How’d you like all those tongue-twisting names in our reading today? Yeah, I know more lists of names. Why? The same reason for the genealogies — setting history in a context of family. But there’s something more here than just a list of names.
Organization — OK, for those of you who know me, you’ll know that organization (at least the traditional sort — ha) is not my strongest suit. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate it or know its value! And I think that this may be a slightly-below-the-radar application of these lists of names: Solomon’s great and glorious kingdom, especially among those serving the LORD, was highly organized. Each name (and in some cases their family) had a job to accomplish for the service of the Temple. All were necessary, all served their proper function, and all contributed to the glory of the Temple and the only true and living LORD it served.
Lesson? You have a place, an important place, to serve in the Lord’s temple, the church. We’re a temple? Yep: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22, NAS95. And who are the priests (Levites?)? “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5, NAS95. There’s no loafing in service of God’s temple, is there?!
Another lesson? The value of organization, like we’re reading here, is that all the “bases get covered”. When everyone’s doing their part, no gaps are left, nothing falls through the cracks, nothing is left undone. But when “priests” are not doing their jobs things do fall through the cracks, not everything gets covered; or if it gets covered, it doesn’t get covered well, because someone’s having to do two jobs. Winging it doesn’t generally work well in industry, in the office, in the family, or in the church — “laissez-faire” tends to lead to lazy-ness (yes, I hyphenated laziness for effect). To help build the kingdom, organization will be necessary and we ought to be careful about bucking it too much.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.