Monday, October 22, 2012

Worship and the Ark Narrative in 1 Chronicles, pt. 2

As we read Scripture, we not only look to find out what the words say, but what the balance of them says.  You really do want to emphasize what you see the Bible emphasize, because God is emphasizing it.  As I mentioned in part one, you get the genealogy of David, the fall of Saul, the enthronement of David, the explanation of David's rise, and the action of David in his kingship is a worship act, as represented by the ark narrative.   Based on the flow of 1 Chronicles, you can see that the ark and worship is the emphasis.  It is given the position and space, as if everything up to that point was leading to the ark story.  The reign in Israel is about worship.  God is seeking for true worshipers.

We left off with chapter 13.  The vuvuzelas take a melancholy aimless slide to a few helpless bursts of exhalation and then silence.  The long, quiet march home, vacant stares, incredulous head wags, looking like refugees seeking asylum.  Chins dragging on the ground.  The approach is rejected.  God is distant.  And there is no plan B.

David is now at a very productive square one.  Introspection.  Sent back to the sacred writings he should have pored over in the first place.  This wasn't for him.  It was for God, and no amount of sincerity can replace truth.  God desires what He does, and He is God, not us.  Worship recognizes who He is and gives Him what He wants.

How bad are we?  How horrible have we been?  Will we not hear the voice of God again?  Is God through with us?  Do we never again enter His presence?  Are we destined to never ending emptiness?  We deserve punishment.  We shouldn't just assume God's fellowship.  He is righteous.  He is holy.  There is none like Him.  And who are we?

The scent of cedars accompanies God's make-up message.  From a delivery of lumber and the arrival of masons and carpenters, David perceives the confirmation of the Lord.  Sweet confirmation from God.

The Philistines align themselves for invasion, David inquires of the Lord, and God answers.  He did as God commanded, Israel smites the enemy, and fear falls upon all the nations.  By the grace of God, he's ready to move the ark again.  God seeks for true worshipers.

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