Synopsis 1Chron 17:2-15 1/8/2020
King David disclosed to Nathan the prophet his desire to build a house for God. And initially, Nathan agreed to the idea. But afterwards, God spoke to the prophet in a dream.
In the dream, God told Nathan that King David wasn’t the right person to build God’s house.
Not only so, God promised to build a house for David. But this promise meant that God intended to build a dynastic house from David’s descendants that would last forever.
Outgiving King David
At some point after depositing the ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem, David felt convicted. Apparently, he could not reconcile the splendor of his kingly mansion with the modest tent that was being used to house the ark.
So, David contemplated building a permanent dwelling for the ark of God’s presence. He wanted to bless God with a special house.
However, God met this desire to bless with an even larger blessing for David.
It is said that, “you can’t outgive God”. My life experience affirms this belief. No matter how much I have desired to do God’s will in my life, His blessings have always outpaced my willingness.
“Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Luke 6:38
Synopsis 1Chron 16:32-17:1 1/7/2020
In accordance with David’s plan, the ark was led in a long procession to Jerusalem. For the occasion, King David dictated a song. And so, the Levites sang this song as they delivered the ark to Jerusalem.
Afterward, David commanded Asaph and his brothers to remain with the ark in Jerusalem. At the same time, he directed that the high priest should continue to minister before the altar and tabernacle that was located in Gibeon.
In those days, Zadok was the high priest. So, Zadok and the other priests returned to Gibeon and took up their ministry there.
Meanwhile, David sent the people away. After this, he returned to his own home in the city of David.
The Ark and The Tabernacle
God’s has not tied His presence to a specific physical location. For this reason, David didn’t reunite the ark with the tabernacle that served as it’s home since the time of Moses.
As a result, the presence of God manifest in the ark of the Covenant was literally with David. Yet, at the same time, the place where the Israelites had traditionally offered sacrifice remained at Gibeon.
God and His Church
Much like Martha and Mary in Jesus’ time, for me there remains the possibility of satisfying the deep longing for God by sitting at His feet. Or, alternatively, I can go to the temple and worship God there through the formal mediation of the priesthood.
These two exist in a necessary and positive tension.
In truth, I am called to both. Yet, if I had to choose, then Jesus says sitting at His feet is the better part. Communion with the God of Creation is the better part.
“and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” 1Peter 2:5
Synopsis 1Chron 16:12-32 1/4/2020
King David directed the Levites to sing a song of praise to God. So, he dictated to them this song.
David’s Song of Praise
David’s Song of Praise expressed appreciation for God’s glory and faithfulness. Through it, David recounted Israel’s history. In this way, he deliberately remembered the manner in which God was faithful to the patriarchs.
In the song, David also reflected on the majesty of God’s glory. And finally, he used the song as a device to admonish the Israelites, and the “family of nations”, to bow down and worship God with sacrifices.
My Song of Praise
Should I sing to God a praise song about my life? Or, could I write down a praise song to God based on the events my life?
I suppose the obvious answer is “Yes”.
So, perhaps the real question is: When am I going to start?
“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.” Psalm 96:1-2
Synopsis 1Chron 15:27-16:11 1/3/2020
King David assembled the Levite priests and all of the leaders of Israel. With great anticipation, he had brought them together to process with the ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.
As the ark processed to Jerusalem, he celebrated with enthusiasm in front of all the people. And as the procession arrived in the city, the Levites set up the ark in the tent David had provided. And then, they offered sacrifices to the Lord.
After this, David lavished a feast on all who were present. Everyone there received a delicious portion of food. And together they ate as the joyful music continued throughout the celebration.
But Michal, David’s first wife, remained in her house as the procession entered the city. From there, she observed the entire procession. And so, as the ark entered the city, she saw how King David praised God through his dancing and singing before the ark.
His praises were so enthusiastic that she thought his behavior was undignified. And for this, she despised him in her heart.
Michal was the second daughter of King Saul. So, she thought she knew how a king should behave.
But David’s enthusiastic praising didn’t fit her expectations. His behavior contradicted her beliefs. And so, she hated him.
