THE RIGHT WORSHIP
Lord, I want to worship You properly.
Read 2 CHRONICLES 5:1–14
5 When all the work Solomon had done for the temple of the Lord was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated—the silver and gold and all the furnishings—and he placed them in the treasuries of God’s temple.
The Ark Brought to the Temple
2 Then Solomon summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. 3 And all the Israelites came together to the king at the time of the festival in the seventh month.
4 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the Levites took up the ark, 5 and they brought up the ark and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The Levitical priests carried them up; 6 and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.
7 The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 8 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and covered the ark and its carrying poles. 9 These poles were so long that their ends, extending from the ark, could be seen from in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. 10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
11 The priests then withdrew from the Holy Place. All the priests who were there had consecrated themselves, regardless of their divisions. 12 All the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives—stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang:
“He is good;
his love endures forever.”
Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, 14 and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple 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.
What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever experienced in a worship service? How did it affect your view of God?
I wonder if Solomon or any of his officials are thinking about that time David tried to move the Ark. It didn’t turn out well. Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the Ark and was struck dead. As a result, David became so resentful and fearful toward God that he refused to have anything to do with the Ark for a while. This time, Solomon seems intent upon getting it right: officials, pageantry, sacrifices beyond counting (2–14). A comparison between the Ark-transportation experiences of David and Solomon raises an interesting question: what makes worship right? What constitutes acceptable worship? Our passage gives us two answers.
The first bears on the response of the people. Regardless of our worship style, whether quiet and controlled, or loud and spontaneous, its focus must not be the order of service but the goodness and love of God (13). If our worship form is more important than our worship focus, then we’ve missed the point. In fact, the apostle Paul sternly warns Timothy about the dangers of this very tendency in the early church.
The second component of true worship lies outside of human control. When the priests set the Ark in place and the ceremony reaches its climax, something greater, far greater, happens: “the glory of the Lord filled the temple” (14). Experiencing God is what makes worship come alive—yet we must be careful not to let this reality become too familiar. Being attentive to God’s presence requires that we are ready to fall on our knees in repentance, honor and praise. That’s really what makes worship right.
How could your daily Bible reading become a daily worship experience? Take a few minutes earnestly to seek the presence of God.
Lord, I understand that we no longer need a temple in which to worship You because believers are living temples.