Sunday, 25 May 2014

(146) May 26: 1 Chronicles 14-16 & John 9:24-41

Ask God to open your mind, heart and will to understand, delight in and obey what you read.

To discover:­­
As you read note the signs that David’s reign was a great one.

To ponder:
We see the ideal nature of David’s rule in the foreign king of Tyre serving him and providing resource for his palace. David clearly sees this as proving God had established him and exalted his kingdom. And it displays God’s intent that his kingdom would extend beyond Israel – a key theme in this section. It also looks to the glory of the nations resourcing the church and being brought into the New Jerusalem (Is 60, Rev 21v26).
            David’s increase in children is probably to be read as a sign of blessing (Gen 1v28). David’s righteousness is then displayed in enquiring of God when faced with the “full force” of the Philistines (14v10, 14, see 13v3), and in burning their gods. Moreover, by defeating the Philistines, God is seen to be with David, directing his tactics and going before him in battle. The note that “all the nations” feared David again shows God is being glorifed through him to the world.
            The note on David’s many wives and how he prioritised his buildings (15v1) show he was not without fault. Nevertheless, he has learnt from Uzzah’s death, ensuring that only Levites carry the ark, according to God’s instructions and after consecration. Indeed, he did everything according to God’s law (16v40).
David assembled “all Israel” for the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem, and commanded Levites be appointed to sing “joyful songs” and make music. By detailing the roles, the author highlights the importance of praise. David’s concern with this exemplifies the religion of the heart. So the ark was brought up with “rejoicing,” and the offerings seem to be given in thanks that God did not strike down the Levites as he had Uzzah (15v26). David dressed as a priest, and, with the Levites, wore linen, as it was the apporpriate dress for being so close to the presence of God (Ex 28v39-43). The shouts, rams horns and trumpets were probably just expressions of joy as the cymbals, lyres and harps (15v28 see v16), but may have had a sense of calling the people to worship. In despising David, Saul’s daughter is the antithesis of him, explifying the scoffing of the unbeliever at the worship of God even today.
            With the ark settled, burnt offerings (expressing devotion) and fellowship offerings (expressing peace with God) were made. And, acting as priest, David blessed the people. The bread and cakes given the people highlighted the fellowship they enjoyed with God.
We then read of Levites appointed to pray, give thanks and praise God “before the ark;” and of a song David committed to them. It shows he saw his kingdom as universal in scope. Calling people to sing God’s praise it also called them to tell of his acts to the nations. They are to always seek God and remember his judgements that “are in all the earth” in the sense that his redemption and protection of Israel had been witnessed by the nations. So his covenant is to be remembered, as is his protection of Israel as she wandered amongst nations (eg. Num 22-24). In the light of this, the whole earth is therefore called to sing to the LORD, declare his glory, and worship him with offerings, as the gods of the nations are idols, whereas God made the heavens. Indeed, heaven, earth and even the trees are to rejoice that God comes to judge the earth, whilst his people are to pray for deliverance from the nations. This is an astonishingly ambitious perspective for David at the start of his reign, but once more displays his heart. His desire is that God is honoured throughout the earth, God’s ultimate goal in history. Today the song calls the world in having also witnessed God’s great acts in Christ, to turn from idols and worship him. And it calls his people to tell the world of his deeds.
David left the Levites from 16v4-6 to minister before the ark in Jerusalem, whilst the priests would minister by making the required offerings before the tabernacle in Gibeon; again, with people assigned to sing of God’s love there too. It seems that before the building of the temple God allowed Gibeon to be a centre of worship (1 Kgs 3v2-5).

Praying it home:
Praise God that he is worthy of gory from all he has made. Pray for world missions and that your praise would overflow in telling others of God’s acts in Christ.

Thinking further:
None today.
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