Some may thing there is no such thing as right and wrong, and that will cause more pain that it is worth. Some may see the world in a grey rather than the reality of the situation. Do you want to do it the right way the first time and avoid the pain, the suffering, and the loss? Do you have to feel the pain, the suffering, and the loss to try something else? Will you do the research the first time in order to know how it should be done? Will you falter and then go look into the facts and determine the right way to get it done? Some people are willing to learn from the mistakes of others. Other people choose to make their own mistakes and hence feel the pain. It’s less painful to learn from someone else’s mistakes. Do you believe in right and wrong? Do you believe in true and false? Do you believe there is a source that help you understand right and wrong? Do you believe that God has provided us with the tools to help us choose wisely? Seek wisdom first before you start on something. Ask God for wisdom in making that decision. Ask fellow believers to try and see if you can get a unified recommendation. Ask your Christian mentors or leaders for their thoughts. And avoid trying to keep going the wrong way and having to face the pain, the suffering, and the loss that comes from doing it the wrong way!
This morning’s reading from 1 Chronicles speaks to David’s second attempt and going about it the way it is supposed to be done, the right way and how it worked so much better than his first attempt.
Getting Ready to Move the Covenant Box
1For his own use, David built houses in David’s City. He also prepared a place for God’s Covenant Box and put up a tent for it. 2Then he said, “Only Levites should carry the Covenant Box, because they are the ones the Lord chose to carry it and to serve him forever.” 3So David summoned all the people of Israel to Jerusalem in order to bring the Covenant Box to the place he had prepared for it. 4Next he sent for the descendants of Aaron and for the Levites. 5From the Levite clan of Kohath came Uriel, in charge of 120 members of his clan; 6from the clan of Merari came Asaiah, in charge of 220; 7from the clan of Gershon, Joel, in charge of 130; 8from the clan of Elizaphan, Shemaiah, in charge of 200; 9from the clan of Hebron, Eliel, in charge of 80; 10and from the clan of Uzziel, Amminadab, in charge of 112. 11David called in the priests Zadok and Abiathar and the six Levites, Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. 12He said to the Levites, “You are the leaders of the Levite clans. Purify yourselves and your fellow Levites, so that you can bring the Covenant Box of the Lord God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it. 13Because you were not there to carry it the first time, the Lord our God punished us for not worshiping him as we should have done.” 14Then the priests and the Levites purified themselves in order to move the Covenant Box of the Lord God of Israel. 15The Levites carried it on poles on their shoulders, as the Lord had commanded through Moses. 16David commanded the leaders of the Levites to assign various Levites to sing and to play joyful music on harps and cymbals. 17-21From the clans of singers they chose the following men to play the brass cymbals: Heman son of Joel, his relative Asaph son of Berechiah, and Ethan son of Kushaiah, of the clan of Merari. To assist them they chose the following Levites to play the high-pitched harps: Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah.To play the low-pitched harps they chose the following Levites: Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Azaziah, and the Temple guards, Obed Edom and Jeiel. 22Because of his skill in music Chenaniah was chosen to be in charge of the levitical musicians. 23-24Berechiah and Elkanah, along with Obed Edom and Jehiah, were chosen as guards for the Covenant Box. The priests Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer were chosen to blow trumpets in front of the Covenant Box.
Moving the Covenant Box to Jerusalem
(2 Samuel 6.12-22)
25So King David, the leaders of Israel, and the military commanders went to the house of Obed Edom to get the Covenant Box, and they had a great celebration. 26They sacrificed seven bulls and seven sheep, to make sure that God would help the Levites who were carrying the Covenant Box. 27David was wearing a robe made of the finest linen, and so were the musicians, Chenaniah their leader, and the Levites who carried the Box. David also wore a linen ephod. 28So all the Israelites accompanied the Covenant Box up to Jerusalem with shouts of joy, the sound of trumpets, horns, and cymbals, and the music of harps. 29As the Box was being brought into the city, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and leaping for joy, and she was disgusted with him. –from 1 Chronicles 15
Will you judge others? Will you judge their actions and responses? Will you open yourself up for the wrath and the reality of the fact that the measure you use to judge others will then be used to judge you?
