From 1 Chronicles 15-17
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
After the death of Saul David was made king of all Judah and Israel. When the Philistines heard they rallied all their forces and marched against him. Because the LORD was with David, he defeated them. David’s fame grew (1 Chr 14.1-17).
David attempts to bring the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. But because they did not follow the command of the LORD in how to handle the ark. One of the people carrying it died. David tries again, and because the LORD helped the Levites who were carrying the ark, no one died. With David enthusiastically commemorating the event, the ark was taken to Jerusalem (1 Chr 15.1-29). Soon afterward placed in the tent of meeting (1 Chr 16.1-6).
7 Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers. (1 Ch 16:7)
This is what today’s passage is about. For all the LORD has done for him and for Israel, David sings a song of praise to the LORD.
8 Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
10 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
11 Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
13 O offspring of Israel his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones! (1 Ch 16:8–13)
David calls upon the name of the LORD.
The LORD is his God and source of strength and salvation.
He does not do this privately. He tells all the people around him what the LORD has done for him. He also encourages them to do the same. David is an evangelist.
David is proud to know the LORD. He glories in his name. He does not back down. He does not feel ashamed. He may be opposed, but he stands up for the LORD.
He urges others to seek the LORD and his strength. David has been strengthened by the LORD. He is an example to others. He seeks to be in his presence.
Through God’s word and prayer we encounter the LORD.
David encourages the people to always remember the LORD’s works. The LORD saved them from slavery in Egypt. He brought them out (‘miracles and judgments’), guided them along, defeated their enemies (more ‘judgments’) and gave them the promised land as an inheritance. They are now in Jerusalem because of the LORD.
David starts their story of salvation with God.
14 He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
15 Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
16 the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,
17 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
18 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance.” (1 Ch 16:14-18)
The LORD has done all this because of his covenant with Abraham and his offspring. Israel has an everlasting covenant (cf. Rom 11.28-29).
The LORD will not forget the covenant in a hurry.
The LORD was faithful to his covenant with Abraham. He came through with his promises. In view here is the promise of land (Gen 13.15; 15.18-21), what the Old Testament commonly calls Israel’s ‘inheritance’.
19 When you were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it,
20 wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people,
21 he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account,
22 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!” (1 Ch 16:19-22)
David echoes Deuteronomy 7. God chose Israel when they were small and weak. After he chose them the LORD stood up for them. He rebuked the powers of their day on their account. They are his people and he is God almighty.
Behind the stories we are meant to understand their is spiritual warfare going on.
23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. (1 Ch 16:23-27)
David repeats his exhortations to praise the name of the LORD. Everyday he exhorts people to praise the LORD and tell others what he has done.
The LORD is to be feared above all gods. Once again behind the stories we are meant to understand their is spiritual warfare going on. The gods of the other nations are really only bits of wood, stone and steel.
The LORD God is creator of the universe.
28 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
30 tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (1 Ch 16:28-34)
David increases his praise. I can imagine his shouting and praising the LORD. He encourages others to do the same.
To be loud, to be enthusiastic, to be joyful in our praise to God.
David calls out to more than just people. He calls out to all creations. The heavens, the earth, the seas, the trees and forests. All creation will sing for joy. Why?
For the LORD will come to judge the earth.
Yes – Judge the earth. God’s people and his creation yearn for the LORD to come and judge the world. To restore it to rights.
35 Say also:
“Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
36 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!”
Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD. (1 Ch 16:35-36)
God’s people are surrounded by peoples who do not know the LORD. They themselves still struggle with sin. David closes the song with a request he calls his audience to echo.
Save us, O God of our salvation and deliver us from the nations.
David is confident the LORD will do so. He ends with a blessing to the LORD and calls all his listeners to agree with ‘Amen’.
Story of Israel
In the song David is showing adoration of God. Adoration is an attitude of worship characterised by love and reverence.
After Moses and the Israelites were delivered from the Egyptians they also sung a song.
1 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. 2 The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Ex 15:1–2)
So did Hannah after the LORD granted her request for a son.
1 And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. 2 “There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. (1 Sam 2:1–2)
God’s people have been praising him for hundreds of years and still do today.
Story of Jesus
The passage anticipates the song in the gospel. After Elizabeth blessed Mary. Mary sang in praise of what the LORD would do through her son to Israel.
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry,
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 band my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones land exalted those of humble estate; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home. (Lk 1.39-56)
The prophecies will be fulfilled. Mary will give birth to Jesus. Through Jesus salvation would come to Israel and all the world.
Like David, we should be singing the praises of God who honours his covenant (‘remembers his mercy as he spoke to the fathers’) and saves his people. God’s people still sing of the salvation that has come through Jesus.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2015. All Rights Reserved.