I was reading through 1 Chronicles today and came across this verse “So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel” (1 Chronicles 15:14 ESV).
The question came to my mind: “Do I consecrate myself to the work that God has called me to?” “What does consecration even mean?” Before looking it up context points toward setting myself apart for a religious work. The Levites would consecrate themselves before doing what God had called them to because the work of God is sacred. I got to thinking about my primary religious work, preaching and teaching. How often do I just get up and teach a lesson or Bible Study but fail to recognize the sacredness of being giving the privilege of doing such a task? I feel convicted because this Sunday I didn’t even look at my Sunday School lesson until Sunday Morning. That would be the opposite of consecration.
Now it’s time to do a word study. If you’ve ever gone through Francis Chan’s BASIC Series (you should) he talks about how goofy Christians get with their word studies. The example he gives is telling his daughter to go clean her room. She get excited and goes to her friend “My dad told me to clean my room. We should get together one night and pray about what it would look like to clean our rooms. Let’s find examples of people cleaning their rooms.” All the time the dad is like “GO CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM!” So I’m trying not to fall into that trap. But I honestly have never studied up on what consecration is in the Bible.
Merriam-Webster’s: Consecrate: 1) dedicated to a sacred purpose. 2) to induct (a person) into a permanent office with a religious rite; to ordain into the office of bishop: to make or declare sacred; to devote irrevocably to the worship of God by a solemn ceremony.
I looked up the Hebrew word and the Greek Septuagint
A primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): – appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self), X wholly.
From G53; to make clean, that is, (figuratively) sanctify (ceremonially or morally): – purity (self).
(as a side note e-sword is a free program that is very useful for studying the Bible)
My ESV Study Bible has note that says “David’s instruction to the priests and Levites to consecrate themselves denotes not only ritual actions and abstinences but also the internal attitude that should accompany the handling of holy things” (ESV Study Bible p724)
So if I am to consecrate myself before preaching, or other ministerial duties. I need to set myself apart and devote myself to God. So some questions I must answer. Do I pray for God’s anointing and power before preaching and teaching? Do I prepare sufficiently? Am I changed, convicted by the Word of God? Or do I just give a clever lecture? Do a maintain my holiness before God or do I have unrepented of sins in my life and heart? I’ve been called by God to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. I must therefore take this great task seriously and consecrate myself to the work of the Gospel.
Peace be with you,