Assistant Professor of Religion, Charleston Southern University
It happens all the time. You've read a passage before, maybe many
times. Then, out of the blue, those assumed familiar words jump off
the page, grab you by the ears, and scream, "Look at me!" That
happened to me again recently as I was reading through 1 Chronicles.
Chapter 16 ends with these incredibly subtle but marvelously rich
"Then all the people departed each to his house, and David went home
to bless his household."
The context of verse 43 is the bringing of the ark up to Jerusalem.
David and others had worshipped God and his covenantal faithfulness
corporately. Now, David is on his way home and seeking to see the
overflow of that worship touch his family as well.
There are several strong reminders for us in this little verse:
1 - Worship does not end at noon. What we do on Sunday morning is the
beginning of a weeklong period of worship, meant to go with us beyond
the church doors into every area of our lives.
2 - True worship buoys our entire being. When we really worship,
putting God first, we cannot but help to be lifted up. It is at this
point the Westminster admonitions to glorify God and enjoy him forever
come together. When we truly glorify God, it changes our outlook and
raises our spirits. By worshipping God, we enjoy God, and we want more
3 - Family worship is a natural extension of corporate worship. David
wasn't merely content to head home whistling the tune to his favorite
hymn. He wanted to see them enjoy the blessings of worshiping God as
well. He wanted to bring them alongside himself in his abundance of
4 - This text (well actually its sister text in 2 Samuel 16) reminds
us that the cares of the world, if we allow them to intrude, can
destroy our spirit of worship and take away the joy of our
relationship with God. In David's case, his wife Michal, a daughter of
his predecessor Saul, immediately confronted him over his public acts
of worship. She stole his joy. He went from intending to bless his
family to defending himself. We must be ever vigilant to protect and
preserve the attitude of worship.
The next time you go to church, see if you find yourself in David's
shoes, jubilant and full of the desire to share that joy with others.
If so, do so. Tell others about your worship experience. Invite them
in to your joy. Add other voices to the choir of God. If not, why not?
Did you not truly worship? Or, do the cares of this world obscure your
view of the one to come?