Chapter 16 – Ministering Before the Ark
Now that the ark of the covenant has been properly relocated, chapter 16 provides details and duties for the Levitical priests to minister before the Lord. The chapter includes a psalm that is not in 2 Samuel or specifically in the book of Psalms, though it is consistent with several psalms.
Part of David’s intentional appointments includes the worship team–those in charge of making joyful noises before the Lord! I find it interesting that instruments are not allowed to be part of Churches of Christ gatherings. For this group, no band equals no distractions. Here’s a brief quote from a post I found:
The church of Christ sang a cappella in the days of the apostles, so the church of Christ sings a cappella today. It really is as simple as that. See link for a concise explanation
The church is the bride of Christ, not a building, but a group of people gathering to build each other up, to strengthen one another. It is the vehicle we drive to make disciples of all nations, all people. If some find instruments distracting, praise God! For me, I can’t imagine a gathering without instruments, but not because of Mosaic law, instead my soul is stirred by strings and drums, by voices crying out. I’m thankful for the talented musicians that give unselfishly at gatherings. I hope this is not just confined to Sunday mornings!
Chapter 17 – God’s Promise to David
David settles into his palace, but want to build a proper place for the people to worship (proper in his mind). He asks Nathan, the same prophet that reveal his sin with Bathsheba, for advice. God then speaks to Nathan in a dream and redirects David’s plans. Essentially God says to David, I’m glad you have a heart and desire to honor me my little child. I didn’t tell your ancestors to build me a house and I don’t need you to do it now. Here’s the way this is going to work… That’s my poor paraphrase, but here’s what’s really interesting, God hears David desire and responds with:
Now I will make your name like the names of the greatest men on earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. 1 Chronicles 17:8-9
This is our God. He is concerned about his children first, to provide a place of refuge for them, free from fighting and distractions. We know by looking at hundreds of years of history that they (well, we) often miss this point, but his intentional design was for us to have a place of refuge apart from the craziness of the rest of the world. Lord, I look forward to that day! Help us to find a piece of that place, the beulah land, here on earth now, even if just for a moment. This is what happens in music for me, a temporary spiritual transport to a place where there is no more hurting or pain.
David’s humble response reveals his true heart for the Lord, regardless of his personal mistakes:
“There is no one like you, Lord, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 1 Chronicles 17:20-21
Lord, remind us in ways that ministers to us individually wherever we are that there is no one like you, Lord!
Chapter 18 provides a brief summary of David’s victories with an emphasis on, “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went” (1 Chronicles 18:13). All honor, all power, all glory is directed where it belongs, to the Lord.