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Under Royal Orders

Under Royal Orders

14 October 2009

Scripture:

22 The chief officer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, son of Hashabiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Mica, a descendant of Asaph, whose family served as singers at God’s Temple. 23 They were under royal orders, which determined their daily activities. (Nehemiah 11:22-23 NLT)

The walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt, but the city remained almost empty. Nehemiah wanted ten percent of the population to live in the city, so he called for volunteers to move from all the towns and villages of Judah and Benjamin to re-populate Jerusalem.

These verses focus on a small group of Levites who moved to Jerusalem and had the responsibility of sacrifices, service, and singing – all the activities involved in maintaining the daily worship at the Temple. They were under royal orders and the orders of the king determined their daily activities.

Centuries earlier, King David had incorporated music with instruments and singing into the practice of worship at the Tabernacle on Mount Zion. When Solomon completed the Temple, he carried on the specific instructions for the Levites, singers, and musicians and their ministry of music and worship. Now under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah the royal orders were again given to the Levites and singers and they left their farms and villages and began to fulfill their calling. Their royal orders determined where they lived, how they lived, and what activities filled their days.

I too am under royal orders. I’ve been called by God to be a follower of Christ, specifically to be a pastor, teacher, and leader of God’s people. Those orders – that calling and the responsibilities that accompany it – must determine my daily activities. What must not determine my daily activities is self-interest, personal ambition, the cares of this world, pressure to perform, the opinions of others, urgency, apathy.

Heart check: As a Christ-follower, do his royal orders determine your daily activities?

Prayer:

My Father and King, I place myself under your royal orders. I submit myself to your royal purpose. I seek for your royal plan. I align myself with your schedule and predetermined seasons for my life. Let your royal orders increasingly and always determine my daily activities. Amen.

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