"The rest of the people--the priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, and temple servants, and all who had separated themselves from the people of the land to obey the law of God--along with their wives and all their sons and daughters who were able to understand,
I. ALL SHOULD PLEDGE THEMSELVES "not to forsake the house of our God." Those who are first in position, influence, capability should be leaders in caring, for God's house. Distinction of rank is lost in the unity of dedication. The service of God will call to itself all the variety of human faculty. Where there is the heart "to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our God," there will be found an office or a post for each one, from the nobles to the children.
II. THE BOND WHICH BINDS US TO THE HOUSE OF GOD AND HIS SERVICE should be regarded as THE MOST SOLEMN AND IRREVOCABLE.
1. We should be ready to give our name and take upon us the vow of a public profession. The Jew placed himself under the oath and curse. We are in a dispensation of liberty, but our liberty is not license. The bond of love is the strongest of all bonds. We are made free by the Son of God; but our freedom is the surrender of our all to him, that we may take his yoke upon us, and bear his burden.
2. We shall separate ourselves from the world that we may be faithful to God. We cannot serve God and mammon. We must be free from entanglements, that we may be good soldiers of Jesus Christ, enduring hardness.
3. Our consecration to God will include the consecration of our substance. With ungrudging liberality we shall fill the "treasure house of our God," that there may be no lack in his service, that every department of Divine worship may be praise to his name. While the proportion of contributions was a matter of written prescription under the law, for the guidance of the people in their lower stage of enlightenment, let us take care that with our higher privilege, and our larger knowledge, and our more spiritual principles, we do not fall below their standard. Our hearts should not require any formal rule; but it is well to systematise our giving for our own sake, for human nature requires every possible assistance, and habit holds up principle and fortifies feeling. The effect of a universal recognition of duty in giving to God's house would be immeasurable. Any true revival of religion will certainly be known by this test. The larger hearts will secure a larger blessing in the future. - R.
And all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God.1. The crucial test of any revival is the extent to which it actually purifies and reforms the lives of those who come under its influence.
2. This is the kind of revival which ever and again we all need. For we are constantly liable to fall below the level of our Christian privileges. We are also apt to grow blind to out" own defects, and to under-estimate the extent of our own shortcomings. We have need to bring our lives into the light of God's holy law, and into the light of the life of Christ, that our consciences may be awakened to a truer and deeper penitence.
3. A repentance which is the fruit of A true revival of the religious life naturally goes into the details of conduct.
(T. Campbell Finlayson.)
And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land. —
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