Never Rote

“[David] 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… ‘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 also Obed-edom and his sixty-eight brothers, while Obed-edom, the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah were to be gatekeepers. And he left Zadok the priest and his brothers the priests before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon 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. Heman and Jeduthun had trumpets and cymbals for the music and instruments for sacred song.” 1 Chronicles 16:4,34,37-42

Daily. As each day required. Regularly morning and evening. For life. The anointed privilege of being a priest carried with it ongoing responsibility, and here we see them faithfully, joyfully fulfilling their duty. There are times in Scriptures when priests’ sacrifices came up empty before all-knowing God, and He condemned them because He knew their hearts were not sincere. I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” But the role was always intended to be one of great joy, since the Lord’s steadfast love endures forever! (Hosea 6:6)

November grey sunset on rough Gulf, pano

As the sea is constant in her rhythms, tides waxing and waning twice a day, month in, month out, the same, yet always different, so our God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, is alive bringing fresh mercies every morning. His deeds are wondrous, ongoing in accomplishing His divine purposes, always working for our good. This eternal never-changing God is worthy of praise that is earnest, fresh, present, and zealous. (Malachi 3:6; Lamentations 3:22-23; Romans 8:28; 12:11; Hebrews 13:8)

For us, has offering sacrifices of praise and substance to the Lord, whose steadfast loves endures forever, become old? Rote? Meaninglessly routine? If so, where have we slid into spiritual lethargy, to thoughtless repetition, or airy neglect? Has a slow slip into ease kept us off our knees, or our heads on the pillow? Hearts caught up in Him ignite souls that are captivated by Him. Eager eyes see His life showing forth different aspects of character and power and beauty, and we can daily sing a new song. (Psalm 96:1)

Would I awaken each day and choose to practice a regular habit of fresh praise? Will I trust Him for divine hunger, and exercise creative variety in worship to guard against empty words? Would I allow Him to identify new ‘sacrifices,’ new areas of my inner and visible life for offering? Routine need not be rote; it can be exhilarating and inspirational when it is a mode of thoughtful worship.

Worthy Father, let me never grow stale in joyful, regular worship. May I live in ongoing, vibrant praise.

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