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2 Chronicles 6:40-42 (Click to read NIV or select your preferred translation of the Bible. Please read the scripture first.)

Solomon ends his prayer of dedication by appealing to God to be attentive to the prayers offered in the temple. He invited God to come into the temple and make it his home along with the ark of the covenant.

When Solomon prayed that the priests be clothed in salvation, he was praying that their spiritual welfare would exceed their fine outer appearance. 

Then Solomon prayed for the saints, those who loved God, that they would always take joy in the goodness of God.

Solomon prayed for himself, that God would never reject him as his anointed one, and that he would always be mindful of the promise he made to his father, King David.

These prayers are still perfectly suited for our churches and sanctuaries today. I encourage you to pray this scripture over your own church.

Our God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in _____ (our church). Fill ________ (our church) with your presence. Clothe ________ (our pastor) with your salvation. May the people in our congregation rejoice in your goodness. O Lord God, do not reject us, your chosen people. Remember the promise you made to us through the blood of your son, the resurrected Jesus Christ. (Adapted from verses 40-42.)

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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2 Chronicles 6:1-11 (Click to read NIV or select your preferred translation of the Bible.)

The labors were finally done and it was time to dedicate the temple.  Solomon re-stated the history behind the building of the temple as he addressed the assembly. Then he turned away from the people and offered praise to God for his faithfulness. Solomon again repeated the promise God had made to David emphasizing that God had been faithful to keep his promise.

Solomon gave credit where credit was due. He did not seek credit for building the temple, but gave God all the credit for having seen it through to completion and the ark of the covenant was now in the temple.

Are we willing to give God credit for seeing us through the tasks he gives us to do? Or do we feel like we did all the work? Are we quick to give him the credit for giving us the abilities we have, or do we want everyone to see what wonderful thing we have done?

Dear heavenly Father, you have been so faithful to us. Thank you for for loving us and reaching out to us, for opening our eyes that we might know you, and for giving us the desire to grow in our relationship with you. Help us to acknowledge you in everything and to recall your many blessings to us.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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1 Chronicles 28:11-19 (click to view passage)

David had written out very elaborate plans that the Spirit had placed in his mind for the temple, its rooms, courts, everything including numerous named articles and the weight of refined gold or silver for each article to be used in the service of the temple. There were also instructions for the priests and Levites who would do the work in the temple.  Verse 18 even refers to the cherubim of gold that sheltered the ark of the covenant with their wings, so it appears the plans included an upgrade in the ark.

“All this,” David said, “I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan.”

(Verse 19, NIV)

In a recent post (1 Chronicles 17:1-6 No house for God?) I discussed the importance of honoring God by the way we care for our churches and places of worship. This is yet one more example of God prescribing excellence in creating places to worship him.

Heavenly Father, open our eyes to see where we fall short in honoring you by the way we care for things that belong to you.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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Psalm 132:1-12  (click to view passage)

In this Psalm, King David re-states the oath he had made, the oath that God would not allow him to carry out. The ark of the covenant had been returned to Jerusalem; and David had it in his heart to build a permanent dwelling to house the ark. But to David’s great disappointment, it was not to be.

Yet David continued to praise his God, to “worship at his footstool.” (verse 7)

David continues his Psalm by recounting the oath the LORD swore to David, that he would put one of David’s descendants on the throne; and that if they keep God’s covenant they would reign on the throne forever. (verse 12)

Later scriptures reveal that David’s descendants did not keep the covenant. The Jewish nation suffered division and eventually was conquered and carried off into Babylon. But even though David’s descendants did not remain faithful, God did. Jesus Christ, who was one of David’s descendants, sits not on a human throne, but on the heavenly throne, where he will reign throughout eternity.

Lord God, help us to focus our eyes on you when we face disappointments. May we, like David, continue to put our hope in you as we continue to praise your name.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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     Tudor Parfitt, author of recently published The Lost Ark of the Covenant claims to have found the Lost Ark. Matt Lauer interviewed Parfitt on February 29, 2008 on the Today Show. I am aware that Parfitt’s book and the attention it was given on the Today Show has brought many hits to my recent posts on His Whisperings.

    I must confess that I’m a skeptic to the claims made by Parfitt. He has chosen to place one set of scriptures over another and dismisses the gold coverings spelled out in the Exodus 25:10-22 account. I’m not inclined to accept this omission. Also, the object he claims to be the Arc has a circular bottom and oval shape. It doesn’t fit any of the sketches that Biblical scholars have created.