When you do it the right way and are successful, will you celebrate? Will you share the victory with others? Will you allow others to be a part of the celebration? Will you allow your victory to wind in the sails of others who are trying to get through something and allow your experience to speak the importance of the preparation and the obedience to pursuing what is right? What can others learn from what happened to you? From the defeats and the victories? Will you share so that others can also achieve the victories? Will you share so that others won’t have to feel the pain of defeat on their own? Will you remember that there really is a right way and a wrong way?
1 Chronicles continues …
1They took the Covenant Box to the tent which David had prepared for it and put it inside. Then they offered sacrifices and fellowship offerings to God. 2After David had finished offering the sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord 3and distributed food to them all. He gave each man and woman in Israel a loaf of bread, a piece of roasted meat, and some raisins. 4David appointed some of the Levites to lead the worship of the Lord, the God of Israel, in front of the Covenant Box, by singing and praising him. 5Asaph was appointed leader, with Zechariah as his assistant. Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed Edom, and Jeiel were to play harps. Asaph was to sound the cymbals, 6and two priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, were to blow trumpets regularly in front of the Covenant Box. 7It was then that David first gave Asaph and the other Levites the responsibility for singing praises to the Lord. –from 1 Chronicles 16
Will you give God the praise and the glory for the wisdom and direction He has given you? Will you give Him the honor and the glory for the victory since the reality is that the battle belongs to the Lord?
We see in 1 Chronicles how David responds.
A Song of Praise
(Psalms 105.1-15; 96.1-13; 106.1, 47, 48)
8Give thanks to the Lord, proclaim his greatness; tell the nations what he has done.
9Sing praise to the Lord; tell the wonderful things he has done.
10Be glad that we belong to him; let all who worship him rejoice!
11Go to the Lord for help, and worship him continually.
12-13You descendants of Jacob, God’s servant, descendants of Israel, whom God chose, remember the miracles that God performed and the judgments that he gave.
14The Lord is our God; his commands are for all the world.
15Never forget God’s covenant, which he made to last forever,
16the covenant he made with Abraham, the promise he made to Isaac.
17The Lord made a covenant with Jacob, one that will last forever.
18“I will give you the land of Canaan,” he said. “It will be your own possession.”
19God’s people were few in number, strangers in the land of Canaan.
20They wandered from country to country, from one kingdom to another.
21But God let no one oppress them; to protect them, he warned the kings:
22“Don’t harm my chosen servants; do not touch my prophets.”
23Sing to the Lord, all the world! Proclaim every day the good news that he has saved us.
24Proclaim his glory to the nations, his mighty deeds to all peoples.
25The Lord is great and is to be highly praised; he is to be honored more than all the gods.
26The gods of all other nations are only idols, but the Lord created the heavens.
27Glory and majesty surround him, power and joy fill his Temple.
28Praise the Lord, all people on earth, praise his glory and might.
29Praise the Lord’s glorious name; bring an offering and come into his Temple. Bow down before the Holy One when he appears;
30tremble before him, all the earth! The earth is set firmly in place and cannot be moved.
31Be glad, earth and sky! Tell the nations that the Lord is king.
32Roar, sea, and every creature in you; be glad, fields, and everything in you!
33The trees in the woods will shout for joy when the Lord comes to rule the earth.
34Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal.
35Say to him, “Save us, O God our Savior; gather us together; rescue us from the nations, so that we may be thankful and praise your holy name.”
36Praise the Lord, the God of Israel! Praise him now and forever! Then all the people said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord.
–from 1 Chronicles 16
How will you share all that God has done for you? How will you celebrate His goodness from the victory He has provided? How many times will it take before you walk in obedience (do it the right way)? Will you setup the time after the victory in a way to sustain it? We see how David did!
