Key Verses: 1 Chronicles 14:15; 15:16
And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines…Then David spoke to the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers accompanied by instruments of music, stringed instruments, harps, and cymbals, by raising the voice with resounding joy.
Scripture records more commendations for David than for any other king. Today’s reading may indicate the reason for that. Most of the time he kept in touch with God, listened and obeyed. In this story, David is under attack from the Philistines. Most military strategists would first enter a planning session, but not David. First, he began to pray! Before he did anything to defend his people, he inquired of the Lord. God gave him the battle plan, which resulted in victory. David honoured God, then God honoured him. Back in 1 Samuel 2:30b God says, “Those who honour Me I will honour, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.”
Is it any wonder that David and the people also knew how to celebrate, as we read in chapter 15? One who did not celebrate was David’s first wife, Michal, the daughter of King Saul. No doubt, in human terms, she had reason to be bitter. She started her marriage to David with great hope, then was given to another man by Saul. She was forced back to her first husband, David, when he took power. In the meantime, David had married another wife. Now David had more wives. It’s sad for Michal. Our attitude and our confidence in God can turn the most difficult circumstances around for good, and we can rejoice if we choose to.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, help me to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). I pray that I will pray, listen and obey. Grant that my attitude will be one of celebrating other people’s joy, and that I will celebrate Your work in me also. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Back in the mid-1990s, I was not celebrating as I should. The lease on our downtown Toronto television studio building was not being renewed and we were forced to move elsewhere for the continued operation of Crossroads. God had clearly indicated to me, and all the others in leadership, that the right move was to buy land in Burlington and build, according to the vision God had given us for the future. The new Crossroads Centre was opened in May of 1992, the same year we built and financed an amazingly successful soul-winning outreach at the World Exposition in Spain. However, we were not having success in controlling the costs, and we ended up in humanly-impossible debt. Nevertheless, God had a plan.
First, he sent Norma-Jean and me to Argentina, with all costs paid for by a great Argentinian congregation. That church was experiencing a mighty Holy Spirit revival with thousands coming to know Jesus as Saviour and Lord. I expected to be in Church 24/7, but that was not to be. The Pastor’s daughter was having her “coming out party” at a local hotel the first night there, and we were invited. During one of the games, Norma-Jean was asked to get up and imitate an animal, and the guests were to guess the animal. She was moving like and elephant and they guessed right! Everyone was having lots of fun, except me. I thought, “This is foolish. We came down here to experience a spiritual revival, and now this?” Perhaps my attitude was like that of Michal. Then the master of ceremonies called me up and quietly asked that I, along with my table (they had separated Norma-Jean and me), should mimic a creature. The table decided on a crab. There I was moving sideways in a most awkward way. Initially, I was not happy. I thought, “Life is too serious for this.” Then God spoke to my inner being, and this is what I heard: “David, you don’t have fun any more. You’re too serious. I want you to be much more childlike and enjoy life. This is why I arranged for you to come to Argentina.” My attitude changed then and there, and I really got into the crab mimic routine (without being ‘crabby’!). We all laughed heartily and the celebration continued. That trip changed me forever. I came home rejoicing.
Yours for celebrating God’s plans and provisions,
Across the Kidron Valley and Facing the Mount of Olives on the eastern side of the Old City of Jerusalem is the Golden, or Eastern Gate. Jesus celebrated with the people as He entered through the Golden Gate on Palm Sunday. Jewish religious tradition teaches that the coming Messiah will enter Jerusalem through this gate. To prevent this, the Muslims sealed the gate during the rule of Suleiman.