To Be A Contradiction
Mother Teresa taught fearlessness. She advised: Do not fear to be a contradiction to the values of this world.
I hear this and agree. At least, I agree until I encounter someone who relates to God differently than me. And then, I am faced with this challenge. I either have to open myself to a different yet possible interpretation of God’s law. Or, I have to condemn that which doesn’t meet my expectations.
“But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ [imbecile] will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.” Matt 5:22
Synopsis 1Chron 15:14-26 1/1/2020
King David directed the ark of the Covenant to be brought to Jerusalem. Because of the past failure, he commissioned the Levites to orchestrate the effort.
The king also assembled the leaders of the tribes of Israel to participate in relocating the ark. And so, the Levites performed various joyous hymns and musical songs as the priests processed with the ark. So, King David and all the leaders of Israel participated in the procession.
King David directed the Levites to bring the ark to Jerusalem. And he commanded them to make a loud, joyful noise as they processed with the ark.
So, they did.
Praise Is Ministry
I suspect most every human being has had the experience of spontaneously rejoicing about something.
But, as I reflect on David’s life, I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever actually shouted praise. Have I ever instinctively raised my voice to it’s very utmost to celebrate the goodness of God?
Perhaps now is the time.
“…Shout joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song.” Psalm 100:1-2
Synopsis 1Chron 14:16-15:13 12/31/2019
David was king. So, after he finished his second decisive battle against the Philistines, he returned to Jerusalem. And there, he finished building his home in the City of David.
About the same time, he made preparations to finally bring the ark of the Covenant back to his home base. In so doing, he prepared a special tent in Jerusalem to house the ark. And he decreed that, going forward, only Levites could handle the ark.
He also assembled the Levites in order to perform liturgical services that included singing, and offering sacrifices in accordance with the Law of Moses.
In so doing, David acknowledged that his past effort to bring the ark to Jerusalem was foiled because he had not approached God in a right way.
David Approached God Rightly
King David approached God in a wrong way. His failure cost another man his life.
Even so, he didn’t quit. And, he wasn’t resentful. Instead, when the time was right, he went back and brought the ark of God to Jerusalem in the appropriate way. And this changed everything.
Approaching God Rightly
It’s not wrong to say that God accepts us just as we are. However, His willingness to accept me “where I am” doesn’t mean He gladly accepts anything. It is important for me to remember that I am not His peer. Reconciliation with God is not the same things as reconciliation with an injured friend.
God is God. He is the creator of the universe. He is essentially creative and loving.
But He creates discreetly and purposefully. So, my coming to Him is entirely a matter of grace. In other words, it is a matter of His graciousness. So, because of this, the one thing I know He won’t refuse is a broken and contrite heart.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” Psalms 51:19
Synopsis 1Chron 13:14-14:15 12/30/2019
After the aborted effort to move the ark to Jerusalem, God blessed Obed-edom’s house. This was the place where David had left the ark.
In the meantime, Hiram, the king of Tyre, sent skilled craftsmen to build a suitable dwelling in Jerusalem for King David.
Around the same time, the Philistines sent out an army to locate David. After inquiring from God how to respond, David attacked the Philistines. He defeated them in the “valley of Rephaim”.
Afterwards, the Philistines attacked a second time. But this time, God directed David to flank the Philistines in a balsam tree woods.
David Listened to God
David listened to God. When faced with a difficult situation, he deliberately sought out counsel from the Lord.
He listened to what God said and acted accordingly. And the more he listened, the better he got at hearing.
Listen to God
If I really believe that God willingly speaks to people like me, then learning to hear God is my greatest challenge.
So, I’m tempted to say that it’s hard to hear God. I wonder what He wants. And often I feel confused and frustrated because I don’t know what God wants or expects from me.
But perhaps it’s like anything else I do, it’s always hard if I rarely try.
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
Synopsis 1Chron 12:26-40 12/26/2019
King David was living in Hebron. And so, after the time of Saul’s death, the leaders of the various tribes came to him. When they came, they came in force.