     Another 2003 news article has been updated on the subject concerning another person who believes he expects to find the Ark of the Covenant. You can read this for yourself at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34103

     I am compelled to respond to any person’s claims of finding the Ark of the Covenant with mixed feelings. God was so specific with his directives on how the Ark was to be created and handled. The history of events recorded in the Bible concerning the Ark make it clear that those who did not handle the Ark in the manner God prescribed suffered, even to the point of death. If God had that power then, he still has it today. I consider it quite possible that the reason no one has produced the Ark is that anyone who has found or attempted to move it may not have lived to tell about it.

     As a Christian, I accept that we are now under the New Covenant – and that is the grace offered by Christ for our salvation. It is possible that the consequences of viewing or touching the Ark changed when Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.

     I really can’t claim any great knowledge on this topic, I can only point to the Scriptures. I’m not sure I would want to be the person to find the Ark nor to take the responsibility on myself to find a place to keep or display it.

     37 David left Asaph and his associates before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister there regularly, according to each day’s requirements. 38 He also left Obed-Edom and his sixty-eight associates to minister with them. Obed-Edom son of Jeduthun, and also Hosah, were gatekeepers. 

    39 David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place in Gibeon 40 to present burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly, morning and evening, in accordance with everything written in the Law of the LORD, which he had given Israel. 41 With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the LORD, “for his love endures forever.” 42 Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were stationed at the gate.

     43 Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

1 Chronicles 16:37-43  (NIV)

The ark of the covenant is finally back in Jerusalem. The great ceremony has taken place and it was magnificent. God’s name was exalted and his praises filled the air.

Before it was time to go home, David took care of some important details. To make sure that God’s name would continue to be lifted up, he Asaph and his associates to minister regularly at the ark of the covenant. Another group was assigned the responsibility of gatekeepers. A third group was in charge of the burnt offerings every morning and evening. A fourth group of musicians were responsible to continually offer thanks to the Lord. They were to sound the trumpets and cymbals and play other instruments to praise the Lord at the gate.

Only after all of these arrangements had been made, was it time for all the people, including David, to return to their homes.

David still was not finished, however, for when he went home, he blessed his family. Perhaps a reminder is in order. The last mention of David’s family was of his wife’s bitter scolding of him for his exuberant dancing in front of all the people. No doubt, he was expecting to face more criticism when he stepped in the door. But we are told in this passage that he “returned home to bless his family.”

But David had spent the day in worship and praise of his God. He had also put things in order with his public ministry. Surely God’s presence followed him home and helped him to sooth the ruffled feathers from earlier in the day.

Lord help us to seek you through heartfelt praise so that we may be prepared to deal with the struggles we have in our everyday lives.

Have you ever experienced a time when God’s presence, in a time of worship, empowered you to deal with hurtful situations in your life. You are invited and encouraged to share them with our readers in the comments section below.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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1 Chronicles 16:7-36 (Click on this link to read the passage. It is too long for me to copy into this post without breaking the Copyright law that governs its use.)

This passage is a psalm of David’s even though it is not in the book of Psalms. It is a song of thanksgiving and praise to God for all he has done for his people. The cause of this celebration of praise was the restoration of the arc of the Covenant to Jerusalem.

In this psalm David is thanking God for all of the wonder acts he performed on behalf of the Israelites. He is calling for the Israelites to rejoice and to glory in the name of God. He calls on them to remember the wonders and miracles God has performed as well as his righteous judgments against those who rebelled against him.

David remembers God’s faithfulness to his covenant even when the people were not faithful. He remembers God’s faithfulness to give the Promised Land to his people as an inheritance.

David recalls how God protected the Israelite nation as they wondered in the desert with no place to call home – yet. He then calls on the Israelites to sing God’s praises and to declare his glory to all nations.

David declares God’s sovereignty over all other gods. He challenges the Israelites to give God the glory and honor he is due. He calls on the earth to tremble before the Almighty God.

My feeble re-telling of this great psalm leaves much to be desired. One needs to read this Psalm over and over. Try to imagine King David’s uncontainable excitement as he sings his heart out to the Israelites through these words.

As I have written these words today I have wondered how we could bring this psalm closer home. Those of us who live in the United States have a history that, at least at the beginning of our nation, had very close ties with God. His name is embedded in our national documents, and his people were at work making our nation great. It is grievous to see how far away from God we have moved in the past 100 years.

