October 21 - Psalm 96

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 21 - Psalm 96:1-13

This Psalm is reproduced in 1 Chronicles 16:23-33. Parts of Psalm 97, 98 and 100 are found in David's Psalm of Thanks (1 Chronicles 16:7-36). The Ark of the Covenant has returned to Jerusalem. The story of the beginning of David's reign is found just prior to this in 1 Chronicles 11 - 15. Saul has died, David becomes King, conquers Jerusalem, the warriors join him, David's house is built, he defeats the Philistines and then prepared a place for the Ark of the Covenant. He called together the descendants of Aaron and the Levites (1 Chronicles 15:4) to consecrate themselves and prepare the transport the Ark into Jerusalem.

This is also where he asked them to appoint singers and musicians, and Ethan and Heman (October 18 - Psalm 89) are appointed.

In 1 Chronicles 15:28, it says that all Israel brought the ark. What a celebration!

This Psalm is another beautiful form of poetry. It is actually a repetitive motif. A-B-C, A-B-C.

The world is called to worship! Not just Israel, but all the earth.
A Motif - Psalm 96:1-2a

A commandment is given. Tell who He is!
B motif - Psalm 96:2b-3

An explanation. God is the only God.
C motif - Psalm 96:4-6

The world is called to worship! All the earth shall tremble.
A motif - Psalm 96:7-9

A commandment is given. Tell who He is and what He shall do!
B motif - Psalm 96:10

An explanation. God is coming!
C motif - Psalm 96:11

Upon returning to the festivities surrounding the return of the Ark in 1 Chronicles, we find the celebration winding down. David appoints priests to minister before the Ark regularly, to present burnt offerings and to give thanks. Musicians were responsible for sounding trumpets and cymbals and other instruments and others were left to guard the gate.

The people returned to their own homes and David went home to bless his family (1 Chronicles 16:43).

Jubilation filled the hearts of Israel on this day. The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord had returned to Jerusalem.

Very quickly, I need to make a comparison. God resides in our hearts now. We are the Temple. While we may not be returning to Jerusalem, be assured that He is sending everything out to greet us and bring us into the New Jerusalem. What a celebration that will be! The music and songs of thanksgiving will make this celebration pale in comparison.