February 16, 2010 The Lord is Good
I shared the following study about worship with some very dear friends of mine a little over a year ago. Alan said (at the time) that I needed to start a blog. I thought I would share this here with you
I have been reading through Chronicles which starts rough, but gets easier once you are past the building of the temple and the genealogy. Today I noticed a theme (other than the 2 Chron 7:14) that I had not seen before. When David was preparing for the building of the temple during his reign, he established for the nation a centrality in worship of God alone. This is not really anything new, just reading through Psalms any person could see that. But he set up a very specific theme of worship. When they bring the Ark to Jerusalem (and David dances wildly before the Lord) he shared a great Psalm of Thanks. This is the first occurrence and it is found in 1 Chron. 16:34. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” David sets up worship again for the first time in years in the tabernacle. Asaph and his family are in charge of worship, Zadok and team are in charge of offerings, and it says in 16:41 that David appoints a team in charge of giving thanks to proclaim repeatedly “his love endures forever”. It makes me wonder what would please God more than if we had a team in our churches that spent their time only in giving thanks to God.
Anyway… Flash forward in time to Solomon. After 20 years, the Temple is finally finished. They bring the Ark into the temple to its final resting place. The priests withdraw from the Holy Place (where God dwells), and everyone breaks out in song. It says in 2 Chron. 5:13 that they did so with one voice. What did they proclaim? “He is good, his love endures forever.” The temple was filled with a cloud, and they could not complete their service because the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
Again at the dedication of the temple, after Solomon finished praying, fire fell from heaven. When the people saw the fire fall from heaven, they all fell prostrate before Him. It says in 2 Chron 7:3 they worshiped, and gave thanks saying “he is good; His love endures forever.”
Flash forward again to the time of Jehoshaphat. He was king over the Southern Kingdom, Judah. He followed the Lord, much like David. They people are about to be attacked by an army much larger than theirs. Everyone young and old gathered in the cliffs. They cried out to God, literally saying “we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” 2 Chron. 20:12 In this desperate moment worship breaks out. A prophesy comes from the Lord that they will not have to fight. The next morning, Jehoshaphat leads the army out. Not with a battle cry, but again in worship. What is the song they sing? “Give thanks to Lord, for his love endures forever.” As they sing, the Lord sets an ambush. By time the army gets to the battle lines all they see are dead bodies everywhere. It takes them 3 days to gather the plunder.
Of course the people of Judah do not always stay faithful to the Lord. In fact, God calls their turning away from him prostitution. Very strong words!!! They are sent into exile. During Jeremiah’s time he prophesies about the restoration of Israel. In the beautiful Jeremiah 33 we find “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable thing you did not know.” (Jer 33:3) He goes on to tell the people of God’s promise to bring them back to a time when they seek him alone and worship only the one true God. When they will bring sacrifices again, and sing “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever.” This is central in their worship to the one true God.
This prophesy is fulfilled in Ezra 3:11. As the builders finish the foundation to the temple, they all stop for a time of worship. It says, as prescribed by David. “He is good, his love to Israel endures forever.”
I have more to share on this, but I will have to finish it another time. So rich is the word of God.
Give thanks to Him, my sisters, for he is good. His love endures forever