and said, "Levites, listen! Consecrate yourselves and consecrate The Temple of God - give this much-defiled place a good housecleaning.
Our ancestors went wrong and lived badly before God - they discarded him, turned away from this house where we meet with God, and walked off.
They boarded up the doors, turned out the lights, and canceled all the acts of worship of the God of Israel in the holy Temple.
And because of that, God's anger flared up and he turned those people into a public exhibit of disaster, a moral history lesson - look and read!
This is why our ancestors were killed, and this is why our wives and sons and daughters were taken prisoner and made slaves.
"I have decided to make a covenant with the God of Israel and turn history around so that God will no longer be angry with us.
Children, don't drag your feet in this! God has chosen you to take your place before him to serve in conducting and leading worship - this is your life work; make sure you do it and do it well."
The Levites stood at attention: Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah from the Kohathites; Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel from the Merarites; Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah from the Gershonites;
Shimri and Jeiel sons of Elizaphan; Zechariah and Mattaniah sons of Asaph;
Jehiel and Shimei of the family of Heman; Shemaiah and Uzziel of the family of Jeduthun.
They presented themselves and their brothers, consecrated themselves, and set to work cleaning up The Temple of God as the king had directed - as God directed!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)