Script for the May 22nd episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast.
Welcome to the May 22nd episode of the “Enjoying the Bible” podcast. I’m Matt Ellis, and I’m the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida.
Today’s reading is in 1 Chronicles 16-18. Hopefully, you’ve already spent time in God’s Word so let’s get started.
1 Chronicles 16
Things are going great as David is nearing his 8th year of being a monarch. He’s only been the ruler over all of Israel for less than 6 months but it’s the honeymoon phase and everything is going great! The people are happy, they trust their king, and the Ark of the Covenant has made its way into the city of David.
1 Chronicles 16:1 (CSB): “They brought the ark of God and placed it inside the tent David had pitched for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings in God’s presence.”
This was a time for celebration. The Ark of God’s presence in Jerusalem was worthy of their demonstrations of happiness and praise to their God.
But you can’t simply enjoy the moment, not if you plan on making it last. So, the leaders needed to plan for the future. They needed to define necessary roles and recruit competent people of character to fill those roles.
Since David was a generally good leader, we aren’t surprised when we read that he selected more than a few men to minister before the Ark.
1 Chronicles 16:4 (CSB): “David appointed some of the Levites to be ministers before the ark of the LORD, to celebrate the LORD God of Israel, and to give thanks and praise to him.”
Then, in verses 7-36, David wrote a song. Apparently, David wrote it so that Asaph could perform it as an act of worship in public settings.
If you have your Bible open, I’ll give you a quick outline of the song that he wrote:
In verses 8-13, David called upon the people to praise the Lord and enjoy Him. No specific reasons are given to praise Him in these verses. We will be given some reasons shortly.
In verses 14-18, we read that God is not any mere god. He is Israel’s God. He had given the covenant promise to Abraham that Canaan would belong to Israel.
In verses 19-22, the cause for Israel’s gratitude and praise to the Lord is because He has protected the Israelites during their 40-year wandering. Of course, God had done many things for Israel since then. But David was going back to Israel’s inception and pointing out how God had taken care of them in their early years. The assumption is that God has continued to watch over them.
In verses 23-24, we are told that while God is Israel’s God, He is not only Israel’s God. All peoples of the earth should praise Him.
In verses 25 through the first part of verse 30, we are told why the nations should worship the Lord. The reason is simply that “the Lord is great and highly praised.” He is worthy of praise. When we look at who He is and all that He has done, praise is the only fitting action.
In the second half of verse 30 through verse 33, we read that even creation itself is called to praise the Lord and enjoy Him.
Finally, in verses 34-36, we are told that while Israel rested in God’s previous deliverance, they were to continue to cry out to Him to protect and save them.
The chapter finishes up with David leaving people in specified roles to carry on this attitude and activity of worship in the city of David.
1 Chronicles 16:43 (CSB): “Then all the people went home, and David returned home to bless his household.”
1 Chronicles 17
David had a palace but there was no Temple in Jerusalem yet. David had set up a tent to house the Ark of the Covenant and for the priests to do their work.
David became bothered about this. The tent needed to be replaced with a beautiful, permanent Temple.
1 Chronicles 17:1-3 (CSB): “1 When David had settled into his palace, he said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Look! I am living in a cedar house while the ark of the LORD’s covenant is under tent curtains.’ 2 So Nathan told David, ‘Do all that is on your mind, for God is with you.’ 3 But that night the word of God came to Nathan: 4 ‘Go to David my servant and say, “This is what the LORD says: You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in.”’”
So, David wanted to build a Temple, the prophet Nathan told him to go for it, David God excited, and then the Lord made it clear to Nathan that David would NOT build the Temple.
We may scratch our heads here. Nathan, a spokesman for the Lord tells David to build the Temple and then has to go back and say that the Lord wouldn’t allow David to build it. What’s going on?
The explanation that makes the most sense to me is that Nathan spoke too hastily. Maybe he thought that David’s desire to build the Temple was noble and a great idea. So, he didn’t bother seeking the Lord’s will in the matter. He just spoke, assuming that God was OK with it. Then the Lord actually spoke, and Nathan had to backtrack.
This is one of the reasons we need to know God’s Word, spend much time in prayer, and rely moment-by-moment upon the Holy Spirit. At any moment, we can assume that we know what God desires in a matter and get it completely wrong.