I would like to see this psalm re-written to fit our nation’s history and to challenge our own citizens to “Cry out, ‘Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise.’ Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.” (1 Chronicles 16:35-36 NIV) 

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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Ark of the Covenant

Illustration above is from Easton’s Illustrated Dictionary
Electronic text and markup copyright 1995 by Epiphany Software.

The ark of God has several names in the Old Testament though they are all speaking of the same item. This arc was the most highly revered of everything that was a part of the first Tabernacle that Moses had constructed. The ark of God is also known as the ark of the covenant, the ark of the LORD, and the ark of the testimony.

The ark was crafted according to specific directions given to Moses by God. This first tabernacle was an elaborate tent that could be disassembled and carried with them as the Israelites moved across the desert as God led them to the promised land.

The instructions God gave to Moses for making the ark are recorded in Exodus 25:10-22. The ark was a chest made of acacia wood and overlaid inside and out with gold. It had rings on the sides through which two acacia poles were inserted, never to be removed. The purpose of these poles were for carrying the ark from place to place as the Israelites crossed the desert. On the cover of the ark were two cherubim, facing each other with their wings touching.

The ark contained sacred items such as the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments, scrolls of the Law, manna, and the rod of Aaron. It was always kept inside a tent until Solomon’s temple was built. When it was being moved, the ark was covered with the cloth pieces that were used to make the tabernacle, so the ark was never visible to anyone other than the priests who cared for it.

It was the ark of the covenant that led the way when the Israelites broke camp to travel across the desert. The ark was the first to cross the Jordan river when the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land.

The Israelites lost possession of the Ark when they tried to use it like a lucky charm to defeat the Philistines. The Philistines still won the battle and captured the Ark. (see 1 Samuel 4:1-11)

In 1 Chronicles 15 & 16 we read the account of King David successfully bringing the ark of God back to Jerusalem.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Note: His Whisperings is now in a new location. If you are interested in following this blog you need to follow it at www.hiswhisperings.com.

The Creation by Janice D. Green

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1 Chronicles 16:1-6 Click on link to read passage. You may select your own version of the Bible after the link opens.

I see no evidence that the celebrations were over and done with once the ark of the covenant was put into the tent that had been prepared for it.

The celebration and praise continued. More sacrifices were made to God. Some were burnt offerings and some were fellowship offerings. The fellowship offerings were eaten by the people in an act of honor of God. Gifts of bread, date and raisin cakes were also given to each man and woman.

The musical instruments were played regularly before the ark of the Lord. Again, David assigned the responsibilities to play the various instruments before the ark of the covenant.

We should be vigilant in our worship of God. Our Bibles shouldn’t have to be dusted off each time we read them. Our voices should always be ready to sing God’s praise. Our hearts should find reasons to praise God throughout the day.

Lord, lift our eyes to you and fill our hearts with joyful praise as we consider all your blessings and your mighty deeds.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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1 Chronicles 15:25-29 Click on link to read passage. You may select your own version of the Bible after the link opens.

The passage in my previous post emphasized the planning that went into preparing for the acts of worship as the ark of God was brought back to Palestine. Today’s passage tells how the praise was carried out.

There was much ceremony with the singing and the musical instruments. All the singers, musicians, and persons involved in the procession, including King David, were dressed in fine linen. Seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Because of the differences in the ancient culture of these Israelites in comparison to the ways we celebrate and worship today, it is hard for us to wrap our minds around the events of that day. But I think it is time well spent to stop and close my eyes and try to imagine all of these things happening at one time. The people were celebrating with their whole heart, body, and soul.

David was so caught up in the celebration and worship of God that he danced for joy. His wife, Michal, who was the daughter of the former King Saul, was embarrassed by David’s dancing and despised him in her heart. According to the account as it appears in 2 Samuel 6:20-23, Michal’s harsh words to David cost her dearly. God closed her womb, and she never bore any children.

God is worthy of our worship and praise. If we are uncomfortable in expressing sincere adoration and praise to him, we need to evaluate our relationship with him. Seek him with all your heart and soul and you will find him.

Father God, please accept our offerings of worship and praise. Help us to know and love you more that we may praise you more.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Add to Technorati FavoritesNote: His Whisperings is now in a new location. If you are interested in following this blog you need to follow it at www.hiswhisperings.com.

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