The various leaders brought their tribal military units with them. The warriors assembled from all the tribes in a dramatic show. Thousands upon thousands of men who were pledging service to David.
The tribal leaders determined that David should be the next king. They wanted a ruler who could unify the nation. And they wanted a leader who could bring military victory and security.
So, they came to Hebron to pressure David. Their intent was to persuade him of their earnestness by placing their entire military force under his authority. And with this, they intended to make him their king.
It’s an interesting scene. The tribal leaders believed they were choosing David to be their king. And in a sense they were. But David had many years before been chosen by God, and anointed by the prophet Samuel, to be the king over Israel.
So, while the leaders may have thought they were making David king and promising to serve him. What they were really doing was agreeing with God’s plan for David and for the nation.
One of the most interesting aspects of philosophical and scientific inquiry is the idea of purpose. Of course, purpose is the foundation of Christian moral reasoning. Here’s the premise:
God creates with purpose.
So, God created me with purpose. And entering into my purpose is the work of life.
Now, like the tribal leaders who thought they were David’s kingmakers, it might seem like I’m in charge. I may think that I’m doing all the deciding when it comes to pursuing my goals and ambitions. And it’s entirely right to say that I am created with freedom to choose.
But really, the domain of my freedom is to enter fully into God’s purpose for my life, or not. And I make this choice daily, or not.
So, trust in the purpose for which He made you. Choose His purpose for your life beginning today.
“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6
Synopsis 1Chron 12:16-25 12/25/2019
Before David became king, men from all over Israel came to support him. At the time, He was living in the southern part of the territory of Judah.
When men came to join his forces, he personally met them and admonished them that God will find them out should anyone have come as a betrayer.
As it was, men came from Manasseh and all the other tribes. Finally, there was a vast army at the stonghold.
When King Saul died in battle, David moved his operations to Hebron. And after this, leaders from throughout the kingdom came to David to persuade him to be their king.
King David’s Momentum
Despite King Saul’s jealously and frustration with David, he could not vanquish him. As a result, the people eventually recognized that Saul was powerless to destroy David.
A powerful king’s impotence speaks volumes.
Wise men of that era recognized that the situation between Saul and David was intractable. And, the situation couldn’t go on indefinitely. The momentum was with David. And momentum has a power that attracts additional momentum.
The Momentum of Christ
A powerful king’s impotence speaks volumes. And, despite all this world’s efforts to destroy God, He survives. That is one of the messages of the cross. He has no rival. The momentum belongs to God.
It is written, “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess…”
So, eventually the futility of my self-reliance delusion will shatter. And then I’ll see things for what they really are. Hopefully, my epiphany happens this side of eternity.
“The LORD is good to those who wait for him, a refuge on the day of distress, Taking care of those who look to him for protection” Nahum 1:7
Synopsis 1Chron 11:42-12:15 12/24/2019
King Saul was jealous of David. And so, the king persecuted him. As a result, David attracted many valiant men to his cause. Now David was from the tribe of Judah. And he was born in Bethlehem. So, having family members from his hometown join him was somewhat understandable.
But, the attraction to support David was wider than that. Remarkably, men from other Israelite tribes joined him. In fact, some of those who supported David were Benjamites, who came from the same tribe as Saul.
Excellence and Benjamite Archers
The Benjamites who left the army of Israel and joined with David in the wilderness were able to shoot arrows with either hand.
Occasionally, a man might come along that has a natural ability to use either hand in doing tasks. But most people are not. Most people have a strong hand and a weaker hand.
But ambidexterity amongst a group of men is learned. These Benjamites were trained warriors who had developed the capacity to shoot with either hand. It was a mark of their excellence as warriors. And it only came with years of diligent practice.
Excellence and Discipleship
The apostle St. Paul perceived our walk with Jesus in a similar way. There was the natural, relational aspect of knowing God in Jesus Christ. But there was also the aspect whereby it was up to him to commit to excellence.
It’s good to feel both aspects. Jesus is my friend. But my commitment to excellence – to doing everything I do as well as I can – is a mark of my commitment to serve the God of All Creation.
“Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.” 1Cor 9:25-27