So, we should study God’s Word to develop a mind that knows the kind of things that God approves. We should also spend time in prayer so that the Lord can hear our requests for wisdom and answer them. We should also rely upon the Holy Spirit to lead us, knowing that we can get things wrong, but He cannot.
Listen as God spoke to Nathan, telling him what he was to say to David.
1 Chronicles 17:7-14 (CSB): “7 So now this is what you are to say to my servant David: ‘This is what the LORD of Armies says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, to be ruler over my people Israel. 8 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. I will make a name for you like that of the greatest on the earth. 9 I will designate a place for my people Israel and plant them, so that they may live there and not be disturbed again. Evildoers will not continue to oppress them as they have done 10 ever since the day I ordered judges to be over my people Israel. I will also subdue all your enemies. Furthermore, I declare to you that the LORD himself will build a house for you. 11 When your time comes to be with your ancestors, I will raise up after you your descendant, who is one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will not remove my faithful love from him as I removed it from the one who was before you. 14 I will appoint him over my house and my kingdom forever, and his throne will be established forever.’ ”
Nathan, fully armed with a word from the Lord, went to David and told him everything.
It seems clear from the text that David took Nathan’s news well. Listen to his prayer as he sat before the Lord and expressed the feelings of his heart. One thing that comes across so clearly is David’s humility before the Lord.
1 Chronicles 17:16 (CSB): “Then King David went in, sat in the LORD’s presence, and said, Who am I, LORD God, and what is my house that you have brought me this far?”
Then, let’s skip a few verses to hear his gratitude that the Lord will make a name for David and will oversee the building of the Jerusalem Temple.
1 Chronicles 17:23-27 (CSB): “23 Now, LORD, let the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and his house be confirmed forever, and do as you have promised. 24 Let your name be confirmed and magnified forever in the saying, “The LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, is God over Israel.” May the house of your servant David be established before you. 25 Since you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build him a house, your servant has found courage to pray in your presence. 26 LORD, you indeed are God, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 27 So now, you have been pleased to bless your servant’s house that it may continue before you forever. For you, LORD, have blessed it, and it is blessed forever.
Friend, may we be as quick and as sincere as David to express our humble gratitude to the Lord for His blessings upon us.
1 Chronicles 18
As we read 1 Chronicles 18, we read of David’s success on the battlefield.
1 Chronicles 18:1-2 (CSB): “1 After this, David defeated the Philistines, subdued them, and took Gath and its surrounding villages from Philistine control. 2 He also defeated the Moabites, and they became David’s subjects and brought tribute.”
Then, the writer of 1 Chronicles goes on to tell of how David defeated the king of Zobah and the Arameans of Damascus. These resounding victories caused other kings, such as the king of Hamath, to pander to David and provide him with wealth in order that he might not attack them, too.
Then, we read that David’s military power was well-known. He was a formidable force. And when people are scared of you, they won’t attack you. You have prepared the way toward peace if you don’t abuse your power.
1 Chronicles 18:13b-14 (CSB): “13 … The LORD made David victorious wherever he went. 14 So David reigned over all Israel, administering justice and righteousness for all his people.”
These were great times under David’s reign. But our hearts can easily take God’s blessings and stumble into sin. We will read about that tomorrow in 1 Chronicles 21.
So we need to be so careful when God blesses us. How can we be careful? By determining that we always want the hand of God more than what is in His hand. The moment we begin to enjoy His blessings more than we enjoy Him, we’re headed for trouble.
Lord Jesus, You desire to bless us when we are obedient to You. Yet, our sinful hearts can often begin to crave Your blessings more than You. And that’s when we get into trouble. Help us, Lord, to enjoy Your blessings but always want You more. We pray this in Your Name, Amen.
I hope today’s episode has helped you to understand and enjoy God’s Word so that you can apply it in the power of the Holy Spirit.
If looking over the script for this podcast would be beneficial to you, hop on over to my website at mattsmusings.net. I will provide a link in this episode’s show notes.
The “Enjoying the Bible” podcast is a ministry of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida. Check us out at fbcpolkcity.com. See you tomorrow!