Today’s reading: I Chronicles 23-25; John 11:1-17
8 And they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike. 9 The first lot fell for Asaph to Joseph; I Chronicles 25:8,9a
3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:3-4
God assigns work to His people which results in their good and His glory.
In John 11, we learn about the illness and subsequent death of a friend of Jesus named Lazarus. We also get a glimpse into the two benefits that came from this sickness and death. First, it was for the glory of God and so that the Son of God would be glorified through it (John 11:4). Jesus would show His power in this incident and the disciples would learn more about His glory. Second, it was so that those disciples might believe (John 11:14-15). Jesus was all about teaching His disciples so that they might believe in Him.
Death is universal. No mere human has ever solved the problem of death. Everyone dies. Some younger; some older. You and I will die. But Jesus, the Son of God, came to give eternal life to all who hear His word and believe God (John 5:24). Believers have hope of life eternal. This world is not the end. There is life after this life. Not only that, Lazarus had a role to play, albeit passive, in Jesus’ lesson on the resurrection. Lazarus had the assignment of getting sick and dying so that the glory of God would be seen and the disciples would believe.
Under David’s reign, God’s people were also given assignments for His glory. In today’s reading, there are long lists of people who had responsibilities in the service of worship, such as playing musical instruments. Maybe you find the lists of names tedious to read, but if your name were on that list you would not. Those listed there had positions, an assignment, a specific job to do, and a time and place to do it.
It is thrilling to know we have a place in God’s great cosmic plan. You may have to suffer like Lazarus for God’s glory and the building up of His people. You may play an instrument so that the worship of God is done with excellence. There are innumerable ways that we may be assigned to glorify God and to build up the faith of His people. We may be conscious of how we are doing that, like Asaph and the others whose names we read, or we may be merely patient in suffering, like Lazarus, but, make no mistake, God has an assignment for you, if you are His (Ephesians 2:8-10). Seek to glorify Him whether you are clearly conscious of your role or not. Just think, the story of the raising of Lazarus was told around supper tables and campfires for decades to come and God was glorified. May you complete your assignment, too.