Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 15:1-24. Let’s go!
1 Chronicles 15:13 (NIV) 13 It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”
On verses 1-15: Here David makes a second attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem. The first time David tried moving the ark, he didn’t inquire of God as to how to do it. The result was death for one, and trouble, grief and embarrassment for many. This time David has learned his lesson and done his research. He has searched the Scriptures so that he can understand what is God’s prescribed way for moving the ark. In accordance with Scripture David makes sure that only the Levites are to transport the ark and that they are to do so by carrying it on poles, rather than pushing it on a cart.
What can we learn from this?
1. Here we see the importance of inquiring of God before you make an important decision. Before you make an important decision, seek guidance from the Holy Spirit. Get into God’s Word. Spend quality time in prayer. Seek godly counsel. This will save you trouble, embarrassment and grief later on.
2. David and his people desperately wanted the presence of God, represented by the ark. In order for the ark to come to them, David and the people had to learn to do things the way God had prescribed. David learned the hard way that when we don’t do things God’s way but just do whatever we think is right, the results can be fatal.
Likewise, nowadays many people erroneously think that they can easily access God’s presence their own way: “I don’t have to Christ in my life in order to have a relationship with God. I don’t need to ascribe to any particular religion to have God in my life. I’m a spiritual person. As long as I’m sincere and I try to have a real connection, I can access God.” Little do they know that you can only access God’s presence God’s way. When you read the Scriptures, you will see that God has prescribed a specific way for accessing His presence: it is only through Jesus Christ. Sinners like us have no way of reaching God. But because Jesus Christ died for our sins, those who place their trust in Christ can now freely access the presence of God. As Jesus Himself says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
So if you think you can access God’s presence without Jesus, then you’re only fooling yourself and can expect the same fate as Uzzah when he tried to touch God’s presence without doing it God’s way. God’s Word has already made it very clear that it is only through Jesus that we can access God’s presence.
1 Chronicles 15:16-22 (NIV) 16 David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman son of Joel; from his brothers, Asaph son of Berekiah; and from their brothers the Merarites, Ethan son of Kushaiah; 18 and with them their brothers next in rank: Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel, the gatekeepers. 19 The musicians Heman, Asaph and Ethan were to sound the bronze cymbals; 20 Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah were to play the lyres according to alamoth, 21 and Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, Jeiel and Azaziah were to play the harps, directing according to sheminith. 22 Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it.
On verses 16-22: Once again we see the role that music played in the Israelites’ worship of the Lord. Heman, Asaph and Ethan are the lead musicians in David’s worship band (v17, 19) while Kenaniah leads the singers (v22). What can we learn from this?
1. Use the gift of music to help you enter into the presence of God.
2. Kenaniah is in charge of the singers “because he was skillful at it” (v22). This tells me that effective leadership requires not just a willing heart, but also skillful hands. In Psalm 78:72 we learn that David was a great leader because he led “with integrity of heart” and “with skillful hands”. What are some skills you need to sharpen in order to a better leader in your church, home, workplace or team?
1 Chronicles 15:23-24 (NIV) 23 Berekiah and Elkanah were to be doorkeepers for the ark. 24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah and Eliezer the priests were to blow trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also to be doorkeepers for the ark.
On verses 23-24: Previously Obed-Edom had custody of the ark in his own home and everything he had was blessed as a result (1 Chronicles 13:14). So now we see Obed-Edom serving as a doorkeeper for the ark (v24). What can we learn from this? Obed-Edom had grown to love the presence of God so much that he just couldn’t stay away from God’s presence. Later on Obed-Edom would also serve as a musician (1 Chronicles 16:5). It’s as if every chance he got Obed-Edom wanted to be near the presence of God! As Psalm 84:10 says, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked”.
What can we learn from this?
1. When you’ve tasted the goodness of God’s presence, you want more of it.
2. Make the most of every chance you get to be near God’s presence. Since Jesus Christ has died on the cross for our sins, removing every obstacle that once separated us from God’s presence, like Obed-Edom let’s make the most of every opportunity we have to enjoy God’s presence and help others to experience Him. Let’s draw near to Him continually.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your powerful presence in my life, made possible only because Jesus Christ Your Son died for my sins. Since I now have 24/7 access to Your holy presence by the blood of Jesus, may I draw near to You continually, every day. Thank You for the way Your presence renews my life. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!