1 Chronicles 22-24The Message (MSG)
1 pray to God anymore. So David declared, “From now on, this is the site for the worship of God; this is the place for Israel’s Altar of Burnt Offering.”
David Charges Solomon to Build The Temple
22 2-4 David ordered all the resident aliens in the land to come together; he sent them to the stone quarries to cut dressed stone to build The Temple of God. He also stockpiled a huge quantity of iron for nails and bracings for the doors of the gates, more bronze than could be weighed, and cedar logs past counting (the Sidonians and Tyrians shipped in huge loads of cedar logs for David).
5-6 David was thinking, “My son Solomon is too young to plan ahead for this. But the sanctuary that is to be built for God has to be the greatest, the talk of all the nations; so I’ll get the construction materials together.” That’s why David prepared this huge stockpile of building materials before he died. Then he called in Solomon his son and commanded him to build a sanctuary for the God of Israel.
7-10 David said to Solomon, “I wanted in the worst way to build a sanctuary to honor my God. But God prevented me, saying, ‘You’ve killed too many people, fought too many wars. You are not the one to honor me by building a sanctuary—you’ve been responsible for too much killing, too much bloodshed. But you are going to have a son and he will be a quiet and peaceful man, and I will calm his enemies down on all sides. His very name will speak peace—that is, Solomon, which means Peace—and I’ll give peace and rest under his rule. He will be the one to build a sanctuary in my honor. He’ll be my royal adopted son and I’ll be his father; and I’ll make sure that the authority of his kingdom over Israel lasts forever.’
11-16 “So now, son, God be with you. God-speed as you build the sanctuary for your God, the job God has given you. And may God also give you discernment and understanding when he puts you in charge of Israel so that you will rule in reverent obedience under God’s Revelation. That’s what will make you successful, following the directions and doing the things that God commanded Moses for Israel. Courage! Take charge! Don’t be timid; don’t hold back. Look at this—I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to stockpile materials for the sanctuary of God: a hundred thousand talents (3,775 tons) of gold, a million talents (37,750 tons) of silver, tons of bronze and iron—too much to weigh—and all this timber and stone. And you’re free to add more. And workers both plentiful and prepared: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, artisans in gold and silver, bronze and iron. You’re all set—get to work! And God-speed!”
17-19 David gave orders to all of Israel’s leaders to help his son Solomon, saying, “Isn’t it obvious that your God is present with you; that he has given you peaceful relations with everyone around? My part in this was to put down the enemies, subdue the land to God and his people; your part is to give yourselves, heart and soul, to praying to your God. So get moving—build the sacred house of worship to God! Then bring the Chest of the Covenant of God and all the holy furnishings for the worship of God into the sanctuary built in honor of God.”
Preparations for Worship
23 When David got to be an old man, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.
2-5 At the same time he brought together all the leaders of Israel, the priests, and the Levites. The Levites thirty years and older were counted; the total was thirty-eight thousand. David sorted them into work groups: “Twenty-four thousand are in charge of administering worship in the sanctuary; six thousand are officials and judges; four thousand are security guards; and four thousand are to serve in the orchestra, praising God with instruments that I have provided for praise.”
6 David then divided the Levites into groupings named after the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
7-11 The Gershonites: Ladan and Shimei. The three sons of Ladan: Jehiel, Zetham, and Joel. The three sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran, all heads of the families of Ladan. The four sons of Shimei: Jahath, Ziza, Jeush, and Beriah. Jahath came first, followed by Ziza. Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons so they were counted as one family with one task.
12-14 The four sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was especially ordained to work in the Holy of Holies, to burn incense before God, to serve God and bless his Name always. This was a permanent appointment for Aaron and his sons. Moses and his sons were counted in the tribe of Levi.
15-17 The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer. Shubael was the first son of Gershom. Rehabiah was the first and only son of Eliezer; but though Eliezer had no other sons, Rehabiah had many sons.
18-23 Shelomith was the first son of Izhar. Hebron had four sons: Jeriah, Amariah, Jahaziel, and Jekameam. Uzziel had two sons: Micah and Isshiah. The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar died without any sons, only daughters. Their cousins, the sons of Kish, married the daughters. Mushi had three sons: Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.
24 These are the sons of Levi twenty years and older, divided up according to families and heads of families and listed in the work groups that took care of the worship in the sanctuary of God.
25-27 David said, “Now that the God of Israel has given rest to his people and made Jerusalem his permanent home, the Levites no longer have to carry the Tabernacle and all the furniture required for the work of worship.” These last words of David referred only to Levites twenty years old and above.
28-31 From now on the assigned work of the Levites was to assist Aaron’s sons in the work of worship in God’s house: maintain courtyards and closets, keep the furniture and utensils of worship clean, take care of any extra work needed in the work of worship, and provide bread for the table and flour for the Meal Offerings and the unraised wafers—all baking and mixing, all measuring and weighing. Also they were to be present for morning prayers, thanking and praising God, for evening prayers, and at the service of Whole-Burnt-Offerings to God on Sabbath, at New Moons, and at all festivals. They were on regular duty to serve God according to their assignment and the required number.
32 In short, the Levites, with the sons of Aaron as their companions in the ministry of holy worship, were responsible for everything that had to do with worship: the place and times and ordering of worship.
24 1-5 The family of Aaron was grouped as follows: Aaron’s sons were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died before their father and left no sons. So Eleazar and Ithamar filled the office of priest. David assigned Zadok from the family of Eleazar and Ahimelech from the family of Ithamar and assigned them to separate divisions for carrying out their appointed ministries. It turned out that there were more leaders in Eleazar’s family than in Ithamar’s and so they divided them proportionately: sixteen clan leaders from Eleazar’s family and eight clan leaders from Ithamar’s family. They assigned the leaders by lot, treating both families alike, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of God among both the Eleazar and Ithamar families.
6 The secretary Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, wrote down their names in the presence of the king, the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the leaders of the priestly and Levitical families. They took turns: One family was selected from Eleazar and then one from Ithamar.
7-18 The first lot fell to Jehoiarib,
19 They served in this appointed order when they entered The Temple of God, following the procedures laid down by their ancestor Aaron as God, the God of Israel, had commanded him.
20 The rest of the Levites are as follows:
From the sons of Amram: Shubael; from the sons of Shubael: Jehdeiah.
21 Concerning Rehabiah: from his sons, Isshiah was the first.
22 From the Izharites: Shelomoth; from the sons of Shelomoth: Jahath.
23 The sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.
24-25 The son of Uzziel: Micah, and from the sons of Micah: Shamir. The brother of Micah was Isshiah, and from the sons of Isshiah: Zechariah.
26-27 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The son of Jaaziah: Beno. The sons of Merari from Jaaziah: Beno, Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri.
28 From Mahli: Eleazar, who had no sons.
29 From Kish: Jerahmeel, the son of Kish.
30-31 And from the sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.
These were the Levites by their families. They also cast lots, the same as their kindred the sons of Aaron had done, in the presence of David the king, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the leaders of the priestly and Levitical families. The families of the oldest and youngest brothers were treated the same.
John 8:28-59The Message (MSG)
27-29 They still didn’t get it, didn’t realize that he was referring to the Father. So Jesus tried again. “When you raise up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am—that I’m not making this up, but speaking only what the Father taught me. The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn’t abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him.”
30 When he put it in these terms, many people decided to believe.
If the Son Sets You Free
31-32 Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”
33 Surprised, they said, “But we’re descendants of Abraham. We’ve never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, ‘The truth will free you’?”
34-38 Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. I know you are Abraham’s descendants. But I also know that you are trying to kill me because my message hasn’t yet penetrated your thick skulls. I’m talking about things I have seen while keeping company with the Father, and you just go on doing what you have heard from your father.”
39-41 They were indignant. “Our father is Abraham!”
Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would have been doing the things Abraham did. And yet here you are trying to kill me, a man who has spoken to you the truth he got straight from God! Abraham never did that sort of thing. You persist in repeating the works of your father.”
They said, “We’re not bastards. We have a legitimate father: the one and only God.”
42-47 “If God were your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side.”
I Am Who I Am
48 The Jews then said, “That clinches it. We were right all along when we called you a Samaritan and said you were crazy—demon-possessed!”
49-51 Jesus said, “I’m not crazy. I simply honor my Father, while you dishonor me. I am not trying to get anything for myself. God intends something gloriously grand here and is making the decisions that will bring it about. I say this with absolute confidence. If you practice what I’m telling you, you’ll never have to look death in the face.”
52-53 At this point the Jews said, “Now we know you’re crazy. Abraham died. The prophets died. And you show up saying, ‘If you practice what I’m telling you, you’ll never have to face death, not even a taste.’ Are you greater than Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you think you are!”
54-56 Jesus said, “If I turned the spotlight on myself, it wouldn’t amount to anything. But my Father, the same One you say is your Father, put me here at this time and place of splendor. You haven’t recognized him in this. But I have. If I, in false modesty, said I didn’t know what was going on, I would be as much of a liar as you are. But I do know, and I am doing what he says. Abraham—your ‘father’—with jubilant faith looked down the corridors of history and saw my day coming. He saw it and cheered.”
57 The Jews said, “You’re not even fifty years old—and Abraham saw you?”
58 “Believe me,” said Jesus, “I am who I am long before Abraham was anything.”
59 That did it—pushed them over the edge. They picked up rocks to throw at him. But Jesus slipped away, getting out of the Temple.