Today you should read: 1 Chronicles 17:16-27
“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?’ ”
I believe this verse captures the essence of David’s prayer. David is completely and utterly humbled by the fact that God has chosen him as King. Sometimes it is hard for me to feel the heart of David because I read this prayer reflecting back on his life and I know David as king, the man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). David is the one who, out of his faith, defeated Goliath with one smooth stone and a sling shot. David is the one who wrote most of the Psalms and was a mighty warrior. I sometimes forget to read David’s prayers through David’s eyes. Yet when I think about it from David’s perspective v. 16 has deeper impact on me.
Before all the great and mighty works of David there was a shepherd boy. The youngest son of his father Jesse doing the most humble job for his family and the Bible described him as “ruddy” (1 Samuel 16:12, ESV). Then, God appointed David to be king. So when David is praying in our passage today he is praying from the perspective that he was a humble shepherd boy that God made king. As I think about David through this lens I begin to feel gratitude, humility and astonishment leaping off the pages.
Reading David’s prayer convicts me to think: “How many times has God done amazing things in my life and I took credit for it?” If you are anything like me, God has done some pretty amazing things in and through you. Just the miracle of salvation is enough to make me hit my knees but he has allowed me to be a part of so much more. However, it seems to be a natural tendency to want to find some worth or reason why I deserve it or think that my talents contributed to making it happen. That is such a sinful and deceitful thought to have. When I think of my life in the correct perspective I am truly humbled and amazed at his blessing and that is what I hope all of us can get from David’s prayer. David was not a great man that God used; he was made great by God and used by God. The minute we start to get proud and believe God needed us is the moment we take the glory and God opposes us.
“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
Let us reflect today on God and his blessing in our life and let that humble us and motivate us to live for God and God alone.
Posted by: Chad Wiles
Today you should read: 1 Chronicles 16
Rejoicing In The Presence Of God …
It’s always fun to have people in our home. Although I feel I am a decent mixture of an introvert and extrovert, there is a special joy of having people present in our home. I’m thankful for them, I am energized by them, it takes my eyes of myself, and so much more. There’s something about another’s presence that brings joy.
We see this definitely to be true in our chapter today. 1 Chronicles 16 is an expansion (as is most of 1 and 2 chronicles), and specifically here, it is an expansion of 2 Sam 6:17-20. This is the story of the Ark of the Covenant settling in Jerusalem.
The ark represented the presence of God. It was a place where God spoke revealed His will to His servants, a place where the High Priest made atonement for the sins of the people, and it distinctly set God’s people apart for their relation to God. THEY were His people. And all of this made the people rejoice. They worshiped and rejoiced at the presence of the One … True … God.
This chapter is made up of mostly song and a picture of worship. David and the people thought highly of the fact that God was with them. It was a big deal.
And this makes me wonder, do we consider the presence of God a big deal? We literally walk around with the God of the universe inside of us. His spirit is with us always. Not only this, but Jesus is ever interceding for us. God hears our prayers at all times. This is truly amazing. He is with us. We are distinctly His people. He has atoned for our sin and we have access to the Jesus, who sits on heaven’s mercy seat, at all times. In Him we find all power, and everything we need to live joyful and holy lives.
This should bring about worship, and joy, and praise, and consistent prayer, and dependency, and trust, and holiness in our daily lives. Just as David and the people rejoiced, so we should daily remember, rejoice in, and reach out to the presence of God in our lives! Praise God, He is with us!
