1 Chronicles 13:1-14 (Part 5) – Will We Be A Church That Gets Its Praise On?

Posted: March 27, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 13:1-14 (Part 5 of 6)

David Attempts to Move the Ark

I recently saw a meme on Facebook about what’s going to happen with this current global pandemic has died out. It said something to the effect that there will be an explosion of those things that we cannot do right now. The restaurants will have two hour waits. The baseball stadiums will be sold-out. The beaches will be crowded. People will be hugging everyone they see. And other things to that effect.

That got me to thinking about how we ought to be when we get back to church, whenever we are given the go-ahead to have in-person worship services again. I hope and pray that the reaction will be similar to that which is predicted in the secular world where we can get back to enjoying the entertainments and the social gatherings (and the easy availability of toilet paper! LOL!). I hope that when we get back together as churches, we will be like a black churches when they get their praise on! I hope that we will be overjoyed to be together. I hope that we will be exuberant in our praise of God who has seen us through the dark days of the Coronavirus. I hope that Amens will be a part of our normal worship. I hope that we will be free to raise our hands in praise. I hope that we will be free to come to the altar and pray prayers of thanksgiving for what God has done. I hope that we will be open to new ways of expressing our praise in music and in how we personally show it.

There are times that we should be reflective in worship. There are times where we should be somber. Like right now in the midst of this virus, we should be somber and reflective in how we approach God. We should be crying out to Him to see us through this dark valley. And that is right to worship in this way right now. But when we get out of this thing – and we will because of our great God – we should not let social convention, the type of church we are, the denomination we are, or whatever else that holds us back from exuberantly worshiping the Lord, then, we will be wrong at that time. God wants both from us. Somber reflective worship when the times call for it. But when we have been delivered and set on that high ground, we should not let religious inhibitions cause us to contain our joy at what God has done.

With that idea of showing our joy in worship that we see from David (before the error of how the handling of the Ark caused a death), let’s explore that aspect of this scene in 1 Chronicles 13:1-14 after we read it now:

3 David consulted with all his officials, including the generals and captains of his army.[a] 2 Then he addressed the entire assembly of Israel as follows: “If you approve and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send messages to all the Israelites throughout the land, including the priests and Levites in their towns and pasturelands. Let us invite them to come and join us. 3 It is time to bring back the Ark of our God, for we neglected it during the reign of Saul.”

4 The whole assembly agreed to this, for the people could see it was the right thing to do. 5 So David summoned all Israel, from the Shihor Brook of Egypt in the south all the way to the town of Lebo-hamath in the north, to join in bringing the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. 6 Then David and all Israel went to Baalah of Judah (also called Kiriath-jearim) to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name[b] of the Lord who is enthroned between the cherubim. 7 They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house. Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the cart. 8 David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets.

9 But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon,[c] the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the Ark. 10 Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and he struck him dead because he had laid his hand on the Ark. So Uzzah died there in the presence of God.

11 David was angry because the Lord’s anger had burst out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means “to burst out against Uzzah”), as it is still called today.

12 David was now afraid of God, and he asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of God back into my care?” 13 So David did not move the Ark into the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath. 14 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.

In this passage, we see that worship in the Old Testament was more than a sober, religious exercise. David’s exuberance as he worshiped God, with dancing and exuberance, is mentioned several times in Scripture, and is thus approved by God. Our worship should reflect a balance of the two. Sometimes, we should be reflective and serious (See Exodus 19:14 and following). Sometimes, we should show enthusiasm and jubilation. David was so awesome that way. He had such a deep relationship with the Lord that He did not care how his praise looked. He simply praised God. He was somber when the situation called for it. But when it was time for all-out praise, David was always all-out in his personal praise. When it was time for all-out praise, David let it all hang out. Can we be that way or will we worry about what others think, when this pandemic is done?

That’s my hope when all this is said and done and things get back to normal. I would love to see my church filled with the people of Lamar that call themselves Methodists to be in our church excited. Let us be a Lamar United Methodist Church that people can hear across the street as we exclaim our joy at what God has done. I want that something good comes from this bad. I want that this church become alive with praise. That church is no longer just something you do on Sunday. That church is something that you can’t wait to get there. That church is where we let our hearts be filled with joy and purpose and that we get energized to reach a community that needs Jesus. That church is our top priority in life. That church is what we arrange our lives around and not the other way around. That we exuberiantly praise Him when we are together and that we have exuberance in sharing the gospel when we are not. That’s the church that I want to emerge from this crisis. A church that has exuberance. A church that can praise like nobody’s watching just like that song about dancing like nobody’s watching. A church with spunk. A church with fire. A church full of praise-filled life!

Amen and Amen.

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