“So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required:” (1 Chronicles 16:37)
As a king, David had led the armies of Israel to experience victory against their adversaries. Rallying themselves together under his rulership, the Israelites became a mighty nation (1 Chronicles 13:2). David’s attempt to centralize his kingdom rule included the plan to bring the Ark of the Covenant from Kirjathjearim (1 Chronicles 13:5). When this plan met with disaster, the attempt was aborted, and the Ark remained at the home of Obededom (1 Chronicles 13:9-14).
In our text verse, David has at long last retrieved the Ark and brought it to the City of Jerusalem amid a great deal of rejoicing. Such a moment was glorious indeed! It was a triumphal moment, signifying the arrival of the Lord Himself, met with great fanfare, as all the people joined in celebration. The larger portion of Chapter 16 consists of David’s Psalm of Thanksgiving, ascribing greatness to the Lord God, and exhorting the people young and old to praise Him.
“…And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 16:36)
Then it was finished. It was all over with. And everyday life resumed. And the people went home. And people went to work. And people went to sleep. And people got sick. And people had bills to pay. And people had children. And people passed away. Get the picture?
A lot of times, we will find ourselves joining in a great celebration with others over the goodness of the Lord. We may get excited during a particularly soul-stirring sermon, we clap our hands and glorify God with our mouths; or we may get moved to rejoicing during the song service as we lift our hands, hearts, and voices to heaven, worshipping Him with compete abandon, so that we’ve no doubt of the very Presence of God.
And then it ends.
“That sure was a pretty song.” “Fine sermon there, pastor.” “We’ll see you next week.” “Drive safely.” Then it’s all over. And everyday life resumes. The moment of contact is gone, and we’re left wondering what happens next.
If all we ever do is to live for a sermon, a song, a church service; if the sum total of our Christian experience is lived in the moment of such experiences – then we are seriously defunct in our New Life. Friend, I don’t mean to belittle legitimate worship experiences. But Christ calls us to present our lives as a sacrifice (Romans 12:1) – not just on Sundays; not just during the preaching; not just during the program. We are to always be in celebration of the goodness of the Lord (Philippians 4:4).
Our text verse shows us the truth of this very basic principle by the priests, the Levites, and the singers. After the grand celebration over the Presence of the Ark being moved to Jerusalem; after the big commemorative speeches and the toast and the prayers; after the last handshake, and the last pat on the back, and the last person has gone home – everyday life resumes. And everyday service continues.
When we come together in the community of faith to experience true worship at the point of contact with the Lord Himself, our momentary experiences should not be the extent of our Life in Christ. What are you doing then with your everyday life? If we only experience the excitement and celebration of the Lord’s goodness one or two days out of the week, we are not presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice.
Rather than isolated worship experiences, we are to give ourselves over to the Lord daily (1 Corinthians 15:31) in order to experience the Life of Christ in us every day (Galatians 2:20). When our everyday experience becomes one of worship and contact with the Lord, then we will glorify God with our life (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).