Posted by: Sam Cirrincione
Today you should read: 1 Chronicles 17
There’s a cool glimpse at the heart of David and the heart of God in these verses. David sets out in the beginning to build a house for the Lord, saying, “I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.” He was contrasting his own conditions of living with the current place of the Lord. We can see that David’s heart was inclined to honor God even with his resources. He couldn’t bear that God’s dwelling had to be made among tents while he himself was living in a fortified house of cedar. I think it’s cool that we get to see a bit of how David truly aimed to give everything to the Lord; his desires in this moment were selfless and aiming to please the Lord; ours should be too. What’s even greater is God’s response. Of course God doesn’t need David to build a house for him. God doesn’t need anything that David has. Yet, he allows David to aspire to bring the Lord honor at any cost. All this time, God has a plan; God is going to show his own heart. David has surrendered to bring this sacrifice of praise to the Lord. His heart is bowed down to honor him. God shows then that his plans are higher than David’s, his giving is greater than David’s, and his heart is kinder than David’s.
The Lord’s response is a covenant with his servant, David. He responds to David with words that reestablish his authority, his character, and his love. God is such a loving Father. He knows our needs and meets them for us. Isn’t it beautiful to see, when we look back over the course of our days, that every need we’ve had has been met? It’s astounding—God is a gracious, good God. He never lets go or makes us walk alone. God’s answer through Nathan to David is at first a reminder of the Lord’s provision. He gives him a lesson in who he is. The Lord’s response is a beautiful account of how God hasn’t needed his people to build him or give him anything, but instead, it’s his own mighty hand that established David and his people. It’s his own hand that provided every step of the way. He recalls the times when the people desperately needed the Lord and of course, he came through for them. The next part of God’s response is awesome. He continues to speak as a loving Father over David. Not only doesn’t he need David to build him a house, or need David’s provisions, but now he answers David’s offering with an offering, or covenant, of his own: “I declare to you that the Lord will build you a house,” (v. 10). He goes on as we know to illustrate how he will build up a name for David through many descendants, and among those descendants will be One who will establish his kingdom forever. God is referring first to David’s son, Solomon, who will carry out the plans to build the temple, but more importantly, God is referring to Jesus, the Son of God, who is also from the bloodline of David, who will build his kingdom, reigning with the Father and in the hearts of his people.
God is a good God, a loving Father, and eternal King. His ways are higher than ours. He is all we need. Trust in him like David, knowing that even all of our righteous acts are like filthy rags in comparison to the great, beautiful, masterful plan and works of our Father.
Posted by: Taylor Gilliam, worship intern, west campus
Today you should read: 1 Chronicles 15
Reverence and Passion…
Those are the two things David exhibits for the ark of the Lord, which symbolized God’s presence among the people. When David thought of God he had these two things in mind.
When you read verses 1-15 you see someone who holds God in the highest regard. This was someone who wanted to make sure they did everything right, according to God’s laws and ways. There was no room for half-hearted efforts or cutting corners. In fact they had done that before as you see in verse 13 and you see the result was God’s anger against them. God was serious about following His ways and David knew it.
Today reverence has taken one of two major turns. Either it has become the focus and it has brought about stagnate legalism and empty liturgy or it has been completely negated and whatever will be will be. Neither one of these positions is correct nor do they truly honor God. You must have…
David showed a great passion to go along with his reverence. In the remainder of the chapter David lines up music and musicians to play songs of praise to the Lord as the ark is being moved and He dances and skips around in excitement and joy that the presence of God was about to move into the city. Once David knew how God wanted the ark to be handled he had freedom to worship God with incredible passion.
That is the goal of today’s more charismatic and amed-up churches and movements. They seek a more authentic and exciting feeling in their worship. There are two key things that are missing from that however. First, God is a God of guided freedom. He is this way in all that He does. From our perspective we tend to view any rules or guidelines as bonds that hold us back from true freedom. God sees these as a parent would. We tell our kids to play in the yard but to stay out of the road. We don’t do this to restrict their freedom we do it because we know that the safety of the yard provides true freedom while playing in the street seems free but in reality brings with it a plethora of dangers. The second thing missing here is that our worship is not based on an emotional experience we receive from our senses and our imagination. True worship is a beautiful acknowledgement of the truths of God. When we worship God in His true form, a holy, just awesome, righteous, forgiving, loving merciful father and creator and our worship is based on these things and not on the aesthetics or the mood of the moment we then experience the kind of worship David did as the ark traveled to Jerusalem.
