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Jottings

In the service of God in connexion with the Tabernacle as instituted by Moses in the wilderness at the command of God there was no song. There was the sounding of the silver trumpets, but these trumpets were not made, nor were the instructions given to make them, in connexion with the Tabernacle and its vessels. The instructions for the making of the two silver trumpets and their use is given in Numbers 10.1-10. One of the purposes of the sounding of the silver trumpets was

"In the day of your gladness, and in your set feasts, and in the beginning of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God."

Otherwise the sacrifices were offered without any attendant song. The only sound was perchance the groan of the animal as it fell to the offerer's knife and the gurgle of its blood as it gave its life for the offerer or offerers, whether for committed sin, or for peace and fellowship, or for acceptance with God, as in the case of sin, peace and burnt offerings. It was a weary round all this bloodshed Why was it necessary? Because man was a sinner and if he was to be forgiven and live in fellowship with, and be accepted by God then death must take place Propitiation must be made to God who hate, sin with a holy hatred The shedding of blood was to make the Israelite feel how serious a matter sin is in the sight of God The sentence of death is upon every sinner who is not covered by atoning blood

The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18. 4, 20) " The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6.23). No less punishment than death is the penalty of sin

Israel sang by the Red Sea the song of Jehovah's victory and their deliverance (Exodus 15). They also sang of the well that the princes digged when the LORD gave them water in the wilderness (Numbers 21. 16.18). But there were no Levitical singers in the Tabernacle in Moses' days and for many years after. Not until the days of David did the songs of the LORD find a place in the service of God.

It is a somewhat remarkable thing, that though the truth of the house of God had so large a place in the heart of David, David never saw the service of God in connexion with the Tabernacle, and the service of song instituted by himself at the command of God, united in one building. Asaph and his brethren ministered before the ark of the LORD in Zion (1 Chronicles 16.4-6, 37), but Reman and Jeduthan, and the rest that were chosen gave thanks to the LORD before the Tabernacle of the LORD in the high place at Gibeon with trumpets and cymbals and instruments for the songs of God (1 Chronicles 16.41, 42). Row David longed to see the service of sacrifice and of song united in one place, in Jerusalem, the place of God's choice! Re toiled and gathered together vast treasure with this in view, but he had to hand it over to Solomon to do the work which lie thought he might have had the privilege of doing. In Solomon's early days the temple was built and the two services were united.

In the time of Hezekiah we have a clear picture of the service of sacrifice and of song united together. Please read 2 Chronicles 29.20-29. We quote a part thereof

"And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also, and the trumpets, together with the instruments of David king of Israel. And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished" (verses 27, 28).

The sacrifice and the song are clearly united in the thoughts of God, for the service of song was "according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet: for the commandment was of the LORD by

His prophets."

As those will see who get the volume of this magazine for this year, in the companion article to this, that from the days of David the sacrifices, particularly the burnt offerings, were associated with the songs of the LORD (2 Chronicles 29. 20-29). Though to sacrifice (Zabach) means 'to slaughter an animal' yet the offering of thanksgiving came to be regarded as offering a sacrifice.

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men And let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare His works with singing" (Psalm 107.21,22; 116.1).

So closely were the thoughts of offering animal sacrifices with those of offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving, that we find Hosea saying,

"Take with you words, and return unto the LORD: soy unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and accept that which is good: so will we render as bullocks the offering of our lips " (Hosea 14.2).

David too, who had a high appreciation of holy the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorified God (Psalm 50.23), is found saying,

"I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

And it shall please the LORD better than on ox, Or a bullock that hath horns and hoofs " (Psalm 69.30, 31).

Immediately following Isaiah 53, which more than any other portion of the Old Testament deals with the Lord's sacrifice, we have in the opening words of chapter 54 the exhortation to sing:

"Sing, 0 barren, thou that didst not bear ; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child : for more are the children of the desolate then the children of the married wife, saith the LORD."

Reference should be made to Galatians 4 as to Paul's allegorical teaching on these words with reference to the Old and New Covenants and the children thereof. There would have been no song had the Lord not been the Sacrifice. But the New Song of redemption shall echo and re-echo for evermore. See Revelation

5.8-10. This song begins with the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders, but the worthiness of the Lamb shall be the theme of all the heavenly host and of every living creature beside.

We have also the Lord's sacrifice and song in Psalm 22. From verse 1 to verse 21 we have the Lord's suffering on the cross depicted. Then in verse 22 we read,

I will declare Thy name unto My brethren in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee."

Note that it is not in the midst of His brethren that He sings God's praise but it is in the midst of the church (Hebrews 2.12). His brethren are such as have all one Father, He the eternal Son, and we who are born again through faith in the Son. The name which He declares to them is the name, Father, that precious name of God in the New Covenant. We have said that He does not sing God's praise in the midst of His brethren, but in the midst of the church, that is, in the midst of a called out and gathered-together people. In association with Hun who is the High Priest and the sweet Singer of the praise of God, it is our privilege to offer the sacrifice of the praise of our God.

"Through Him then let us offer up the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to His name" (Hebrews 13.15).

This is the privilege of those who have gone forth unto Him without the

camp to bear His reproach. See verse 13.