Today's devotion from 1 Chronicles 24.
It is fashionable in the current cultural climate to talk about triggers. I suppose that this subject is not unlike any other. It can be overstated and dramatized, but I think there is something to it. I know that recently Stefanie's small group had a particularly powerful class. Afterwords, with her emotions running high, she was moved to tears when she heard a song that reminded her of her mother's memorial service. That pain was triggered by the events preceding.
When the chronicler is recording David's actions in organizing the priests, a terrible pain is triggered. He recalls and brings to the forefront of the discussion the deaths of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu. If you will remember, they were struck down because they offered strange fire to the Lord. That is, they offered fire that had not been claimed by God as holy for His use.
He does not bring this up simply to remind us of this tragic, yet avoidable, event. It is tied directly to the content and context of the chronicler's writing. These priests that are listed here, these men and their families, will be entrusted to perform the work of Lord in accordance with the Word of the Lord. That's the trigger. That's the connection.
Their tasks will be diverse, but they are important in that they are service to the Lord. It is no accident that we see subtle reminders, like the careful recording of this organization or that, "These had their appointed duty in their service to come into the house of the LORD according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him." (vs 19) Do you see the reminder? Two died before their father. Two were childless. Two are missing here. Two failed to obey carefully the instruction of the Lord. Therefore, follow the procedure established. Follow the command.
The remembrance of Aaron's loss is triggered by a fresh conveyance of the proper order and practice of serving the Lord. Even now, all these years later, the pain of that moment, the shock of the event, was powerfully etched into the psyche of all those who would answer the call to serve the Lord.
What do we do with these verses today? We remember. God is not just served in action, but in obedience, in attention to detail. In serving Him, the ends do not justify the means, because the means are His as well. How we serve and worship is often as important as the result of our service or worship.