So remember, as in nearly everything in this life, a balance is to be struck to truly worship God as we should. Reverence and Passion.
Posted by: Robbie Byrd
Today you should read: 1 Chronicles 14
Two things jumped out at me in this chapter. First, is from verse 2.
And David realized that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted, for the sake of His people Israel. –vs. 2 (NASB)
David had the realization that he was king over Israel. That was a big deal in and of itself, but what stuck out to me is the very end of the verse which gives the reason for David’s kingship. God put David in his role “for the sake of His people Israel.” This was an all an act of God for His own sake.
God puts us in our positions for the sake of His people. In fact, he puts us in our positions for the sake of those who WILL be His people as well. Could it be that you are in your current position as a boss, an employee, a student, a parent, etc. for the sake of HIS people? Could it be that God knows exactly what He is doing by placing you where you are? I think so.
The second thing that stood out to me is from verses 10 and 14.
David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? And will You give them into my hand?” Then the LORD said to him, “Go up, for I will give them into your hand.”—vs. 10 (NASB)
David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees.
When the Philistines were coming against David, he didn’t react out of pure emotion. He didn’t muster up the gumption to go fight. He didn’t flip out. He didn’t panic. Instead he INQUIRED of God. He simply asked God what he should do, and God told him what to do.
A great lesson for all of us is to inquire of God in all circumstances. When we are tempted to freak out because of a difficult situation, or when we get bad news, or when a threat comes against us, INQUIRE OF GOD first. Seek His direction. We are to inquire of Him in the hard times and the good times as well. God is faithful to respond in His timing.
How about pausing for a couple minutes right now to inquire of God about something specific today? Maybe you will have the privilege to hear from Him today.
Posted by: Rich Duffield
Today you should read: 1 Chronicles 13
God is serious…
God is a loving God – merciful and gracious to all. He desires a relationship with His Creation. He reveals Himself (by His grace) and is kind and forgiving. All of this true… but there’s much more to God than that. He’s also a God of judgment, anger against sin (as Jonathan Edwards stated in his great work, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God), holy and perfect. All of these attributes highlight the need and the blessing of the Cross – where God poured out His holy anger on His Son Jesus for us.
Today’s chapter shows us a couple of the things that God is serious about:
When the Ark of the Covenant was constructed in the manner commanded by God in Exodus 37 it was filled with the articles that showed God’s power and blessing. It contained the stone tablets that God wrote the law on and more. God’s presence dwelt among His people through the Ark. When you and I become Christ-followers, God moves into us through the Holy Spirit.
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
Think about this – God lives in you! Everywhere you go He goes – everything you say or even think about – He knows – He sees it all. God’s power is in you to accomplish amazing things for Him. God lives in us.
Verse 8 says, David and all of Israel celebrated before God with all their might. They used all sorts of instruments – lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets. How serious are you about your worship of God? Is it regular? Is it focused? Is it about God – or about you? God is serious about His followers worshiping Him.
I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever. Psalms 86:12
When God tell us not to do something it’s always for our good and His glory and He means it. He commanded the priests never to touch the Ark in Numbers 4:15. When Uzzah did in today’s reading – he died. I know that seems harsh – but God’s holiness isn’t up for debate. He always means what He says. I know we live in a time when people debate the commands of God saying things like… God doesn’t really mean or the Bible has to be interpreted this way or that way – but remember – God doesn’t stutter – what He says He means. Remember what happened to Eve when she believed Satan saying God doesn’t really mean what He said?
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7
We don’t break God’s laws… they break us.
As long as the Ark of God stayed at Obededom’s house God blessed him and everything He owned. There is blessings being in God’s presence. God wants to bless you and I, too – more than we can imagine.
How abundant are the good things that You have stored up for those who fear You, that You bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in You. Psalms 31:19
Posted by: Tim Parsons