Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 1 Chronicles 16:10 NIV
The book of 1 Chronicles follows the story of the tribes of Israel from Adam, spending particular attention to that of Judah, the royal line that leads to King David. After David was appointed king of a unified Israel, one of his first acts was to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, the City of David. There was a failed attempt in Chapter 13 due to the disregard for God's instructions on the movement of the Ark (Nu. 4:4, 15, 17-20). In Chapter 15, David addresses the problems in the earlier attempt, appointing the correct people, the Levites, to carry the Ark and prepares a temporary shelter for its placement.
Bringing the Ark into the royal city was a joyous occasion—a parade with music, singing, and dancing (2 Sam. 6:16). The Ark, the gift given from God to Israel in the wandering days in the desert–the communication device between God and man was being returned to its people. They were no longer separated from each other and their God. What a reason for rejoicing.
The verse for today is from a much longer song (16:8-36) sung as they carried the Ark. Here's the first verse and the response said by the people at the end. (v. 8-10, 36)
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
Then all the people said "Amen" and "Praise the Lord."
What are we to take away from this story? Let's consider bringing the Ark into Jerusalem as accepting Christ into our hearts. Here are some things they have in common.
The symbolism of God's presence: Both the Ark and Christ represent the dwelling place of God. The Ark was a physical vessel believed to house God's presence among the Israelites, while God's presence in the form of the Holy Spirit resides within us when we accept Christ.
Transformation: Bringing the Ark to Jerusalem signified a new era of unity and centralized worship for the Israelites. Accepting Christ is a transformative moment of our faith and surrender.
Celebration: The arrival of the Ark in Jerusalem was marked by music, dancing, and sacrifices. Accepting Christ is accompanied by feelings of joy, peace, and gratitude.
Most Holy and Gracious Father, like King David and the people of Israel, we come before you overflowing with gratitude for your countless blessings. We thank you for the gift of life. Most of all, we thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit your presence with us. Forgive us, Lord, for the times we fail to see your hand in our lives, for the moments we forget to sing your praises. Grant us eyes to see your wonders in the ordinary and hearts attuned to the music of your grace. May our lives be a song of thanksgiving. May our voices join the chorus of creation, forever echoing the words "Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice." As your chosen people, we say "Amen" and "Praise the Lord."