Grace Abounding

Pray: 

Maker of heaven and earth, God of grace and mercy, we trust in You all day long.

 

Read: 1 CHRONICLES 16:7-36

[7] That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the LORD in this manner: [8] Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. [9] Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. [10] Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. [11] Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. [12]Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, [13] you his servants, the descendants of Israel, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. [14] He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.[15] He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, [16] the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.[17] He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: [18]"To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit." [19] When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, [20] they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. [21] He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: [22] "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm." [23] Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. [24] Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. [25] For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. [26] For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. [27] Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. [28] Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. [29] Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. [30]Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. [31] Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!" [32] Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! [33] Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. [34] Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. [35] Cry out, "Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise." [36] Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said "Amen" and "Praise the LORD." 

 

Reflect: Is praise what others hear from your lips?

David is so grateful that he bursts into song. But here's an interesting question: Why has the Chronicler spent three chapters (13,15,16) describing the importance of the Ark when writing to a people who are living more than 500 years after David, who no longer possess it? The answer lies in the Psalm of Thanksgiving.

David invites the people to remember God's past deeds of redemption (12-22) and to be confident in a future held by the One who is "from everlasting to everlasting" (36). Then it becomes possible to live each day as it comes, seeking God's face and declaring his goodness. Here is a pattern for our discipleship. We live wisely when we live in the present moment (the only one we have!), relying on the grace that has called us into an undeserved relationship and that will never let us go (19-22). We live well when we look to Jesus and tell a watching world of his love.

The Chronicler wants his readers to understand that the Ark was an outward symbol of that inner covenant. The symbol may disappear, but the reality remains. Grace is unfettered and free and we live each day in its liberating power.

 

Apply: 

Where is the goodness of God present? Become aware of it and thank him.

 

Pray: 

O Lord, Your promises are sure and Your ways are true. Teach me to walk in them.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union

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