Tag Archives: Fear of the Lord

A House For the LORD

A House for the Lord from 1 Chronicles 13-17
Our passage reading begins with David trying to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. While he probably thought he was doing a good thing – he was doing it the wrong way. Often in our own lives we can attempt to do the good work of ministry, only to find out we should have consulted with the LORD on how to get it done. The incident that stops the whole show is when the oxen stumble and Uzza reaches out to steady the cart. God strikes him dead and then King David gets angry at the anger of the LORD. Needless, to say the Ark winds up staying three months with Obed-Odem and the blessings of the LORD are poured out there instead of Jerusalem. There is a bit of mysticism with the Ark of the Covenant – now I’m not trying to go Indiana Jones on you, but the Blessings that seemed to accompany anyone who had the Ark in their possession seems odd at best. The exception is when the Philistines capture the Ark [thinking that they have Israel’s god] and are “blessed with hemorrhoids. I found it quite interesting that the place from which the Ark had been left all the days of King Saul was in Kiriath-jearim. By now you are saying where? The place Kiriath-jeraim was the location in Numbers 13/14 where Israel was to crossover the first time into the Promised Land. Very Interesting, could this mean that we must sometimes have to go backwards to the point of our last failure/disobedience in order to start fresh? Probably so!
The Ark of the Covenant appears to have an unknown power about it; even the anger of the LORD if not properly handled. The Israelites felt there was a mystical power with it; they took the Ark before them before crossing the Jordan River and into battles. There is a great identity of the Ark and the Presence of God.
David has two battles against the Philistines which he ensures that God is with him in the battles – God affirms the how of the attack as well as the victory for David. The fear of King David grows throughout the land. King David attempts a second movement of the Ark. This time with great detail and caution, involving the Levites, priests and seems like just anyone else to ensure proper procedures are followed. We have covered the disgruntled Michal with David’s dancing and subsequent barrenness.
There is a great time of worship of the people, even King David is benevolent; he gives everyone a loaf of bread, raisin cake and portion of meat.
King David has an established unified throne with Judah and Israel. He lives in a fine house of Lebanon cedar. David had created a Tent for the Ark of the Covenant but appears to see the House of God as insufficient when compared to his house. He talks to Nathan about wanting to build the LORD a house. Nathan says go ahead. But the LORD comes to Nathan in a dream and says – Nope – not my way. Interesting that David desires to build a House for the LORD; and the LORD God turns around and establishes the HOUSE OF DAVID and the Throne of David as a perpetual eternal throne. The Covenant that God makes with David is an “unequaled covenant.” By this I mean that God and David are not equal. Just when David thought he could do good FOR God; God does more for David.
In this Davidic Covenant we have the establishing of Solomon to build the great Solomon’s Temple to the LORD, but also have the throne of David, the LION OF JUDAH prophecy. David was covenanted by GOD that there would not cease to be an heir of David on the throne of Judah. Ultimately, this prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus was born of the tribe of Judah, and will one day be the LION of Judah, sitting on David’s established throne pictured here.
Speechless is what I would be. But I think we must remember that GOD is the initiator of the Covenant relationship. We are blessed beyond measure with God’s love towards us. We do not DO to receive the blessing; but are merely recipients of God’s blessing through faith in Jesus Christ. Just when we think we can honor God and bless Him; He blesses us more. Think now on John 14:1-6 and the House of God prepared for those who love Him.

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Post-exilic Psalms

Continuing the “Ascent” Psalms – Remember that the Ascent Psalms were sang as the Jews ascended to Temple Mount – a Praise and worship time as they reflected on what Yahweh had done in the past. Praise for who God is and was – an act of worship in preparation for the Passover time and celebration.  Specifically, this weeks readings and remarks come from Psalms 125-129. It becomes evident that these Psalms [some anyhow] were written after the return from Babylonian captivity. When looking at Psalm 125, the trust in Zion and the surrounding mountains, were a protective, or security from approaching marauders. Knowing that Solomon’s Temple with its walls being built in 800 BC estimated; and to know that there are parts of the Herodian Temple in Jesus’ day that still stands adds to the statement that Mount Zion remains forever. If we consider that Jesus when He returns will descend on Mount Olivet [from which He ascended] is further credence that God still has plans for Temple Mount. I know that today the Dome of the Rock, the Muslim Masque is currently sitting on the exact place where the Temple exists; we cannot lose site that Jerusalem is still in the Plans of God.

At least twice we find the phrase “Peace Be Upon Israel” – I have received many emails and articles that encourage people to pray for the peace of Israel – no peace for Israel until they are restored to Jehovah. If we look at the total peace time in Israel’s history it is a mere 40 some years, and that was during King David’s reign. Israel has always been a land that everyone wants for one reason or another. Some it is the natural “King’s Highway” for travel and trade. For others it is the Promised Land, the Muslims/Arabs seek possession from Ishmael’s line. Yet we find that Esau’s line [Edom -Idumean] seeks first born rights over Jacob/Israel. How can a small place the size of America’s state of New Jersey cause such turmoil and fighting? Don’t forget, God promised Abraham the Promise Land as an eternal possession.

Further in our reading we find the well known and often quoted Psalm 127 – specifically verse 1; unless the Lord builds the house, the labor is in vain; unless the LORD keeps guard over the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. Really, unless God is sovereign over what happens in Jerusalem and our lives, we work in vain. John 15:5 tells us without Jesus we can do nothing; yet Phil 4:13 tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We live life in the Power of Jesus’ name.

Another consistent statement is “Blessed are those who fear the LORD.” Now even in churches there seems to be a falling away of respect/fear/ awe for God. How have we supplanted the omnipotent God? We have eliminated the need for God in our daily lives. We see ourselves as the master of our own lives. It is only when we fail or are overcome by our “self created crisis” that we turn to God for relief. We today are no different that Israel/Jews. If we trust the Lord, if we fear and I mean a real fear, not an awe of God – fear that instills within our minds and hearts to be obedient. The Father will discipline His children [Heb. 12] If we will fear God – the we are promised prosperity, peace and progeny. [Psalms 128] Picture if you would a mass of people ascending up to the Temple to worship, the people are preparing for worship by recounting God’s blessings on them. I wonder if we prepared intentionally in such a way how our worship would be different? Do we rush in expecting that we can flip a switch and instantly move from the world to the presence of God? I don’t think so; hence by the time the service is over, many have just come to the place of worship. Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that

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