Rightful Worship, Thankful Living

And they brought in the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. And when David had finished… he blessed the people in the name of the Lord and distributed to all Israel, both men and women, to each a loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. 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. Asaph was the chief, and second to him were Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, who were to play harps and lyres; Asaph was to sound the cymbals, and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God. Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord by Asaph and his brothers.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered. Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him!Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’ Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 

“So David left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord to minister regularly before the ark as each day required. And he left Zadok the priest and his brothers the priests… to offer burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, to do all that is written in the Law of the Lord that he commanded Israel. With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and expressly named to give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever. Then all the people departed each to his house, and David went home to bless his household.” 1 Chronicles 16:1-12,23-34,37,39-41,43

When David brought the ark of God to its rightful place, worship was ‘set aright’ in his heart and living. Acknowledging God’s sovereign lordship and generosity to His people, David directed generous offerings to God first, then gifts to the people, then unified, joyful, meaningful praise. He set in place an orderly, God-directed rhythm for daily worship and thanksgiving that would identify and enrich his people. The outflow of a worshiping life brings honor and hearty praise to God, glad rejoicing in our hearts, and lavish blessing to others.

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What takes first place in my life, in each day? When it is my agenda, meeting my wants and needs, my focal point becomes me, and living is limited–maybe productive, but finite in scope, gratitude, and influence. When first I seek God on high, and offer Him sacrifices of praise and my body- my mind, lips, hands, feet- my focal point is Him, His higher ways, His kingdom, and the fruit of my efforts is lasting, bringing glory to Him, a thankful heart, and lavish living toward others. (Romans 12:1; Matthew 6:33)

Lord, daily expand my heart and exalt Yourself in my vision and living. Set Your rhythm of praise and sacrifice in all my moments, and keep me rejoicing and living lavishly toward others.

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