Published May 31, 2011
There are interesting stories in the Bible, even scattered in the parts which are not so easily readable. I Chronicles gives many lists of people and tells their family households. It can be pretty "dry" reading.
However, in chapter 13, there is an interesting story with some points that might be helpful to us today. David is king and he consults with his captains and leaders, who together decide to bring the ark of God back to them from Kirjath Jearim in Judah.
They load the ark on a new cart pulled by oxen. Traveling with the ark on the cart, they came to Chidon's threshing floor. The oxen stumble and Uzza puts his hand out to steady the ark and he dies on the spot. In this instance, God's judgement has an immediate result.
This strikes fear in David and they leave the ark with Obed-Edom, instead of taking it home to the City of David.
I could talk about David consulting with his captains and leaders, rather than asking God.
I could talk about the rules that govern moving the ark (how it is to be transported) and how it is important to be obedient to God.
But, when I read this passage, what struck me was the worship of David and his people. The passage says, "Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets." They were worshiping God.
They appeared to be worshipping properly. They "played music with all their might." They used the instruments that are mentioned other places in the Bible as instruments appropriate for worship of God. They were all in agreement on this and did worship to the best of their natural ability. Had we been listening, we would have said it was a great musical assembly and a wonderful worship experience.
However, God wanted them to consult Him. God wanted them to follow His principles and rules. God wanted obedience, not pleasant-sounding worship.
Worship is good and we are told to worship God. However, if our hearts aren't right and if we aren't seeking and obeying God, our worship will sound off key to God. Rather than being a sweet harmony to him, it'll be a harsh clang that grates on His ears.
In our worship today, corporate or individual, we need to be sure our hearts are pure before God. We need to be sure we are living in obedience. We need to ask what He wants us to do. Then we can play music before God will all our might' and worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
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