The Ark of God, which housed the tablets on which the ten commandments were written, the staff of Aaron, and a jar of manna, had been brought back to Jerusalem. The Ark, an inseparable part of the Israelites’ history, had been carried by them during their wandering, and served as a focal point for God to manifest Himself to the Israelites. King David wanted to have it brought to Jerusalem, but he was afraid, after a man named Uzzah was struck dead, when he reached out to steady the Ark, after the oxen pulling the cart stumbled, as the Ark was being brought to Jerusalem.
We, in 1Chronicles 13:12-14 read,
David was now afraid of God, and he asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of God back into my care?” So David did not move the Ark into the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Garth. The Ark of God remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed the household of Obed-edom and everything he owned.
David, seeing how by having the Ark, Obed-edom was being blessed, wanted the Ark moved to Jerusalem, where it belonged. So he selected men to go get it from the house of Obed-edom. It was a joyous event with singing, instruments playing, with trumpet players walking before the Ark, blowing their horns, and even King David got involved, by joyfully dancing before the Lord.
The Ark was placed inside the special tent David had prepared, the people presented sacrifices to God, and they worshiped. The instrumentalists played and David wrote a song. And this is where we will begin the Challenge.
Over the next 30 days read this song of David. Read it slowly, while reflecting on each verse, even on specific words. I suggest that you:
- Set aside time to read this song, apart from your regular time of prayer, Bible reading and worship.
- Find a quiet place, where you can be alone. This may mean getting up early or staying up late.
- Begin by waiting quietly before the Lord, by focusing your mind and thoughts on Him. If you, let’s say, set aside 30 minutes daily, spend at least 20 minutes of that time bringing your thoughts into focus. Spend that time meditating and dwelling on God and on His attributes. Once you have gotten to the place where you are focused, you will discover yourself to be more receptive to what God is saying.
- Do not speed read this song. Do not gobble it down as you would a fast food burger. Savor each verse, slowly drink it in. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Personalize each verse. Ask, does this apply to me. Is this something that I should be doing? Don’t feel that you have to read the whole song in one day. Take your time. Allow the song to minister to you, to reach your heart, to effect change, to bring you to the place where its words become your heart’s desire and your greatest joy.
- I pray as we begin this challenge that there will be a fresh love in our hearts for God, a renewed hunger to worship Him and a fervent desire to tell other about our great God.
I Chronicles 16: 7-36 NLT
7 On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the Lord:
8 Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
9 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
10 Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
11 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
12 Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
13 you children of his servant Israel,
you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.
14 He is the Lord our God.
His justice is seen throughout the land.
15 Remember his covenant forever—
the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
16 This is the covenant he made with Abraham
and the oath he swore to Isaac.
17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
18 “I will give you the land of Canaan
as your special possession.”
19 He said this when you were few in number,
a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.
20 They wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
21 Yet he did not let anyone oppress them.
He warned kings on their behalf:
22 “Do not touch my chosen people,
and do not hurt my prophets.”
23 Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
25 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
26 The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the Lord made the heavens!
27 Honor and majesty surround him;
strength and joy fill his dwelling.
28 O nations of the world, recognize the Lord,
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
29 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his presence.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
30 Let all the earth tremble before him.
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
33 Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!
Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
and rejoice and praise you.”
36 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting!
And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105