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Service Like That Of The Angels
"A picture by a Dutch artist represents the interior of a kitchen, and the figure in the picture is an angel handling pots and pans and doing all the work connected with the situation. It is not too hard to see what the artist intended to convey by his picture, namely, that our Christian calling may be fulfilled in the commonest surroundings, and that wherever our lot is cast, if the right spirit possesses us, our service may be in the sight of God like that of the angels, who in doing His will, do it well." - Encyclopedia of Sermon Illustrations
Everyone of us has certain duties which we are responsible to perform. It most cases, they are very common, and at times, they can be considered as absolute drudgery. There is no special "glory" in doing these servile tasks, yet they are a part of God's Will and plan for our lives. Hence, they need to be done with all of our strength, in a "right spirit," for His glory, and for the good of others.
There is a group of men mentioned in 1 Chronicles 23 who serve as our example. They are the Levites. Their duty was to wait on, serve, and help the priests - the descendents of Aaron. They were not priests - simply their assistants. Even though they were not as elevated in position as their "brethren," they still considered their particular mission as being very important and resultantly, did it well.
1 Chronicles 23:28 says of these Levites - "Because their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the LORD, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God."
As already mentioned, their main responsibilities involved supporting the priests in their designated tasks and conducting "the work of the service of the house of God." They were in charge of the custodial work - if you will - which could be wearisome at times. Their assignment was to keep the courtyards, side rooms, and all of the vessels and utensils - used in sacrifice - neat and clean. Their job also was to keep things in a set order - having them ready and available for the priests when the occasion to use them presented itself.
1 Chronicles 23:29 continues in the description of their duties - "Both for the showbread, and for the fine flour for meat offering, and for the unleavened cakes, and for that which is baked in the pan, and for that which is fried, and for all manner of measure and size."
It was the priest's office to prepare the "showbread" - to set it on the table before the Lord. It was the Levites' job to make sure that everything was ready for these servants of the Lord to perform their duties before Him.
"For all manner of measure and size" - The Levites were in charge of seeing that the standards of all weights and measures were exact. They checked all other weights and measures by the ones kept at the sanctuary.
1 Chronicles 23:30 continues in their duties - "And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even."
At the morning offering and the evening sacrifice, the Levites blew trumpets, gave thanks, and sang praises to the Lord Most High.
1 Chronicles 23:31 says - "And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD."
The Levites were not allowed to offer sacrifices per se. But oftentimes, there was a shortage of priests so they were called in to assist them in the special sacrifices unto the Lord "in the sabbaths," "in the new moons," and "on the set feasts" - Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
1 Chronicles 23:32 adds - "And that they should keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brethren, in the service of the house of the LORD."
This verse summarizes their mission from God. They were called to be custodians of the "tabernacle" and to be servants to the priests - to be on their "beck and call" and to do their errands. Theirs was a more servile type of work, yet it was still considered to be a very vital part of the Divine Worship.
Where do you find yourself today?
In God's plan for your life, has He assigned you some jobs that are quite menial?
Is it your task to serve others in a more common and obscure way?
Then take heart from the example of the Levites.
As we have seen, their work was very important in conducting "the service of the house of the LORD." Without their helping hands, the priests could not fulfill their designated assignments from God.
In the Kingdom work, God may have appointed you to "custodial work" of some sort.
It may not bring you "into the limelight" - so to speak - but it certainly is meaningful and necessary.
You may be called upon to serve and assist others - "the priests" - in order that they may carry on their business before the Lord.
Whatever your task is, God calls you to be obedient and faithful.
1 Corinthians 15:58 says - "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
Whatever your task, you are called upon to "be...steadfast" - confident and fixed in your faith, strong, settled, standing your ground like a statue, and not shaken or agitated by cares or temptations of any sort.
Psalm 78:8 - With your "heart aright" and your "spirit steadfast with God,"
Psalm 78:37 - being "steadfast in His covenant,"
Hebrews 3:14 - "your confidence steadfast unto the end,"
Colossians 2:5 - your faith steadfast in Christ,
Colossians 1:23 - continuing in your faith "grounded and settled,"
2 Peter 3:18 - while "growing in grace, and in the knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,"
...you are to be "unmovable" - firm and unshaken in your Christian hope - allowing nothing to shake your faith.
"Always abounding in the work of the Lord" - No matter what requirements or duties the Lord assigns you, you are to be diligent and persevering - while exceeding yourself in promoting His Glory and advancing His kingdom.
Philippians 1:9 - With your love abounding "in knowledge and in all judgment,"
Philippians 4:17 - your fruit abounding,
Colossians 2:7 - and "abounding therein with thanksgiving"
...you are to -
1 Corinthians 16:10 - work the "work of the Lord,"
Titus 2:14 - being "zealous of good works,"
Hebrews 13:21 - "perfect in every good work,"
Galatians 6:9 - and "not...weary in well doing."
May God help all of us today to understand our assignment, accept our responsibility in His kingdom work, and carry it out with a "right spirit" so that our service in the sight of the Lord may be "like that of the angels."