1 Chronicles 25: Lessons from David’s Instructions to the Levites Regarding What God Desires from Your Worship

Introduction: David was called the “sweet psalmist”: “Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, the man who was raised on high declares, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel,” (2 Sam. 23:1). Here, David revealed seven things that God wants from your worship, including: (1) prophetic guidance, (2) submission, (3) thanksgiving, (4) exaltation, (5) obedience, (6) being Spirit-Led, and (7) faithful continuity.

First, David’s worship leaders used music for God’s Word to provide prophetic guidance over the lives of God’s people. Worship also allows God’s Word to prophetically guide you as you serve Him. Second, David’s worship leaders served in submission to him. David was in turn reminded to live in submission to the King of Kings. Worship also helps to remind you to live in submission to Jesus, the King of Kings. Third, David’s worship leaders gave songs of thanksgiving to remind the nation to be grateful, in both good and bad times. Worship can also help you to be grateful in both good and bad times as well. Fourth, David’s worship leaders also led the people to praise God for His unique and mighty power. Worship can also help you take the focus off yourself and exalt God, the Creator of the universe. Fifth, David’s worship leaders served in obedience to both God and their king. Worship can also help to motivate you to serve in obedience to God’s will in your life. Sixth, David’s worship leaders used lots to let the Holy Spirit guide them in their service. Worship in a collective group can also help you to experience the power of the Holy Spirit and let Him lead you in all that you do. Finally, David’s leaders ensured that each group of priests and the greater community faithfully and continually worshiped God. Worship should also be something that you faithfully do on an ongoing basis.

1. Prophesy: Worship God to Allow His Word to Prophetically Guide You. 1 Chr. 25:1.

  • David institutionalized worship to allow God to guide the people. As one of David’s enduring legacies as king, he and his army commanders appointed capable people to ensure that worship was an ongoing process for God to guide the Jews. “1 Moreover, David and the commanders of the army set apart for the service some of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun, who were to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals; and the number of those who performed their service was:” (1 Chr. 25:1) Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun were David’s primary worship leaders (1 Chr. 6:31-48). “41 With them were Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest who were chosen, who were designated by name, to give thanks to the Lord, because His lovingkindness is everlasting. 42 And with them were Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those who should sound aloud, and with instruments for the songs of God, and the sons of Jeduthun for the gate.” (1 Chr. 16:41-42). David’s reforms ensured that the Jews continued to worship God when future kings succeeded him. Although many kings turned from God, worship eventually brought the people back. Even his commanders understood the importance of keeping future leaders on the right path. Thus, they joined David in the selection of capable leaders to organize worship to guide them.

  • Prophecy can include speaking God’s Word to encourage and build up others. The fact that the worship leaders were “prophesying” does not automatically mean that they were foretelling future events that had not yet come to pass. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a prophecy can have three definitions. It can mean “to speak as if divinely inspired.” It can also mean “to give instruction in religious matters.” Or, it can be “the act of making a prediction.” The context of this account suggests that the worship leaders were singing with divine inspiration, not making predictions. Indeed, the book of Psalms is filled with God’s prophetic Word expressed through songs. The words of a true prophet are meant to encourage, restore, or uplift another. (1 Thess. 5:11; Eph. 4:29; Jude 1:20). The Bible warns “do not despise prophetic utterances. . . ;” (1 Thess. 5:20-21). When the Holy Spirit came upon Moses’ 70 elders, they also prophesied. “Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again.” (Nu. 11:25). If the Bereans had rejected all prophetic utterances, they would have never learned that Jesus was the Messiah (Acts 17:11). If you apply the Word to encourage, restore, or uplift others, you too can serve in this capacity. “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Cor. 14:1). Do you use the Word to encourage and build up others? Or, do your words tear others down?

