Posts Tagged worship
This is a great chapter in David’s story.
First, they’re returning the Ark to Jerusalem – just as it should be, right?
Then, the wheel on the cart falls off and the men innocently try and catch the ark and stop it from falling on the ground. Oops – not supposed to touch the ark – and they’re killed. God’s mad.
So, David thinks – it’s too risky to bring the Ark into Jerusalem! So, he leaves it at Obed-Edum’s pad for 3 months. During that time, Mr. Edum gets blessed along with his entire household as a result of the Ark being there.
So, now David thinks – perhaps I SHOULD bring it back home. And he does.
If they’d only have listened to God in the first place, none of this would have had to happen.
Now – my favorite story in this chapter is about David’s wife Michal. She saw him dancing around, praising God like he just didn’t care. She looked out the window and saw everyone gawking at him, making a fool of himself (in her mind). But, David was dancing before God “with all his might” and didn’t care what anyone thought.
When he got back home, she told him what a fool she thought he was – and she was cursed at that instant and never was able to have children.
I love David’s response to Michal:
21 David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”
I guess this chapter is all about motives. What was David’s motive for bringing the Ark back to Jerusalem? Did he think it was best because he wanted to please God? Or, did he just bring it there so he and his household could be blessed like Mr. Edum?
When Michal commented as she did at David, was she thinking about how much David loved God and was trying to please God? Or, was she more concerned with what others thought about her husband?
The encouragement here for me is to keep my eyes on pleasing God – and not worry about what anyone else is thinking. Are you willing to be “even more undiginfied” and humiliated to honor and praise God?
I found Psalms 144 interesting. David praises God for training him for war. He acknowledges that God has rescued him and is his refuge in times of trouble. He recognizes that with God, his family and his nation will be blessed. And, right in the middle of all this we find:
9 I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, 10 to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword.
We know David was a skilled musician. We have record of him soothing King Saul with his harp-playing skills. He was a song writer and worship leader.
In this Psalm, I see how David considers singing a song to God a gift-giving experience. I read this chapter as if he is saying, “You have done great things for us, so I will sing you a new song.
Have you ever wondered what you can give to God? I mean – He made everything that we can see – what can we possibly give back to Him? Sure, we give our tithes and offerings to Him. We know when we give to “the least of these” we are giving to Him. But what can we give directly to God?
Since I’ve had children, I’ve looked at my relationship with God in a whole new way. When my daughter was two years old, for example, she didn’t have a career or even an allowance. She had no money except for the few coins she had managed to collect from her treasure hunts or from begging her parents. Yet when it came time for Father’s Day or birthday celebrations, she always had managed to bless me with a hand-made card or drawing. I could tell she put her heart into her gift and wanted it to be special…and it always was. I kept them all. No, I probably couldn’t sell these treasures on ebay or in an art gallery. But, since they came from my daughter, they were so special to me – priceless.
I think David has given us a clue as to what we can give directly to God that will bless Him: a new song. If you’re not musical, you may be thinking that’s impossible. But try this…just make sure no one can see you – perhaps while you’re driving or when no one’s home. Just start praying to God in song. Tell Him your cares or your praises to a made-up melody. It doesn’t have to rhyme or sound like a top-40 hit. Just pour out your heart to Him and see what happens. Or – open the Bible to a Psalm and read His word aloud to a melody – in other words, sing His word back to Him. I’ve found these to be among the sweetest times of praise I’ve ever experienced.
Like a father receiving a gift from his young child, our Daddy wants to hear from His children – from their heart.
grace & peace,
Today’s reading in Psalms 129 is short. I’ve included the entire Psalm:
1 They have greatly oppressed me from my youth– let Israel say– 2 they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me. 3 Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long. 4 But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.
5 May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame. 6 May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow; 7 with it the reaper cannot fill his hands, nor the one who gathers fill his arms. 8 May those who pass by not say, “The blessing of the Lord be upon you; we bless you in the name of the Lord.”
Keep in mind that the Psalms were typically delivered in song. How I wish we had some record of how these sounded when put to music. Not the typical “verse-chorus-verse-chorus” song structure we’ve come to know and love today. Nonetheless, this is how the people expressed themselves.
What is on your heart today? Has God given you freedom from the wicked? Has He rescued you from your problems? Has He blessed you with a family, health or joy? Are you facing trials and you need His help? Why not sing out a song to Him? Express yourself. Just get someplace where no one can hear you and let ‘er rip! Make a joyful noise to God today!
grace & peace,
1 I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” 2 Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem. 3 Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. 4 That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to praise the name of the Lord according to the statute given to Israel. 5 There the thrones for judgment stand, the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. 7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” 8 For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.
See what I mean? Not much there. When in doubt, I turn to Matthew Henry’s Commentary. Here’s what he has to add:
This psalm seems to have been penned by David for the use of the people of Israel, when they came up to Jerusalem to worship at the three solemn feasts. It was in David’s time that Jerusalem was first chosen to be the city where God would record his name. It being a new thing, this, among other means, was used to bring the people to be in love with Jerusalem, as the holy city, though it was but the other day in the hands of the Jebusites.
This passage makes me wonder about the “solemn feasts” of David’s time. There is such rich tradition in the Jewish culture. David wrote this Psalm to be used to emphasize the spiritual significance of the holy city of Jerusalem.
It got me thinking about my personal worship style. I’ve never been much for liturgy or ritual. As a matter of fact, the circles I used to run in were very opposed to anything that seemed liturgical…almost militant. However, over the years, I’ve come to appreciate and love some of the recent liturgical moments I’ve experienced. My family is not one that has too many “traditions” throughout the year, but I’ve admired some of the annual traditions I’ve seen some families participate in that bring meaning and belonging into the family…and I’m not just talking about Catholic friends.
I was wondering if any of my readers have any special family traditions they participate in and would be willing to share in a comment? Do you or does someone you know have any special yearly traditions? How about special liturgical worship experiences you’d like to share?
grace & peace,