Bearing the Ark with Joyful Song

David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brothers Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari, their brothers, Ethan the son of Kushaiah; and with them their brothers of the second order, Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, and Mikneiah… The singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were to sound bronze cymbals; Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah were to play harps according to Alamoth; but Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah were to lead with lyres according to the Sheminith. Chenaniah, leader of the Levites in music, should direct the music, for he understood it… Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, should blow the trumpets before the ark of God…  So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-edom with rejoicing… All Israel brought [it] up with shouting, to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres.” 1 Chronicles 15:16-22,24,28

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” Psalm 95:1-3                

While God created all the different arts as expressions of His beauty, and He gifts people with specific talent for varying types, the one He expressly commands of everyone is singing and making music. It is telling here that when David led the procession carrying the ark, which represented the very presence of God, there was much gladness and song. (Exodus 31:2-5; 2 Chronicles 2:13-14)


All creation sings for joy with the calm or crash of waves, the click of crickets, the croak or cluck of frogs, the chirp or caw of birds. The LORD in our lives brings ineluctable joy. Our “joyful noise” need not be in perfect pitch or rhythm, and will not necessarily sound like another’s, but its source is God’s Spirit, joy’s endless fount that bubbles and spills out in musical expression. “Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Psalm 66:4; 87:7; Ephesians 5:18-20)

Am I bearing the ark into every day and situation? Regularly taking time to behold my Savior’s face, drawing from the well of my salvation, do my melodies reflect His grace and joy, my lyrics gratitude and praise? How readily am I making use of God’s personally-assigned instruments: my workplace, my neighborhood, my tasks and abilities, to sound forth His greatness? (Psalm 16:7-11; Isaiah 12:3)

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace.  

~ Charles Wesley (1707-1788)



One thought on “Bearing the Ark with Joyful Song”

  1. Amen!
    His presence is the greatest joy in our soul, from now to eternity. Let’s sing and make melody to the Lord with our heart,


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