Worship at Jerusalem and Gibeon
37King David put Asaph and the other Levites in permanent charge of the worship that was held at the place where the Covenant Box was kept. They were to perform their duties there day by day. 38Obed Edom son of Jeduthun and sixty-eight men of his clan were to assist them. Hosah and Obed Edom were in charge of guarding the gates. 39Zadok the priest and his fellow priests, however, were in charge of the worship of the Lord at the place of worship in Gibeon. 40Every morning and evening they were to burn sacrifices whole on the altar in accordance with what was written in the Law which the Lord gave to Israel. 41There with them were Heman and Jeduthun and the others who were specifically chosen to sing praises to the Lord for his eternal love. 42Heman and Jeduthun also had charge of the trumpets and cymbals and the other instruments which were played when the songs of praise were sung. The members of Jeduthun’s clan were in charge of guarding the gates. 43Then everyone went home, and David went home to spend some time with his family. –from 1 Chronicles 16
God may give you a vision for what is yet to come and how He wants you to be a part of it, and at the same time, He may give you the message that you aren’t to be the one to get it done. Your past or your hands may keep you from being able to do it, however, if you are called to prepare, to give, to document, then be obedient to your calling so that in and through you God’s word and plan and purpose can be accomplished in His timing!
There is a right way and a wrong way and God knows what He is doing!
Nathan’s Message to David
(2 Samuel 7.1-17)
1King David was now living in his palace. One day he sent for the prophet Nathan and said to him, “Here I am living in a house built of cedar, but the Lord’s Covenant Box is kept in a tent!” 2Nathan answered, “Do whatever you have in mind, because God is with you.” 3But that night God said to Nathan, 4“Go and tell my servant David that I say to him, ‘You are not the one to build a temple for me to live in. 5From the time I rescued the people of Israel from Egypt until now I have never lived in a temple; I have always lived in tents and moved from place to place. 6In all my traveling with the people of Israel I never asked any of the leaders that I appointed why they had not built me a temple made of cedar.’ 7“So tell my servant David that I, the Lord Almighty, say to him, ‘I took you from looking after sheep in the fields and made you the ruler of my people Israel. 8I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have defeated all your enemies as you advanced. I will make you as famous as the greatest leaders in the world. 9-10I have chosen a place for my people Israel and have settled them there, where they will live without being oppressed any more. Ever since they entered this land they have been attacked by violent people, but this will not happen again. I promise to defeat all your enemies and to give you descendants. 11When you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will make one of your sons king and will keep his kingdom strong. 12He will be the one to build a temple for me, and I will make sure that his dynasty continues forever. 13I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will not withdraw my support from him as I did from Saul, whom I removed so that you could be king. 14I will put him in charge of my people and my kingdom forever. His dynasty will never end.’” 15Nathan told David everything that God had revealed to him. –from 1 Chronicles 17
You can hold onto God’s promises! God has called you for such a day and such a time as this! His plans for you are good. His ways are not our ways, His ways are better. He wants for us to have a hope and a future. So let’s do what is right and walk in alignment to His will.
David’s Prayer of Thanksgiving
(2 Samuel 7.18-29)
16Then King David went into the Tent of the Lord’s presence, sat down, and prayed, “I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, Lord God, nor is my family. 17Yet now you are doing even more; you have made promises about my descendants in the years to come, and you, Lord God, are already treating me like someone great. 18What more can I say to you! You know me well, and yet you honor me, your servant. 19It was your will and purpose to do this for me and to show me my future greatness. 20Lord, there is none like you; we have always known that you alone are God. 21There is no other nation on earth like Israel, whom you rescued from slavery to make them your own people. The great and wonderful things you did for them spread your fame throughout the world. You rescued your people from Egypt and drove out other nations as your people advanced. 22You have made Israel your own people forever, and you, Lord, have become their God. 23“And now, O Lord, fulfill for all time the promise you made about me and my descendants, and do what you said you would. 24Your fame will be great, and people will forever say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel.’ And you will preserve my dynasty for all time. 25I have the courage to pray this prayer to you, my God, because you have revealed all this to me, your servant, and have told me that you will make my descendants kings. 26You, Lord, are God, and you have made this wonderful promise to me. 27I ask you to bless my descendants so that they will continue to enjoy your favor. You, Lord, have blessed them, and your blessing will rest on them forever.”
–from 1 Chronicles 17
So today as we begin, let’s turn to God and ask Him for wisdom! Let’s ask Him for eyes to see and ears to hear! Let’s ask Him for wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong! Let’s ask Him for the boldness, the courage, and the faith to be obedient and do what He calls us to do! And Let’s live lives that will give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen!