1 Chronicles 23:7-32 (Part 2) – What Will Your Grave Stone Say?

Posted: May 27, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 23:7-32 (Part 2 of 2)

The Levite Clans & Their Duties

This thought struck me this morning is what is going to be the epitaph on your gravestone and will it be truthful to who you were? I kid around with (no, I am really serious, LOL!) my wife and my three adult girls about what my tombstone should say. I keep telling them that I want it to say, “Well…I thought it was funny!” I think that encapsulates my personality pretty well. God granted me a pretty good sense of humor and the ability to always see that sliver of light in the dark times. And, yes, my sense of humor is pretty corny at times, sometimes witty, sometimes satirical. I am always looking for the humor in just about any situation. My innate sense of humor really has pulled me through some of the lonely, dark, emotionally difficult times of my life. There have been times in my life where I went through struggles where it was just difficult to get up and get going in the morning. But there was always that hope that tomorrow, next week, next month, things would get better. And it was that basic joy in your soul that allows you to laugh even when the circumstances of your life say you should just crawl in a hole and wait. That’s the thing that I thank God for in my life and it that “well…I thought it was funny” attitude that God gave me. It has given me strength. It has given me a sense of joy and wonder. It has given me that sense that no matter what joy can be found in the hardest of times and that smoother waters are just around the bend. That’s what I want people to remember about me is that I had infectious joy. That’s what I hope that people will remember about me. Basic joy. That joy that allows you to smile. That joy that makes you think of corny jokes. That “well…I thought it was funny!” attitude. That joy of knowing Christ as your Savior and Lord that gives you hope at all times, even when we have those stretches where life has run you down and run you over. That joy of knowing that He’s got you. That joy of knowing that He provides the light at the end of the tunnel. That joy of being able to smile because of Him.

When I re-read this passage for a second time this morning. There is one brief mention of one of the mighty men of the Bible, Moses. No other mention other than this one brief one. What does it say? “Moses, the man of God”. That’s it. That’s all that’s said about him. Nothing really need more be said. That’s the idea that came to mind this morning – about the gravestone, what will it say. What quick description will encapsulate your life? What will be your family’s answer? Let’s read 1 Chronicles 23:7-32 now:

7 The Gershonite family units were defined by their lines of descent from Libni[a] and Shimei, the sons of Gershon. 8 Three of the descendants of Libni were Jehiel (the family leader), Zetham, and Joel. 9 These were the leaders of the family of Libni.

Three of the descendants of Shimei were Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. 10 Four other descendants of Shimei were Jahath, Ziza,[b] Jeush, and Beriah. 11 Jahath was the family leader, and Ziza was next. Jeush and Beriah were counted as a single family because neither had many sons.

12 Four of the descendants of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 13 The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were set apart to dedicate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s presence, to serve the Lord, and to pronounce blessings in his name forever.

14 As for Moses, the man of God, his sons were included with the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer. 16 The descendants of Gershom included Shebuel, the family leader. 17 Eliezer had only one son, Rehabiah, the family leader. Rehabiah had numerous descendants.

18 The descendants of Izhar included Shelomith, the family leader. 19 The descendants of Hebron included Jeriah (the family leader), Amariah (the second), Jahaziel (the third), and Jekameam (the fourth).

20 The descendants of Uzziel included Micah (the family leader) and Isshiah (the second). 21 The descendants of Merari included Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. 22 Eleazar died with no sons, only daughters. His daughters married their cousins, the sons of Kish. 23 Three of the descendants of Mushi were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.

24 These were the descendants of Levi by clans, the leaders of their family groups, registered carefully by name. Each had to be twenty years old or older to qualify for service in the house of the Lord. 25 For David said, “The Lord, the God of Israel, has given us peace, and he will always live in Jerusalem. 26 Now the Levites will no longer need to carry the Tabernacle and its furnishings from place to place.” 27 In accordance with David’s final instructions, all the Levites twenty years old or older were registered for service.

28 The work of the Levites was to assist the priests, the descendants of Aaron, as they served at the house of the Lord. They also took care of the courtyards and side rooms, helped perform the ceremonies of purification, and served in many other ways in the house of God. 29 They were in charge of the sacred bread that was set out on the table, the choice flour for the grain offerings, the wafers made without yeast, the cakes cooked in olive oil, and the other mixed breads. They were also responsible to check all the weights and measures. 30 And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to him. 31 They assisted with the burnt offerings that were presented to the Lord on Sabbath days, at new moon celebrations, and at all the appointed festivals. The required number of Levites served in the Lord’s presence at all times, following all the procedures they had been given.

32 And so, under the supervision of the priests, the Levites watched over the Tabernacle and the Temple[c] and faithfully carried out their duties of service at the house of the Lord.

In this passage, we see that all that is stated here about Moses is that he was “the man of God.” What a profound description of a person! When you call a person “a man (or woman) of God” is a person whose life reflects God’s presence, power and priorities. A person of God (man or woman) is one who reflects the qualities and character of God – as much as we in our flawed humanness can do so. They are people who have a visible love of the Lord. A person of God is one who exudes a Christ-like lifestyle, one that is full of quiet charity for his fellow man, one that is full of wisdom, one that understands God’s Word and quietly goes about living it, one that is marked by gratefulness and humility before the Lord because they know that salvation is a unmerited gift, one that is marked by practical sharing of the gospel with both friends and strangers. Is that not what you want others to describe you as, “a man of God”?

As for me, I am sure that my family will not put “well…I thought it was funny!” on my gravestone. However, what I hope that they will remember me as is a person who had basic joy. I am not talking about jumping around dancing common perception of joy, but rather the Christian concept of joy where you are able to have contentment even in troubled times. Sure, we Christians have struggles just like anybody else. We have worries. We have days where it’s a struggle to get out of bed. We have days where our circumstances weigh heavily on us for long periods. We are not immune or oblivious to the troubled world in which we live. However, as Christ followers, we know that God has a sunny day coming for us and we hold on to that hope no matter what. For example, Joseph probably had some really bad days when he was in the Egyptian prison for those 12 years, but he had a belief in God that allowed him to serve God right where he was. From the outside, it might have looked like a bum wrap for Joseph (and it certainly was), but yet Joseph simply trusted God so much that He lived his life in the moment and did the best he could with it. That’s the basic joy of one who loves God. That’s the basic joy of a man of God.

Moses, the man of God. Simple but powerful description. What more needs to be said about Moses. Man of God says enough and says it all. That’s who he was, a man of God. My prayer for you and my prayer for me is that when we die, that it could be said of us that we had such a basic joy of living, that comes from trusting God even in the toughest of times, that we could be described as a “man of God” or a “woman of God”. What will your gravestone say?

Amen and Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s