AN AUDIENCE OF ONE
Lord, thank You for Your presence among us.
Read 1 CHRONICLES 15:25—16:6
25 So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of units of a thousand went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-Edom, with rejoicing. 26 Because God had helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed. 27 Now David was clothed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and as were the musicians, and Kenaniah, who was in charge of the singing of the choirs. David also wore a linen ephod. 28 So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps.
29 As the ark of the covenant of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.
Ministering Before the Ark
16 They brought the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before God. 2 After David had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. 3 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each Israelite man and woman.
4 He appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to extol, thank, and praise the Lord, the God of Israel: 5 Asaph was the chief, and next to him in rank were Zechariah, then Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel. They were to play the lyres and harps, Asaph was to sound the cymbals, 6 and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow the trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
The symbol of God’s presence and glory among the Israelites now finally rests at the heart of national life after its many years of nomadic wandering. Obedient observance of God’s instructions for transporting the Ark of the Covenant makes this a day to be remembered. It is an occasion of abundant joy, producing overflowing generosity. The spirit of adoration and thanksgiving which characterizes this day leads David to establish an enduring institution of worship, involving the Levites as its consecrated leaders. David’s own words in Psalm 22:3 encourage us to believe that God is present in the midst of his worshipping community: “You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (NRSV).
David himself provides a model of what uninhibited joy in worship can look like. His exuberant dancing and celebrating may not have pleased his wife Michal (29), but David is not concerned if people think he is undignified. His audience is the Lord. Why should he (we) worry about what others think if God is truly central to his (our) worship? As worshippers of the true and living God, how does our enthusiasm compare with the often wild excitement of those who adore the gods of the football stadium or the rock arena?
David’s joyful exuberance before God is not the selfish action of a mere attention-grabber or thrill-seeker! It issues in remarkable generosity towards others. After providing all that is necessary for the appropriate burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, David sends the worshippers away, both male and female (not only the men, who were traditionally the heads of their households) with delicious food for their own personal enjoyment. Genuine worship fills us with joy in and from God that leads us to be generous towards others, as God has been generous towards us.
Reflect on Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!” Do people around you see your joy in God and benefit from it?
Lord, I worship You in my own way, caring nothing for what others may think, for You are the object of my affection on earth.