Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 14, 2015

“Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Chronicles chapter 13.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Chronicles+13&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“5 So David assembled all Israel together, from the Shihor of Egypt even to the entrance of Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim.  6 David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim, which belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, the Lord who is enthroned above the cherubim, where His name is called.  7 They carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart.  8 David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, even with songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals and with trumpets.

9 When they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, because the oxen nearly upset it.  10 The anger of the Lord burned against Uzza, so He struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.  11 Then David became angry because of the Lord’s outburst against Uzza; and he called that place Perez-uzza to this day.  12 David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God home to me?”  13 So David did not take the ark with him to the city of David, but took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.  14 Thus the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months;  and the Lord blessed the family of Obed-edom with all that he had.”  1 Chronicles 13:5-14.

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Like David and all Israel, we may be “celebrating before God with all their might, even with songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals and with trumpets.”  Verse 8.  Such element of worship may or may not please God, but it is not enough.

Some pleasing element of worship gives us no excuse to handle other elements of worship of God outside of His commandments as to how they are to be handled.  Today’s Scripture shows us that we cannot even so much as touch elements of God’s worship outside of God’s commandments.

Although it is not the primary focus of this devotion, the Regulative Principle of Worship of Reformed Doctrine should now be mentioned.  Here is an article on it titled “The Regulative Principle of Worship (1)” by Griess Cory in the Standard Bearer publication of the Protestant Reformed Churches, Volume 88/2012, Issue:  14, 4/15/2012.  Here is a link to the article – http://standardbearer.rfpa.org/articles/regulative-principle-worship-1

The primary focus of this devotion is more general.

We may think elements of worship will fall or fail unless we save them or at least “tweak” them.  But, that action is not our prerogative. 

First of all, we notice that the concluding verses of today’s Scripture shows that the family of Obed-edom was blessed, not because of how they handled the ark, but simply because the ark remained there three months.

Generally, we think it is up to us to build the church.  We strive.  We tweak.  We worry. 

We need to remember the words of Jesus:  “… I will build My church;  and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”  Matthew 16:18.

“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”  Proverbs 3:5-7.

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10.

In conclusion, we tend to be wise in our own eyes.  We tend to lean on our own understanding.  We tend to think it is up to us to save the ark or the church.  But, we would do well to humble ourselves and have child-like trust in God as shown in the following Scripture.

“1 O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.”  Psalm chapter 131.

Other doctrine exhorts:  “Just try harder!” relying on their alleged free-will, wisdom, and ability to save the world.

Reformed Doctrine comforts:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.” relying on God Who handles all the points of salvation from “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” through “Preservation of the Saints”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation. 

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