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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Pastor's Pen - May 6, 2007
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May 6, 2007

I Chronicles 15-17
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I Chronicles
Chapter 15
  1. And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.
  2. Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.
  3. And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it.
  4. And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:
  5. Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:
  6. Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:
  7. Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty:
  8. Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:
  9. Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore:
  10. Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.
  11. And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,
  12. And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.
  13. For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
  14. So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.
  15. And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.
  16. And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
  17. So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;
  18. And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, the porters.
  19. So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;
  20. And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;
  21. And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.
  22. And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.
  23. And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.
  24. And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obed-edom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.
  25. So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obed-edom with joy.
  26. And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.
  27. And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.
  28. Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.
  29. And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.

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I Chronicles
Chapter 16
  1. So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God.
  2. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD.
  3. And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.
  4. And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:
  5. Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-edom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals;
  6. Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.
  7. Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.
  8. Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
  9. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.
  10. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
  11. Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
  12. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
  13. O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
  14. He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
  15. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;
  16. Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;
  17. And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,
  18. Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;
  19. When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it.
  20. And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people;
  21. He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,
  22. Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
  23. Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.
  24. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.
  25. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.
  26. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
  27. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
  28. Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
  29. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
  30. Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
  31. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.
  32. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.
  33. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.
  34. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
  35. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
  36. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.
  37. So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day's work required:
  38. And Obed-edom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obed-edom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be porters:
  39. And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon,
  40. To offer burnt offerings unto the LORD upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the LORD, which he commanded Israel;
  41. And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever;
  42. And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun were porters.
  43. And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.

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I Chronicles
Chapter 17
  1. Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains.
  2. Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.
  3. And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
  4. Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:
  5. For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.
  6. Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?
  7. Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
  8. And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
  9. Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,
  10. And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house.
  11. And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
  12. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.
  13. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:
  14. But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.
  15. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
  16. And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
  17. And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God; for thou hast also spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O LORD God.
  18. What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.
  19. O LORD, for thy servant's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness, in making known all these great things.
  20. O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
  21. And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?
  22. For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, LORD, becamest their God.
  23. Therefore now, LORD, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said.
  24. Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.
  25. For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee.
  26. And now, LORD, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
  27. Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever.

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Thought for the day:
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 I Chronicles 17 opens with a fascinating observation from David. The passage states,

"Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains."
David had come to the realization that his own dwelling place was superior to that of the Ark of the Covenant, which symbolized the presence of God with Israel. Therefore, he decided that he was treating Himself better than he was treating God, and purposed to do something about it. In fact, he was so troubled by this that he voiced his concern to Nathan. Nathan originally gave him permission to act upon his desire but later God told him to inform David that the house of God was not to be built until Solomon's time.

 I wonder how often we even consider what we do for ourselves as compared to what we do for God. There are many different area to which this can be applied. How many hours each week do we spend in recreational activities that satisfy us as opposed to spiritual activities that praise or serve the Lord? What do we read more, the Bible or secular periodicals? Do we talk to God in prayer the most, or do we talk to others about inconsequential things? Do we spend more time at church or in front of the television? Think about your finances. What do we give to the Lord as compared to what we spend on ourselves, particularly on frivolous or unnecessary items? What about our dealings with others? Do we spend our time conversing about the Lord, praising Him and witnessing for Him? Or, are we more apt to discuss current events and last night's ball scores? Here is the question - are you and I living in a house of cedars, while our Lord remains under curtains?

 For many of us, the answer to that last question must be "Yes". The Lord is getting second place in our lives, and we are treating ourselves better than we are treating Him. I find it refreshing that when David realized this, he immediately set out to do something about it. He was convicted and concerned, and rather than simply ignore the issue, he acted upon it by taking it to Nathan. He could have consoled himself with thoughts like "Well, God hasn't led me to do that", or "Nobody else has done it, so why should I?", but he didn't. Perhaps David is showing us here why he was the man after God's own heart - he wanted God to have the best.

 Let's be honest with ourselves and with God. Is He getting our best, or our discards? Are we giving to Him the firstfruits of our lives, or are we giving Him what is left over after we have satisfied ourselves? Does it bother you at all? If so, what are you going to do today to correct the situation? In David's case, the Lord told him that there was nothing else that he needed to do regarding the Lord's house. That shows me that David was so sensitive that he was bothered by something that really wasn't a problem. He so desperately wanted Jehovah to have the place of honor in his own life and throughout Israel that he tried to fix things that he did not need to fix. Do we feel that way? Are we prepared to uplift the Lord anyway we can, and keep doing it until God stops us by saying "Enough."? I hope and pray that we are.

Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery

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