In reading the Old Testament, we find ourselves wading through list after list of job descriptions. Every Levite had an appointed task in the temple. Every craftsman had a defined assignment. When it was time to move camp, every tribe was commissioned with specific responsibility regarding what they were to carry.
Legalism? Probably, yes. After all, they were under the Law. But it strikes me that it is very important for every individual, every believer, to know exactly what his or her role in the Kingdom — or in the church, for that matter — is supposed to be.
We tend to be very haphazard. Our mantra of ‘following the Spirit’ tends to equal disorganization (especially in the African context?). When discussing spiritual gifts, Paul says, “But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (I Cor 12:18). So even in our Spirit-filled context, we need some order.
Besides knowing our role, and fulfilling it, we also see that praise, intercession, worship and prophecy were fully catered for. Those tasked with these ministries in the temple (I Chron 25) were to put their efforts into this and this alone. They were trained, skilled and dedicated. In other words, intercession, or praise, was their “job.”
As we look toward establishing a prayer center at the DOVE property in Nairobi, this challenges me. Will we be ready to ‘put on salary’ those who could stay in the prayer room day after day? Will those called to this ministry recognize it and obey?
Another topic. King David. Oooh! A man after God’s own heart… but from early life to end of life, he was battered by opposition, betrayed, and beset with sin. Even in his final days, a coup d’etat erupted in his own family. Yet, he is a prototype of Christ and and Israel’s most noble king. I notice three redeeming traits:
- David (almost always) sought God’s will. “David enquired of the Lord” is repeated often.
- David was repentant. When confronted, he confessed and accepted discipline.
- David did all he could to observe justice. He was very, very careful to be fair and just. He always wanted to keep his own hands clear of innocent blood.
“A broken spirit and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” That was David.