TODAY’S READING FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT- 1 CHRONICLES 15:1- 16:36
David completes building his home palace in Jerusalem and prepares a tent to receive the ark of the covenant.
Keep in mind that the ark of the covenant symbolizes the throne of God, and it had been absent from the tent of meeting at Shiloh for over 75 years. The Philistines captured it when Eli was judge and then returned it when they began to experience God’s judgement. The ark traveled to Beth Shemesh, then to Kiriath Jearim, where it was kept in the house of Abinadab (1 Samuel 5:1-7:1) and then to the house of Obededom, a Levite. When David became king, he set up the tabernacle in the court in Jerusalem while the ark was still at Gibeon.
David wanted to honor the fact that the Lord was the King of Israel by having the ark of the Lord’s presence with him at Jerusalem, even though the furnishings of the temple would not be moved until Solomon completed the temple (2 Chronicles 5:1-5).
David now gives careful attention to have the ark transported as stipulated in the law of God, carried with two staves of wood on the shoulders of the Kohathites, rather than adapting to what appeared to be a more culturally relevant Philistine cart.
Singers were appointed by the Levites to sing joyful songs as the people retrieved the ark from the house of Obededom ten miles away. Vocalists, percussionists, horn, trumpet and string instrument players were selected with recognition of Levitical tribal affiliation and skill.
Sacrifices were offered in acknowledgement of the Lord helping the Levites in their service (7 bulls and 7 rams).
David, the Levites and Kenaniah, the chief choirmaster, were dressed in robes of fine linen. David is also wearing a linen ephod.
Once again, it is noted that David’s wife, Michal, the daughter of Saul, was not participating, but watched from a window, as David accompanied the ark in the procession entering the city. As David is dancing and celebrating the symbolic significance of having the presence of their covenant-keeping God where it belongs, in the center of their lives, Michal is despising David’s behaving more as a priest, or a common celebrant, than a king. This contrast poses a question. When it comes to celebrating God’s covenant promises of His presence and provisions in Christ, are we on the outside looking in, or have we embraced them to the degree that we want them to be in the center of our lives?
There are some wives and husbands that want to have the preeminence in the affections of their spouse, and that is the way it should be in respect to all other human relationships. But there must be a recognition of the preeminent place of our Creator/Redeemer/Covenant Keeping God as the central focus of our lives.
This is the FIRST commandment and in line with the GREAT commandment. “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). “You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, and ALL your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37). Jesus took this commandment and applied it to Himself:
Luke 14:26 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
The New Testament apostles agree:
Colossians 1:18 18 He (Jesus) is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
Does the reality of Christ’s supremacy over all set you delighting in or despising His claims?
David is king, but in this scene, he is dressed and ministering as a priest. This is a picture of Jesus, the son of David, who will fulfill both offices, as did Melchizedek (whose name means ‘king of righteousness’ who is also the King of Salem (peace) and serves as a priest (Hebrews 6:20-8:13).
The benchmark occasion of bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem was celebrated with all the exuberance of a coronation service or that of a warrior returning having secured a major victory. Gifts of bread loaves, dates and raisins were distributed to each Israelite man and woman (1 Chronicles 16:3).
When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in England, gifts were distributed to the citizens throughout Great Britain. When Jesus ascended into heaven in Acts 1, His coronation and exultation was celebrated with the Father bestowing the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit in turn distributed (and still distributes) gifts as He sovereignly wills (1 Corinthians 12:11).
Ephesians 4:7-8 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN
Asaph is appointed as the worship leader, with Zechariah as his assistant, second in command, and others are named with their assignments in the music ministry.
David wrote a special song for the occasion: (1 Chronicles 16:7-36). This Psalm is reflected in Psalms 24, 47, 99, 68, 105, 106, and 132).
May this inspire us also to:
1 Chronicles 16:9 9 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT – ROMANS 1:19-32
The gospel of God is the good news that sinners can be justified (declared righteous) before God when they simply believe on Christ and His perfect atoning work on the cross.
Sadly, mankind is so sinful that he suppresses the truth of his need for righteousness before God.
Today when you ask people what mankind’s greatest need today is, you may hear, ‘love’, ‘salvation from global warming’, the ‘restoration of marriage and the family’, ‘good government’, ‘a healthy economy’, ‘recognition of the sanctity of life and human rights’ or ‘a moral and spiritual awakening’. These are all good things, but not the supreme need of the human race.
The greatest need of the human race is ‘righteousness’ – a right standing before God, a right relationship with God.
Therefore Jesus said- “Seek ye first” to be rightly related to the righteous rule of God (Matthew 6:33)
Mankind must be awakened to its desperate need for righteousness by being shown the peril of its lost condition. The Apostle Paul reminds us that by our sinful nature, we suppress the truth of our need for reconciliation with God. We ignore the fact that we are born dead in our sins and by nature are children of wrath, that is, outside of Christ, we are all condemned under God’s wrathful judgment for violating His law.
Romans 1:18 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
This chapter describes the condition of mankind and its sad history of turning away from its original purpose. Once created to reflect God’s image, mankind has rejected that privilege and has become God-haters. May this passage awaken our own hearts to the reality of mankind’s greatest need- reconciliation through faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Romans 1:28-32 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE BOOK OF PSALMS- PSALM 10:1-15
This is a psalm that cries out: “Why do you hide yourself, O God?”
There are times where it seems the wicked prosper and get away with blasphemies and murder (10:7-11). There are even those who have no room in their thinking for God (Psalm 10:4), no regard for His commands (10:5) and no fear of a future judgment (10:6). They believe that God is so loving and forgiving that he takes no notice of sin (10:11).
The Psalmist recognizes that the Lord takes all into account and will call all to give an account (Psalm 10:11-15).
Let us echo the Psalmist’s heart cry:
Psalm 10:12 12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up Your hand. Do not forget the afflicted.
TODAY’S READING FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS- PROVERBS 19:6-7
Proverbs 19:6-7 6 Many will seek the favor of a generous man, and every man is a friend to him who gives gifts. 7 All the brothers of a poor man hate him; How much more do his friends abandon him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone.
PRAY FOR THE NATIONS- INDONESIA
PRAYER: God of all grace, You saw our greatest need. You loved the world and sent Your only begotten Son, that we might be delivered from the rightful punishment that our sins deserve. He who knew no sin, became our substitute, a perfect sin offering, that we might receive what we need more than anything- A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with YOU!. We recognize Your supremacy above all, O God, and are grateful for the gift of the Holy Spirit Who establishes Your righteous rule in our hearts and sheds abroad from our hearts the fruit of Your indwelling presence. His ministry of Your perfect love brings joy and perfect peace. For this we give You thanks, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.