1 Chronicles 16:1-6 (Part 1) – Waiting for Those Gym Shorts & T-Shirt Mornings

Posted: April 17, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 16:1-6 (Part 1 of 2)

Placing the Ark in the Tabernacle

As I sit here in April 2020, on Friday, one of my days off, it is a cold morning, unusually so for this time of year. The temperature is in the low 40’s this morning. It is a time in which you just wish it would be warm and stay warm. We have been flirting with full-fledged Spring here in Lamar for several weeks now. But in April, fall type weather will occasionally pop back into the picture. It is an odd month weather wise. I can go on my early morning jogs in a t-shirt and gym shorts one day (when the early morning temps are in the high 50s/low 60s) and then two days later have to wear sweat pants, sweat shirt and gloves like I did yesterday morning. I keep telling myself that soon it will be warm and stay warm. I will be able to put away my winter jogging attire for good until late September or early October. The continuous warmth will be welcomed. The consistently warm weather for half the year is one of the things I love about my native South Carolina. It is that vision of warm early morning jogs where its just a baseball cap (to keep the sweat out of my eyes), a t-shirt, gym shorts, ankle socks and my just about worn-out jogging shoes (used exclusively for my Sunday-Thursday early morning jogs) that give me hope – something to look forward to. My morning jogs are a whole lot more pleasurable when I am not wearing three layers of clothing and its just cold. Those times make you question why you do this 5 days a week. But when its warm in the mornings, the jogs are pleasurable. You can then focus on the stillness and the quietness of the early mornings in Lamar and just commune with the Lord. It is that dangling out of the carrot that keeps you going. It keeps you looking forward to that extended time of good, warm early morning weather. I can’t wait to put away the winter gear! Hope drives us sometimes, doesn’t it?

This morning, I was thinking about how as a Christian, I always have had a sense of hopefulness in some size. There have been times in my life since salvation that the size of my hope was pretty small. Just a sliver for some periods in my life. But it was there. It was small sliver of light ahead, but it was there. That sliver of hope has gotten me through some of the darkest times of my life. Keep on keeping on toward that sliver of light in the darkness. Why do I have that perpetual, at least, sliver of hope that keeps me keeping on? That is the hope of knowing that God takes everything and works it toward our good. He even takes the tough times to mold us into something beautiful. He takes what we are going through and uses it to prepare us for what He has in store for us next. And then there’s the certainty that we have that in His promise to work things toward our good that we can put one foot in front of the other on the rough days. It is His promise to use all things for our good, even the bad stuff, is where that little sliver of hope comes from. We could be going through a whole lot of poo-poo right at the moment, but that “working all things for our good for those who love him” gets us through. It is a promise of a brighter day. It is also a promise that what we are going through is not wasted. There is a promise of still waters. There is a promise of warmer days in the early morning. It gets us through. It points us toward the sliver of hope in the distance. It gives us reason to praise.

That idea of there always being a reason to hope and be hopeful and thus able to praise the Lord is what I thought of this morning when I read about these guys who were to offer continual praise to the Lord. In 1 Chronicles 16:1-6 here, we see the guys that David designated to be the praisers in the Tabernacle. That’s your job. You gotta praise even on your bad days. Let’s read about them now:

16 They brought the Ark of God and placed it inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. 2 When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord. 3 Then he gave to every man and woman in all Israel a loaf of bread, a cake of dates,[a] and a cake of raisins.

4 David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the Lord—to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel. 5 Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres. 6 The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.

In this passage, we see that certain Levites were appointed to give continual praise and thanks to God. Praise and thanksgiving should be a regular part of our routine, not just reserved for times of great celebration. We should praise God continually and you will find that you won’t take his blessings for granted. Think about these guys that had to continually offer praise and thanksgiving to the Lord EVERY DAY. Even when they were having a bad day, personally, they were expected to be praising and giving thanks when they got to work. I bet there were some days, they weren’t feeling it when they got to work, but they proceeded with their job anyway. And I bet by the end of their day, their hearts had been changed.

As we live through this pandemic of global proportions and the daily doses of bad news that come with it, we can have hope. As we live through this, even as we hear of 15-20% unemployment resulting from the shutdown of our economy to create the social distancing needed to kill the virus, we can have hope. Even as we hear that we can just now begin talking about opening the country back up but that it will still be weeks maybe a more or more before things return to some sense of normalcy, we can have hope. We can still praise. As God has used this time to kindle hunger for the Lord among the unchurched, and as God has rekindled a passion for church among the churched, we can have the hope that God has used this pandemic to make us think of things of the Lord. Maybe that’s the good. Maybe it has forced us as Christians to rethink our old ways of trying to reach the world that were faltering and embrace new ways – because we HAD TO. Maybe, too, it has been a time to prepare some hearts for what He will call them to do once the pandemic is over. Maybe, this has been an incubation time for several, maybe even thousands of folks to follow God’s call on their lives that they have been ignoring in the busy-ness of the pre-pandemic world. All these possibilities give us hope. Even the deaths are warnings to us all that we must consider our relationship with God because our lives can come quickly to an end. Maybe, this warning shot is teaching the unbeliever that God does exist, that hell exists, that life can be snapped away from us in an instant, and that they do need a relationship with that guy who is more than just radical rabbi, Jesus Christ, and that He is the Son of God! All these things can bring hope amidst the winter of our discontent.

There is always a reason to praise and give thanks to the Lord. He is working our own individual circumstances toward our good. He is working it toward what is next for us. He is preparing us for what’s next. He is making a way for us through the darkness. He is taking us from the cold winter to the warm spring. That is the sliver of hope that keeps us going. That is the joy. That is the reason to praise. That is the reason to give thanks. That is the reason to keep going. Warm weather is comin’ and that is reason enough to praise.

Amen and Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s