This Sunday we had a guest preacher from Liberia, Joshua Nador, who is pursuing his Doctorate degree in Missiology, the study of God’s mission to reach people throughout the ages. It was a fascinating message to me because it drew on the parallels between David’s Tabernacle, the original place set up to encounter God, and the modern day church where we still come to encounter God. He drew from the passage of scripture in 1Chronicles 15:1-28 which speaks of how David prepared a place for the Ark of God.
Encountering God: When people came to the tabernacle, they came to encounter God’s presence. When we come to church we come to encounter God together. Jesus said that where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them. So we gather.
Doers of the Word (and not hearers only): The Levites, the priests of God, learned a hard lesson when carrying the Ark of God because they did not carry it according to the order God gave them through his word. We come to church today to hear the Word of God spoken to us through the prophets and apostles.
Worship: David and the people ushered in the ark with singing and musical instruments such as harps, cymbals and trumpets. It was an expression of their love for God. Today we gather to worship as an expression of our love for God. The spirit within each of us is longing for a connection to the source from which it came. And so we sing.
Service: David appointed the chief of the Levites in charge of the singing because “he was skillful”. God has given each of us a gift that He wants us to polish so that we can become skillful and use that gift to serve God. In Israel, it was custom that if you had a slave he would serve you for seven years and after those seven years, you would set him free. You would pierce his ears as a symbol of his freedom but you would give him a choice to either leave or to stay and serve as a free man. Psalm 40:6 says “My ears have been pierced but I chose to stay and serve God”. David’s heart was so bent on serving God, he did so not because he had to, but because he wanted to. So we serve.
My ears were pierced when I was 6 months old. My grandmother gave my mother diamond earrings for me to wear. Little did my mother know she was declaring my freedom. Yet I have chosen to stay and serve Him, all the days of my life, for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.