay, in reality, anything but random. During these times, before His inspired Word was completed and before He had sent His Holy Spirit to give counsel, the Lord God had instructed the children of Israel to apportion their inheritance by lot.
But the land shall be divided by lot. They shall receive their inheritance according to the names of the tribes of their fathers. 56 According to the selection by lot, their inheritance shall be divided between the larger and the smaller groups,” (Numbers 26:55-56).
Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying, 54 “You shall inherit the land by lot according to your families; to the larger you shall give more inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give less inheritance. Wherever the lot falls to anyone, that shall be his…” (Numbers 33:50, 54).
- Because He is Altogether Sovereign, His Selection Process would result in His Selections.The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the Lord, (Proverbs 16:33).
- Because He is Absolutely Just, His Selection Process would be impartial.They cast lots for their duties, all alike, the small as well as the great, the teacher as well as the pupil, (25:8).
- And because He Alone is Holy, His Selection Process would exalt One, and only One.The pride of man will be humbled
And the loftiness of men will be abased;
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, (Isaiah 2:17).
How do we respond to His Selection Process?
Today, the church is not a building, a place to go. The Bible teaches that when we place our faith in Christ, He makes His dwelling in our hearts.
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith… (Ephesians 3:17).
The Bible also teaches that believers in Christ are His Church, the place of His dwelling.
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it, (1 Corinthians 1:27).
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything, (Colossians 1:18).
And while we don’t need a building to be His Church, we need each other. His Word exhorts us to gather together; and typically that will mean in some kind of building.
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near, (Hebrews 10:24-25).
In churches all across the world, believers in Christ have been given the same privilege as the returning exiles, the privilege to gather together in the place of His presence for corporate worship.
The church gathers through our Mediator and High Priest, Jesus Christ, to the place where His Word, and Praise and Worship are to be emphasized; a place to be heroically guarded with vigilant courage; a place of generous offerings to be scrupulously handled with honesty and integrity; and a place that is to go outside its own walls to capably care for the community.
And to be that place, to be His Church, we are to trust His Selection Process, “from the great and the small alike.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-13).
- He Selects our gifts of service, we don’t: And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired…27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they?… (1 Corinthians 12:18, 27-29).
- He Selects impartially, according to His grace, not our weaknesses or strengths: for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly… (Romans 12:3-6).
- And He Selects for His Glory, not ours: until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen, (1 Peter 4:10-11).
Oh, that we would so grow in sound judgment, to think less of ourselves and more of serving His Church and bringing Him the glory due His Name.
Lord Jesus, please strengthen our faith and trust in Your Selection Process. Please equip us for service, that we may wholeheartedly serve You as we serve Your Church with humility and grace. May we use every bit of every gift you have so graciously Selected for us. May we grow to become a living testimony of Your Light in the darkness; and please, Lord, may You alone receive all the glory.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:14-16).