John Carter – May 12, 2013 – 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43 – 1&2 Chronicles The Messiah-King
How a Redeemed People is to Praise their Faithful God
Introduction – Why do I need to listen to you?
What good is studying the Bible if it doesn’t change the way we live? What does it matter that David is portrayed in Chronicles as a type of the Messiah-King? What we learn must move beyond academics and into real life. I once heard Francis Chan use the example of a child who gloats about understanding and memorizing his parents words, but the child never acts on them. We must not be that child.
In Chapter 13 & 14 we learned about our Holy God who must pour out his wrath on sinful rebellion and brought about redemption through his perfect love. As we step into Chapters 15 & 16 we will seek to move beyond the academics of who God is into the practicalities of how to live in light of his perfect holiness and loving redemption. As we see two of the most joyful Chapters in the Bible we will ask ourselves, (1) how are we to praise God, (2) why do we praise God, and (3) when are we to praise God? It is in Chapters 15 & 16 of First Chronicles that we will see what it means to for a redeemed people to worship and praise their faithful God.
The Text and Jesus – What the Text Meant then and how we understand it in light of Christ – What is going on? How does this point to Jesus? How do I apply this? How should this change how I live?
Although we should see King David as a type of Jesus who is the true Messiah King we should also see when David Does not reflect the Messiah-King. David is seen as leading his people in the worship of the Holy God of Heaven. Although Jesus also leads us in the worship of Yahweh, Jesus is also worthy of that same praise. Looking at these two Chapters should allow us to see a description of what healthy praise and worship of Yahweh looks like. We should be able to answer the question, How are we to Praise God?
How are we to Praise God?
First we look to find out how we are commanded to Praise God. We see in 15:2,12,16, and 16:40 that there are references to following certain regulations when we seek to praise God. Yahweh is has been very clear from in what he requires from us. Faithful obedience. In no uncertain terms when reading the Bible we can see that there is a right way and a wrong way to worship God. Most often in the history of our faith people have too often emphasized human tradition over God’s law. This can be in the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan Women who was more concerned about worshiping God on the right hill top rather than living a life that brought praise and glory to God. This is why we must rad the Bible and know explicitly what is being commanded of us. Was it not Jesus who said, “if you love me, you’ll do what I command?”, and wasn’t it Jesus who told us to “make disciples teaching them what” He has “commanded” us to do?
We need to take notice and respond to the difference between chapter 13 where David failed to obey the commands of God and a man died, and chapters 15-16 where both God, David, and Israel were blessed. When you read the Bible, when you hear God word, when you are prompted by the Holy Spirit, obey. IF that means praying for someone, or feeding a hungry person, or even if that means selling all your possessions – do it! There are lives at stake.
Secondly, in regards to how we are to praise God we must turn back to our text and see what is happening. In 15:16,19,20,21,22,24,27,29, 16:4,7, and 42 we are presented with a very loud, joyful, and melodic scene. Harps, trumpets, and cymbals were all brought out to declare to beauty of the event of moving the ark of God to the new capital of Israel to unite the political and religious focus of the nation. Jerusalem would now be the center of all Israeli life. How could David not resist ordering people to be placed in charge of sing, playing music, offering sacrifice, securing the entrance into the city , and the dancing.
When you sang to God today was it as magnificent as this? Why? This passage is not eliminating singing songs of Sorrow. In fact David not only wrote many Psalms of praise but he also wrote many Psalms of Lament. But This passage is not about lament. It is about Joy. So when you have reason to be joyful do you hold back or are you going to be as loud as God has given you the ability to be. If you hold back your praise in front of believers don’t fool yourself into believing that you will not hold back in front of unbelievers, especially those who despise you.
It’s interesting to see that the daughter of Saul despises David for worshiping God with a great deal of passion. It is wise to despise ungodly worship of Yahweh, but it is foolish to despise those who are truly humbling themselves before God.
The final way we see how we are to worship is through what we have been given and what we are to give. This thought begins in 15:22 where a skillful person in singing was picked for the task of leading in singing. We might ask ourselves, so should only those who are musically talented ever take part in singing and playing to the LORD? The answer will always be no. That doesn’t mean that anybody should take on the task of leading others. The reality is this comes down to gifting’s and talents we have been given. Just because you aren’t a gifted singer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sing. In the same sense, just because you aren’t a gifted teacher doesn’t mean you shouldn’t teach others about the Gospel. The best way to worship and praise God is by using that which we have been given for His glory and honor. Worshipful giving is voluntary. Worshipful giving is sacrificial.
This leads us to ask what have we been given. A lot! American Christian, you have a lot to learn from the way David behaves in 16:3. All good things come from the Father of Lights. Just as David gave feely to man and women in this passage, so Jesus too gives freely. Just as David sacrificed bring glory to God, so Jesus sacrificed to bring glory to God. I am not telling you to sell your possessions Jesus already did. My exhortation is to give of yourself, time, money, and possessions the way David did. Give up everything to see people in the kingdom of God cared for, fed and clothed. Suffer with Christ, for the glory of God.
In light of how we are to worship God we turn our eyes to our motivation. Why do we praise God?
Why do we praise God?
David, in 16:4, assigned people to celebrate, give thanks, and to praise God. But in 16:41 we see the source of David’s motivation to praise God, “because His lovingkindness is everlasting”. David was not only a great warrior but he was also a great musician and song writer. Throughout his songs we read of Gods everlasting lovingkindness. As a shepherd, on the battle field, while hiding from his enemies, while being hunted and hated by Saul, even while on the run from his own son. David knew that his God would never fail. Because of the past events David knew that even his own life had been preserved through the work of the LORD. Everything David had was because of the LORD.
What do you have that isn’t from the LORD? Kids, family, a job, a car, running water, new clothes, 5 bibles, even that last breath of air was because of the Father of Lights. Take another breath but this time take it knowing that is God allowing you lungs to fill with air. It is critical that we fight to see that everything we have is a gift from Yahweh, and we have it because he is faithful.
But it is this fight to stay aware of God’s faithfulness that has seen so many casualties. It is so easy to become callous to the things of the LORD and to forget to praise Him. Which brings us to our Final question, when are we to praise God?
When are we to Praise God?
In the song found in chapter 16 we see that we called upon to “ascribe to God the Glory due to His Name”. Also, notice in 16:37 when David established people to minister continually before the God. David Didn’t just want his nation to praise God in this one moment when they were all together. No, David wanted to see an eternalness to the praising of God. Then end of 16 is hard to read without think of the worship that is going on continually before the God, which we can read about in Revelation 4-5. We will no sooner exhaust praising God then we exhaust His everlasting kindness.
We cannot over emphasize the importance of music in the life of the Church and in the Kingdom of God. Sing praises to the LORD when life is good, sing when life is bitter, sing with believers, sing by yourself, sing for the joy of your salvation, sing for the joy of the Hope we have in Christ. Sing just because we can. The moment we stop giving praise to God is the moment we have forgotten our saviors worth or the depth of our sin.
How could we end a passage like this in any way but though a song of praise to a Messiah-King who is worthy of all Glory, honor, and power?
David’s Song of Thanks
8 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
11 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
13 O offspring of Israel his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!
14 He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
15 Remember his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
16 the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
17 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
18 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan,
as your portion for an inheritance.”
19 When you were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,
20 wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
21 he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
22 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”
23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.
28 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
30 tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
35 Say also:
“Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
36 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!”
Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord.
Worship Before the Ark