  • The worship leaders prophesied God’s Word with music to maintain God’s fellowship. Worship has always had a close connection to God’s prophetic Word. Miriam was called a “prophetess” when she played musical instruments to praise God for the parting of the Red Sea: “Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing.” (Ex. 15:20). Likewise, when Samuel prepared Saul to become king, one of Saul’s prophetic appointments took place when he met a group of prophets playing worship music at a place called “the hill of God”. (1 Sam. 5:5). It represented a spiritual high point in Saul’s walk, which he would sadly fail to maintain. Unless you sing songs of worship to stay in fellowship, you will slide off God’s spiritual hill as Saul did later as king. David sang songs of praise when God delivered him: “And David spoke the words of this song to the LORD in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” (2 Sam. 22:1). Although he was a sinner, his regular worship always brought him back to God. Even Elisha called for a minstrel so that the Holy Spirit would come upon him and allow him to prophesy. ‘“But now bring me a minstrel.’ And it came about, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.” (2 Kgs. 3:15). If Elisha needed worship to stay focused on God, no one is beyond needing it.

  • Worship music is an important field of battle in spiritual warfare. As a young man, God described David as a “a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior.” (1 Sam. 16:18). These titles did not refer to him as a physical warrior. Instead, they referred to him as a spiritual warrior. They also referred to him prophetically as a future warrior.

  • Develop your faith by singing God’s Word and seeing how it is fulfilled. When your faith is weak, you can make it grow by hearing the Word and seeing how it is confirmed. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Ro. 10:17). “So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” (Gal. 3:5). Developing your faith is important because an “unbelieving heart” will cause a person to fall away from God (Heb. 3:12). Are you reading and singing the Word to strengthen your faith?

2. Submission: Worship God to Remind You to Live in Submission to Jesus. 1 Chr. 25:2.

  • The worship leaders were subject to the authority of the king. The worship leaders were also loyal. Unless a king acted corruptly, they served in obedience to the king: “ Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah and Asharelah; the sons of Asaph were under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the direction of the king.” (1 Chr. 25:2). When the king was Spirit-led, the musical prophets supported him in submission to him.

As a man of God, David institutionalized the use of music with worship1

  • Asaph made contributions to worship that remain with us today. Within the clan of Gershon, Asaph was an important worship leader (1 Chr. 6:39-43). David’s Spirit-led appointment of Asaph benefited generations of future believers. He is mentioned several times in Chronicles for his worship (1 Chr. 15:17-19; 16:5, 7, 17; 25:2, 9). Furthermore, no less than 12 chapters of Psalms are attributed to him (Psalms 50, 73-83). Because of his influence, many future worship leaders were called “sons of Asaph” (2 Chr. 20:14; 29:13; Ezra 2:41; 3:10; Neh. 7:44; 11:17). His four sons Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah were each appointed by lot for service. As led by the Spirit, they received the third, fourth, fifth, and seventh lots for service (1 Chr. 25:9).

  • Submit to God’s will through worship. David submitted to God’s will by faithfully using his gift of music prophesy to try to deliver his former master, King Saul: “So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.” (1 Sam. 16:23). David also faithfully submitted to Saul through worship, even when Saul tried to kill him: “Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and a spear was in Saul’s hand.” (1 Sam. 18:10). Believers are also called to submit to one another, just as Jesus submitted His life for everyone who would believe in Him: “and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” (Eph. 5:21). “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matt. 23:11; Lk. 22:26). If you struggle in your submission to Jesus, examine the strength of your worship life.

  • Worship was meant to remind Israel’s King to serve the King of Kings. As the worship leaders sang in service to the king, the king was reminded to sing in service and submission to the King of Kings. When Moses prophesied of the day when Israel would demand a king, he warned that God as the King of Kings would select the kings “you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.” (Dt. 17:17). Moses gave this counsel so that no king would boast that he became king based upon his own merit. The people previously wanted a king “like all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5). David showed that he was a man after God’s heart by giving God all the credit for selecting him to be the next king. “Yet, the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.” (1 Chron. 28:4). When you are successful in your endeavors and people praise you, do you turn that praise to God through worship?

3. Thanksgiving: Praise God For Everything, Even in Your Sorrow. 1 Chr. 25:3.

  • Jeduthun led worship songs of thanksgiving. Of the worship leaders, Jeduthun and his sons were known for their songs of thanksgiving: “Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun with the harp, who prophesied in giving thanks and praising the Lord.” (1 Chr. 25:3). Jeduthun was from the Merari clan of the tribe of Levi. His name means praise, or praising. Jeduthun’s six sons lived in submission to their father as he led the family and the nation in songs of thanksgiving for all of God’s blessings.

