January 4, 2022
Happy New Year! Our prayer for you is that you will know, enjoy, and experience the fullness of God’s love this year. And as you find your worth, your acceptance, and your security in Him, you will have a heart full of worship for your Lord and Savior!
Worship is a lifestyle of gratitude and wonder. What you are, say, and do on any given day is your act of worship to God. May He be the focus and center of all your days in 2023. Brother Lawrence who lived from 1611-1691 once said, “To worship God in truth is to recognize Him for being who He is, and to recognize ourselves for what we are.” So true!
As we continue our consideration of the books of the Bible, we come to the book of 1 Chronicles, which is predominantly focused on the reign of King David.
The main purpose of 1 Chronicles was to unify God's people, to trace David’s line, and to teach that genuine worship ought to be the center of individual and national life. The book parallels 2 Samuel and serves as a commentary on it.
The most significant action of David was in bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. It clearly showed that his priorities were towards God and giving Him His rightful place. “Who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob” (Acts 7:46).
David was far from perfect in many areas of his life, but his action in bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem was another piece of evidence that he was a man after God’s heart who was willing to do the will of his God (Acts 13:22). The Ark was visible, tangible evidence of God’s presence among His people.
David’s actions revealed how important God was to Him.
In 1 Chronicles 13, David made his first attempt in taking the Ark to Jerusalem. He failed to take into account that God commanded that it be carried on the shoulders of the priests. As a result, it nearly fell from a cart, and God’s anger at their disobedience led to the death of one man who reached out to steady the Ark. This led to a 3-month delay.
This is a solemn reminder that our behavior affects our spiritual worship and progress.
In 1 Chronicles 15, David did the right thing, the right way. It was a momentous day in Israel. “And as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and celebrating, and she despised him in her heart” (1 Chronicles 15:29 ESV).
There are 3 principles that rise from this chapter:
Firstly, obedience and worship go hand-in-hand. While God’s love for us is unconditional – nothing we have done or will do can change His love for us – He does value our obedience to his Word. And our obedience will bring us into a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10).
Secondly, we are the most joyful when God is central in our lives. David’s heart was filled with rejoicing and praise. In fact he danced before the Lord. Worship is holistic in nature and thus involves every aspect of our being.
There are many things to distract us and draw us away from a place of nearness to our God. We live in a world filled with things that tempt and lure us in the wrong direction. Our own sinful hearts are very capable of following after these empty, shallow things instead of pursuing our God.
Paul encouraged Timothy along these lines, and said, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).
Lastly, not everyone will appreciate your love for God. In David’s case, his wife Michal was very upset. (The language describing how she felt is very strong.) She held him in contempt. She felt that he was acting in a despicable way.
Very often, when we worship God in a corporate way, like in a place with God’s people, singing, praying, and praising, we can be very self-conscious to the point that it hinders our full expression of worship. Let’s learn from David. I challenge you to ask God for further freedom from any hindrance to offering God your all.
As the book of 1 Chronicles closes, David’s reign of 40 years comes to an end and Solomon is anointed in his place. Interestingly, the main concern in David's heart at the end of his life was that Solomon would love the Lord and build Him a temple to provide a more permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant in the land.
Thanks again for praying with us and receiving this weekly devotion.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel