What an understanding King David found of holy worship and how to approach God! There had been the awful trauma of seeing Uzzah struck dead for putting his hand on the ark. David was too frightened after that to bring the ark home and left it at the household of Obed-edom for three months. But when the household was blessed, David felt encouraged to prepare a special place for the ark of God and make a tent for it in Jerusalem.
To get the ark of God to the tent had to be done so carefully, as it was God’s holy presence. Only those who were set apart and cleansed were to be involved in transporting it. God had commanded long ago how the priests and Levites were to transport the ark, carrying it on poles on their shoulders. David appointed men to lead the procession with joyful, loud music, and shouting and singing. He himself was celebrating and dancing in a linen ephod.
When they got to the tent, David did the required burnt offerings and peace offerings, blessed all the people in the name of the LORD and gave them bread, meat and raisins. But it wasn’t to stop there. David appointed men to carry on praying, thanking and praising the LORD every day, ‘Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel’ (1 Chronicles 16:4). Asaph and his brothers were to sing thanksgiving to the LORD, ‘Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers’ (1 Chronicles 16:7).
The glorious song of thanks they were to sing was a combination of Psalm 105, 96 and 106. I love the line which says, ‘Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering before him! Worship the LORD in the splendour of holiness’ (1 Chronicles 16:29). The biggest impact for me, however, was verse 11, which strikes me as an important word for the times we are going through right now: ‘Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually’.
I find it all too easy to get distracted by the internet, social media, and emails which sometimes make me confused or depressed. Sunday is such a welcome relief as my church now sends out a live online service, led by a small team of musicians, singers and a preacher gathered in a building (with all the correct regulations in place). They also add some previous recordings of testimony and singing.
Recently they pioneered a live Sunday evening of an hour and a half of worship songs and prayer from a small team gathered in that same building and for the rest of us, watching, there was a live chat where we could type in prayers or prophetic pictures.
The challenge is seeking the Lord’s presence the rest of the week, remembering to pray, to thank and to praise Him every day.
Prayer: Lord, I do want to seek Your strength and Your presence every day. I am sorry for the times when I have so often been distracted by looking at things which are discouraging and not uplifting, or which waste my time. Help me to remember to pray, to thank You and to sing praise to You, and to make that conscious effort to draw near to You and listen to Your voice. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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