The Levites led the Jews in songs of thanksgiving2

  • Praise and worship Jesus for all things good or bad. Jesus wants you to praise Him in both good times and bad times: “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,” (2 Sam. 22:47). “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my savior, You save me from violence.” (2 Sam. 22:3). “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” (Dt. 32:4). “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Ps. 18:2, 31, 46; 19:14). Worship helps to clear your mind to receive God’s Word when your world is in turmoil. Thus, you should never skip the worship that precedes the message at Church. Through Jesus’ model prayer for you (the Lord’s prayer), He also invites believers to begin by praising God’s holy name (Matt. 6:9). Do you praise Jesus for all your successes? Are you also praising Him during your trials?

  • Hannah’s song of thanksgiving. Hannah’s songs of thanksgiving also illustrate how you should always give praise. After God heard her prayers for a son, she gave away her son Samuel to serve God (1 Sam. 1:28). While most would weep in sorrow, she sang a song of praise: “Then Hannah prayed and said, ‘My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord, my mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation. There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” (1 Sam. 2:1-2). Her song in times of sorrow is recorded for your instruction (Ro. 15:5; 2 Tim. 3:16). If you have suffered a loss or illness, “in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18). “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;” (Eph. 5:20). Are you praising him in times of loss or sadness?

4. Exaltation: Worship God to Exalt His Unique and Mighty Power. 1 Chr. 25:4-5.

  • Heman and his family led the Jews in exalting God. David referred to Heman as his seer because his worship songs of exaltation helped him to see God for His mighty and awesome power: “Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer to exalt him according to the words of God, for God gave fourteen sons and three daughters to Heman.” (1 Chr. 25:4-5). Because of his heart of exaltation, God blessed Heman with 14 sons and three daughters. He raised his 17 children to serve God as he did.

  • David’s praise and amazement at God’s omnipotent power. David’s psalms also paid tribute to God’s awesome and indescribable power to solve any problem: ‘“Then the earth shook and quaked, the foundations of heaven were trembling and were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went up out of His nostrils, fire from His mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it. 10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet. 11 And He rode on a cherub and flew; and He appeared on the wings of the wind. 12 And He made darkness canopies around Him, a mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky. 13 From the brightness before Him coals of fire were kindled. 14 The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice. 15 And He sent out arrows, and scattered them, lightning, and routed them. 16 Then the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were laid bare by the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of His nostrils.”’ (2 Sam. 22:8-16). David bolstered his faith as he described God’s omnipotent power in anthropological terms. David knew that there was no problem that was too big for the Creator of the universe to solve. God was so eager to use His power to rescue David and demonstrate His faithfulness that David perceived the ground shake as God intervened to help him (2 Sam. 22:8). The Creator of the universe is just as interested in using His power for you.

  • God wants to use His power to help you as well. Other psalms also refer to God’s awesome power: “The earth quaked; the heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.” (Ps. 66:8). Moses used similar terms to describe God’s mighty power when He appeared at Mount Horeb / Sinai: “Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder.” (Ex. 19:18-19). The judge Deborah also used similar words in her song of deliverance to describe God: “LORD, when You went out from Seir, when You marched from the field of Edom, the earth quaked, the heavens also dripped, even the clouds dripped water. The mountains quaked at the presence of the LORD, this Sinai, at the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (Jdgs. 5:4-5). “Mountains quake because of Him and the hills dissolve; indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, the world and all the inhabitants in it.” (Nahum 1:5; Is. 64:1; Hab. 3:3-15). God further uses His power to protect His people: “Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel.” (1 Sam. 7:10). He also wants to help you as well.

