1 Chronicles 16:1-6 (Part 2) – It Ain’t Real ’til It’s In Your Zip Code

Posted: April 21, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

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

Placing the Ark in the Tabernacle

One of the things that came to light as a result of this global health pandemic is the noticeable change in attitude toward this crisis by those of us who live in Lamar, SC. We are a small farming town tucked away quietly off on Interstate 20. We are about 12 miles from where Interstate 20 ends with its intersection with Interstate 95 at Florence, SC. We are a small town as I said with farming and farming related businesses that span generations. We are a people of the land here. We pride ourselves in the fact that the world moves just a bit slower in our sleepy little town. It is such a small town that we don’t have any chain restaurants of any kind in our little place. All our restaurants, the few that we have, are locally owned. All the major retailers are in other towns as well. In jest, I have suggested that our town motto should be, “Twelve miles from anywhere…” Well, I thought was funny, anyway.

But one of the nice things about us being tucked away from larger towns is that it did take a while for the Coronavirus to get here. As a result at the beginning of the crisis, there was a sense that the virus was out there…away from us. Therefore, the virus was very conceptual to us here. We were worried but it was out there. It was a concept. It was something you observed on the nightly news and on social media newsfeeds. It was not truly real to us. It was as if we were watching a movie about a scientific goof or a terrorist release that led to this problem that….was out there. We were all fine here in Lamar. No infections reported. We began to observe the social distancing just like everybody else. But still…it was out there. We started quarantining ourselves when that became a thing too, but…still…it was out there. We stopped having in-person worship services and meetings at church just like everyone else…but…still it was out there. It was still a sense, we are doing this but it’s not a real thing to us. It was in no way a personal thing. It was like the difference between watching a news report of the fighting in the Iraq War vs. being a soldier fighting in the Iraq War.

Then it happened. It was not until early April 2020. But it happened. Someone here was the first in our zip code to contract the virus. It was no longer out there. It was here. It was personal. In just since that first person here in our zip code contracted the virus, we now have 8 confirmed cases in our zip code. As well, based on who those 8 people came into contact with during the incubation period and before they became symptomatic and got tested, there is the potential of another 49 people who could be infected as a result. These stats are as of 11:59PM on 04/20/20. Thus, the mindset changed here. It was now personal. We were finally part of the war and not just hearing news reports about it. It changes your attitude about becoming wholly conscious of social distancing, about the cleanliness of surfaces, and about just who you have been around for the last two weeks. The war had come to Lamar. It was personal now.

That idea of converting from a concept to a personal impact is what I thought about this morning when I read about David giving away the bread and the cakes to every adult person in Israel. The Ark being brought back to Jerusalem was a reason to celebrate for the entire nation but for individuals who were not in leadership like David (just everyday joes and janes) it was conceptual. They celebrated because it was a national thing and you just did it. It was not personal. In 1 Chronicles 16:1-6 here, let’s read about how David’s act changed all that, 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, as I said earlier, the celebration was a corporate, entire body of Israel kind of thing that they were celebrating. It was like how we celebrate Independence Day in America because it is a national day of remembrance of how we came into being as a country. It is something we all do, but its not really personal. However, when David gives each adult person in Israel a loaf of bread and two kinds of cakes, it became personal to each and every adult in Israel. The gift made it personal. The gift took it from concept to personal. In that sense, it is like the Coronavirus is for us in Lamar. Prior to early April 2020, it was just a concept. It was just a thing we knew about, heard about, participating in complying with the Governor’s statewide orders when requested, but it was not real to us. It was not personal. It became personal in early April when we had the first person in our zip code for the Lamar area to be reported as having the virus. There are now 8 people who have the virus. It is now real to us. It is in our zip code. It is personal.

It is not too terribly different from what Jesus has done for us through is crucifixion and His resurrection. The concept of Jesus dying for our sins and being resurrected to give us hope of eternal life are all things that a person who knows anything about Christianity can acknowledge. You can accept it. You can learn how it all ties together logically and spiritually. You can acknowledge that Christianity is the most logically consistent of all religions. You can acknowledge that it is because it is of God and that all other religions are incomplete or just plain out faulty by comparison. You can then have fondness for the concepts of Christianity and eschew other religions as false. You can do this…all…without having yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. You can academically accept the logical consistency of Christianity. You can even intellectually and spiritually accept the Word of God as a great way to model your life. However, all of that is just conceptual when Jesus Christ is not your Savior and Lord.

It only becomes personal when you have come to the end of yourself and cry out to the Savior to forgive you for the mess you have made of your life and all the sins that you have committed. It only becomes personal when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you and begins to make you more and more like Christ each day. It only becomes personal when you make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. It only becomes a real thing to you when it becomes personal. If you have not made Jesus your Savior and Lord yet? Are you ready to make it personal?

Amen and Amen.

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