1 Chronicles 23:24-32

Duties Revised

24 These were the sons of Levi according to their fathers’ households, even the heads of the fathers’ households of those of them who were [l]counted, in the number of names by their [m]census, doing the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from twenty years old and upward. 25 For David said, “The Lord God of Israel has given rest to His people, and He dwells in Jerusalem forever. 26 Also, the Levites will no longer need to carry the tabernacle and all its utensils for its service.” 27 For by the last words of David the sons of Levi were numbered from twenty years old and upward. 28 For their office is [n]to assist the sons of Aaron with the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts and in the chambers and in the purifying of all holy things, even the work of the service of the house of God, 29 and with the showbread, and the fine flour for a grain offering, and unleavened wafers, or what is baked in the pan or what is well-mixed, and all measures of volume and size. 30 They are to stand every morning to thank and to praise the Lord, and likewise at evening, 31 and to offer all burnt offerings to the Lord, on the sabbaths, the new moons and the fixed festivals in the number set by the ordinance concerning them, continually before the Lord. 32 Thus they are to keep charge of the tent of meeting, and charge of the holy place, and charge of the sons of Aaron their [o]relatives, for the service of the house of the Lord.

We often think of the Sabbath as a day when no one worked, across the board, just everyone was resting. But that simply isn’t the case as we see here, the Levites (and probably the priests also) were offering sacrifices and performing their duties for those who visited the temple/tabernacle on that day.

Likewise, it’s easy to get legalistic about it today, and say no one should be working on Sunday, but our Pastors and many church volunteers are indeed working on Sunday. But God wants us to honor the Sabbath, so what do we do? Well, in the case of the Levites, it’s possible they took a different day to rest, just as many pastors do today–and if they don’t, they should!

However, we also know that all 38,000 Levites were not serving at the same time. They worked in shifts from year to year, and possibly by week or month. We see mention in the New Testament of how the position of high priest was a rotating one, and it was like that with most of the positions I’m sure.

So if you find yourself working on Sunday, don’t freak out or feel like you’re a dirty rotten sinner. But absolutely make sure that you take a different day to rest and recuperate from the striving of the week. God didn’t make the rule just to see if we could do it. He did it for our good, just as with every other command He gives us.

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