  • Exalting God’s power can help you to know that you can cry out for deliverance. Knowing that God was all powerful gave David the faith to cry out when he needed deliverance: “A Prayer. I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see; for there is no one who regards me; there is no escape for me; no one cares for my soul. I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. Bring my soul out of prison, so that I may give thanks to Your name; the righteous will surround me, for You will deal bountifully with me.”’ (Ps. 142:1-7). Are you exalting God so that you will trust Him in your times of need?

  • Exalt the Lord in praise when you feel weak or under attack. Hannah prayed “my horn is exalted in the Lord . . .” (1 Sam. 2:1). In the Bible, horns symbolize power, strength, and refuge (Dt. 33:17; Ps. 18:2; 75:4-5, 10; 89:17; 92:10; Lk. 1:69; Lam. 2:3; 1 Kgs. 1:50; 2:28). Hannah also revealed that God was her “rock”, another reference to her strength (1 Sam 2:2). Moses revealed that God was also the “rock” of Israel (Dt. 32:30-31). Jesus can also be your rock (the rejected “chief cornerstone”) and your strength when you submit Him (Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Mk. 12:10; Lk. 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ro. 9:33). In her submission to God, He gave Hannah the power to speak “boldly against my enemies. . .” (1 Sam. 2:1). Centuries later, Mary gave a similar song of praise after her virgin birth to the Messiah Jesus: “And Mary said: ‘My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him.” (Lk. 1:46-50). God wants you to follow the examples of Hannah and Mary to sing your own song of praises.

  • Submit to and trust the power of the Creator of the universe. David reminded the Jews that the other gods were worthless idols in comparison to the power of the Creator of the universe (1 Chr. 16:26). Jesus created the universe with His Word: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Col. 1:16; Jo. 1:3; Gen. 1:1). Jesus then stretched out the heavens with His hands: “Who alone stretches out the heavens and tramples down the waves of the sea;” (Job 9:8; Ps. 104:2; Is. 40:22; 51:13; Jer. 10:12; 51:15). When you have a need and cry out to Him through your worship, there is nothing that is beyond His power.

  • Exalting God can also help you to trust God to deliver you from sorrow. Heman is mentioned several times as a Temple worship leader (1 Chr. 15:17-19; 16:41-42; 25:1-7; 2 Chr. 5:12-13). More importantly, Palms 88 is attributed to him. Heman’s contribution is also important because he showed that your worship can include pouring out your burdens to God: “ . . . A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite. O LORD, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You. Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry! For my soul has had enough troubles, and my life has drawn near to Sheol.” (Ps. 88:2-3, 13). By exalting God, Heman had the faith to know that God could deliver him. You can also give your burdens to Jesus, your Creator.

5. Obedience: Worship God to Help Motivate You to Serve in Obedience. 1 Chr. 25:6.

  • The worship leaders served both God and king in obedience. The worship leaders played their instruments in joyful service to God: “All these were under the direction of their father to sing in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, harps and lyres, for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the direction of the king.” (1 Chr. 25:6). Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman led the three families in service to “the house of God”. They also served “under the direction of the king.” As an outgrowth of their worship, they desired to serve others in obedience to God’s will in their lives.

  • God desires obedience more than mere words of song. God wants your heart of obedience more than empty songs of praise. “Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Sam. 15:22). David previously learned that “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” (Ps. 51:17). If you don’t feel obedient to God’s will in your life, check your heart when you sing. If you are merely going through the motions, your service to God will most likely also merely go through the motions.

  • Jesus is not your Lord if you refuse to do what He says. Obedience is no small matter. It is a sign regarding whether you truly know Jesus in your heart. A believer may proclaim Jesus as Lord. Yet, Jesus is not your Lord if you disobey Him: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matt. 7:21). “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Lk. 6:46; Jam. 1:22). “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt. 7:24). “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Matt. 7:26). If you call Jesus your Lord, are you obeying Him in all aspects of your life?

6. Spirit-Led: Worship to Experience the Holy Spirit and Let Him Lead You. 1 Chr. 25:7-8.

  • The use of lots to divide and select the musicians. Like the other Levities who served in the Temple, the worship leaders allowed the Holy Spirit to guide their service through the selection of lots. “Their number who were trained in singing to the Lord, with their relatives, all who were skillful, was 288. They cast lots for their duties, all alike, the small as well as the great, the teacher as well as the pupil.” (1 Chr. 25:7-8). The process of lots allowed everyone to know that the selection process was both fair and transparent. It also allowed the Holy Spirit to guide the selection process. David previously organized 24 groups of Levites to serve in the Temple on a rotating basis. The 288 worship leaders meant that 12 singers, the number for God’s perfect government, could serve each group.

  • Being led by the Holy Spirit can also allow you to fully experience God’s glory. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus allows believers to experience part of His glory: “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;” (Jo. 17:22). Today, God’s Holy Spirit dwells within you (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:22; Heb. 3:6; Rom. 13:14; 2 Tim. 1:14). Whenever two or more are gathered in His name, His presence is also there (Matt. 18:20). Thus, a believer must therefore not forsake the fellowship of other believers (Heb. 10:25). When you worship within the Body of Christ, the Holy Spirit allows you to fully experience His power.

  • Be filled with the joy of the Spirit. Jesus offers you an abundant life: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (Jo. 10:10). The abundant life that He offers includes the peace and joy that only the Holy Spirit can provide: “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Ro. 14:17). “[I]n Your presence is fullness of joy;” (Ps. 16:11; 21:6). Joy is also a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22; Ro. 14:17; 15:13). Living your faith and walking with Jesus also involves sharing the joy of the Spirit with others (Phil. 2:17). If you are missing joy in your life, join others in meaningful worship.

7. Faithfulness: Worship Should Faithfully be Done on an Ongoing Basis. 1 Chr. 25:9-31.

  • The 24 orders of musicians. As led by the Holy Spirit, David divided the Levities into 24 divisions for service in the Temple (1 Chr. 24:4-18). David selected a worship leader to guide each group of 12 musicians for the 24 orders of priests when they served God: “Now the first lot came out for Asaph to Joseph, the second for Gedaliah, he with his relatives and sons were twelve; 10 the third to Zaccur, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 11 the fourth to Izri, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 12 the fifth to Nethaniah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 13 the sixth to Bukkiah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 14 the seventh to Jesharelah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 15 the eighth to Jeshaiah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 16 the ninth to Mattaniah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 17 the tenth to Shimei, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 18 the eleventh to Azarel, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 19 the twelfth to Hashabiah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 20 for the thirteenth, Shubael, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 21 for the fourteenth, Mattithiah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 22 for the fifteenth to Jeremoth, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 23 for the sixteenth to Hananiah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 24 for the seventeenth to Joshbekashah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 25 for the eighteenth to Hanani, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 26 for the nineteenth to Mallothi, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 27 for the twentieth to Eliathah, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 28 for the twenty-first to Hothir, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 29 for the twenty-second to Giddalti, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 30 for the twenty-third to Mahazioth, his sons and his relatives, twelve; 31 for the twenty-fourth to Romamti-ezer, his sons and his relatives, twelve.” (1 Chr. 25:9-31). For the 24 orders of priests, there were a total of 288 worship leaders. These 288 leaders further guided 4,000 who played musical instruments in devotion (1 Chr. 23:5). This ensured that God's people worshiped Him in an orderly manner (1 Cor. 14:40). It also ensured that everyone had a role in worship. Everyone was called to participate. Most importantly, David’s reforms ensured faithful ongoing worship in Israel.

  • The worship leaders served in humility. Of the list of 24 worship leaders, only the ninth Mattithiah (1 Chr. 25:16) appears anywhere else in the Bible (1 Chr. 15:18, 21). Thus, it might at first feel like extraneous detail for the 24 specific names to be listed here. All we know is that they quietly served in humility to ensure that worship remained ongoing.

  • Faithfully worship God on an ongoing basis. God raised up the priests to ensure that the people would faithfully serve and worship Him: “But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always.” (1 Sam. 2:35). Jesus was the High Priest who fulfilled this promise (Heb. 4:5). He is faithful even when you are not (2 Tim. 2:13). In response to God’s faithfulness, He wants you to be faithful. This includes ongoing faith-led worship that you practice on an ongoing basis.