When you understand the depth of 1 Chronicles 16, perhaps one of the most extraordinary chapters in the Old Testament, it could change your walk with the LORD and your life. Literally.
The Return of the Ark
When you think of holiness and glory of God, what do you think of? Power, glory, heaviness, seriousness, low and reverent worship as man and angels bow low, etc… And there’s truth to all of these things. And yet this is primarily how we see the holiness of God–with great somberness. And this is exactly how some churches model “church” life. But there is a different side to this as well: The utter jubilation!
The ark of God represented the presence of God among the people. And yet around the ark it was dancing, cymbals, harps, lyres, trumpets, and music (2 Sam 6; 1 Chr 16). There was also tasty and delicious food being distributed to men and women alike (1 Chr 16:3).
The Decree of Celebration
Not only this but David appointed the Levites to continue “to celebrate the LORD God of Israel, and to give thanks and praise to Him” (1 Chr 16:4). Around the very essence and presence of God was celebration! And it was not just for this grand event of the ark returning to Israel, but it was decreed as a regular part of worship (1 Chr 16:6-7).
When David then sang and shouted a song of thanksgiving, it was a song of the rejoicing around God’s throne (2 Chr 16/Psalm 105):
- “Let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice” (1 Chr 16:10)
- “Sing to the LORD, all the earth” (1 Chr 16:23)
- “strength and joy are in His place” (1 Chr 16:27)
- “Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice (1 Chr 16:31)
- “Then the trees of the forest will shout for joy before the LORD” (1 Chr 16:33)
- “so that we may give thanks to Your holy name and rejoice in Your praise” (1 Chr 16:35)
- “May Yahweh, the God of Israel, be praised” (1 Chr 16:36)
The Official Thanker
It even gets wilder than this. David literally appointed official “Thankers.”
“With him were Hemen, Jeduthun, and the rest who were chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the LORD–for His faithful love endures forever” (1 Chr 16:41).
Can you imagine hiring someone in your job and telling them, ‘Your job is to thank the LORD all day and do so with song, music, and more.’ What a job! And what a role.
In the temple David literally appointed people whose job was to thank the LORD in the temple day and night. To celebrate the goodness of God.
Yes there were sacrifices and offerings for sin. But when those sins were dealt with, there was the atmosphere of thanksgiving and music to celebrate the goodness of God to forgive and give.
How This Changes Us
If we understand that around the holiness of God it is a place of dancing, music, celebration, feasting and great thankfulness, how can that change our prayer life if we perceive His presence as a place of joy? How does that change our worship life? Individually and corporately? When was the last time you danced before the LORD? What about taking the role of Official Thanker for the day?