Devotional: October 19, 2021
They brought the Chest of God and placed it right in the center of the tent that David had pitched for it; then they worshiped by presenting burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. When David had completed the offerings of worship, he blessed the people in the name of God. Then he passed around to every one there, men and women alike, a loaf of bread, a slice of barbecue, and a raisin cake.
First Chronicles 16: 1-3 The Message
Worshiping the Lord is a timeless event through the centuries. Different denominations and cultures have their own rituals and particular ways of coming before the Lord, and making Him the focus of their reverence and honor. Here, the Chest of God (the Ark of the Covenant) is brought into a special tent, where it would reside more or less permanently, until the tent was replaced by the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. With ark firmly established in Jerusalem, regular worship services there began. Worship included a blessing in the name of the Lord, the presentation of offerings, and the sharing of food. Many observers cannot help but see the remarkable similarities to our own modern day worship services, and fellowship time.
David, a “man after God’s own heart”, made this all possible through his thoughtful preparation. David made sure two things happened. First, he established the tent of meeting as a place where the people could meet together, and meet the Lord. David’s relationship with the Lord was important to him, and so he established a special place for that relationship to flourish.
Then, David instructed that the ark be placed right in the center of the tent of meeting, in the place of greatest prominence. The ark was not shunted off to the side. No! It was right in the very middle of this special tent. This is fitting, since the ark symbolizes God’s presence.
Later on, the tent was replaced by the temple, and later, Jesus described his body as the temple of God.
Perhaps we ought to ask ourselves two questions based on this story.
First, have we prepared a place for God to live and dwell in our lives?
In other words, have we opened our hearts to Him?
Second, does God occupy the center of our lives? Or is the Lord relegated to the periphery of our attention?
The story of King David’s life illustrates how God blesses us when we make a special place for Him in our lives. David was specially favored by God when he placed the Lord at the very center of his life.
This sentiment was later echoed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who said,
“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things (worries about daily concerns) will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33. NRSV
Lord of all,
Forgive me when my priorities do not place You in the center of my life. Help me to organize my life, so you are in a place of high prominence for me, and for others to see you through me. Thank You for wanting to have that daily personal relationship with me. May my life revolve around You in all I do and say, so that the honor and glory You deserve, is a daily ritual in my life.
In Your holy name I pray this prayer, Amen.