COMMANDERS OF THE ARMY: Interestingly, the priests and
Levites here are designated by a military term: they are, in effect, the
"captains" ("sarim") of the LORD's "host" or army ("tsaba"). In other words they
are "warring the warfare" of the Temple! Just as the whole nation of Israel was
organized into the semblance of an elaborate military encampment in the
wilderness, the tabernacle -- where the glory of the LORD dwelt in their midst
-- was the "campaign headquarters.
This figure of speech -- of the worship and service of God
being a military service -- is also prominent in the NT, where for example Paul
exhorts Timothy: "I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies
once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight"
(1Ti 1:18), and tells the Corinthian brethren: "For though we live in the world,
we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the
weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish
strongholds" (2Co 10:3,4). In fact, he pictures the believer in the likeness of
a Roman soldier, fully equipped and armed to fight the battle of faith (Eph
6:11-17). And thereby the deadly nature of the enterprise of the Christian life
is underlined: those who follow Christ are engaged in a fight to the death
against sin, both inside and outside!
THE MINISTRY OF PROPHESYING, ACCOMPANIED BY HARPS, LYRES,
AND CYMBALS: Proving conclusively that music is a fit medium for teaching!
This ordering of the singers must have pleased David, the sweet psalmist of
Israel (2Sa 23:1). However, we should not presume that David did this just
because he liked music. Rather, it was part of his service to God. Likewise, our
singing should not be for our pleasure or entertainment, but to the glory of the
MUSIC FOR THE LORD: "Let the word of Christ dwell in
you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you
sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God"