How are you feeling in your heart? Depressed? Exalted? Something in between? As David tried to stir the people into a spirit of thanksgiving we consider the various emotions of the heart. The people were bringing the sacred ark of the covenant into the tent (presumably a replica of the tabernacle) David had set up in Jerusalem. He had recently made the city his capital – it was thereafter called “the city of David” (1 Chronicles 11:5,7).
He was a good organiser, “He appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD …” (16:4). His organising was directed to helping the people to participate together in their devotion to the one eternal God. “On that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers” (verse 7).
And what a wonderful song David had written! What an example to everyone since then – and no less so to ourselves. Consider the words, “Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name, make known his deeds … Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!” (verses 8,10).
Let us rejoice in our hearts at this – a contrast to the sort of rejoicing when a favourite football team wins! David’s song continues, “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually” (verse 11). We may need to do this with the greatest intensity when our godless world starts to fall apart. David writes much that is appropriate for us: “He is the LORD; his judgements are in all the earth. Remember his covenant forever; the word that he commanded to a thousand generations” (verses 14,15).
In verse 29, “Worship the LORD in the splendour (‘beauty’ AV) of holiness”. David wanted the people to feel specially holy in their rejoicing. May we be there and rejoice when the words of verse 31 are fulfilled; “Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns’”.
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