1 Chronicles 16

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Read 1 Chronicles 16

Ministering Before the Ark

16 They brought the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before God. After David had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord.Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each Israelite man and woman.

He appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to extol, thank, and praise the Lord, the God of Israel: Asaph was the chief, and next to him in rank were Zechariah, then Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel. They were to play the lyres and harps, Asaph was to sound the cymbals, and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow the trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God.

That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner:

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
10 Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
11 Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

12 Remember the wonders he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
13 you his servants, the descendants of Israel,
    his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
14 He is the Lord our God;
    his judgments are in all the earth.

15 He remembers his covenant forever,
    the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
16 the covenant he made with Abraham,
    the oath he swore to Isaac.
17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
18 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as the portion you will inherit.”

19 When they were but few in number,
    few indeed, and strangers in it,
20 they wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
21 He allowed no one to oppress them;
    for their sake he rebuked kings:
22 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
    do my prophets no harm.”

23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

25 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
30     Tremble before him, all the earth!
    The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.

31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
    let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
33 Let the trees of the forest sing,
    let them sing for joy before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior;
    gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
    and glory in your praise.”
36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.

Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”

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 their own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

Go Deeper

To recap what we have previously read, David has just become King, and his kingdom has been highly exalted by the Lord (1 Chronicles 14:2). King David gets the idea to bring back the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. In the book of Exodus, God gave the Israelites specific instructions to build a tabernacle and how to properly move the Ark of the Covenant, which would be a place where the people would go to worship Him. The tabernacle (also known as the Tent of Meeting) was split between the place where the Israelites worshiped and what was called the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, and God dwelled. The Ark of the Covenant contained a copy of the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s staff, and manna. David assembled the people to bring the Ark of God from Kiriath-Jearim back to Jerusalem. However, the first attempt to bring it back was unsuccessful because David did not have the Levites to collect the Ark as he was instructed to do. The Levites brought the Ark of the Covenant successfully into Jerusalem, it was placed inside the tent, and the party began! The presence of God was with them. 

There were shouts of joy in Israel paired with the sound of trumpets, horns, and harps playing in celebration. They offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord as an act of worship. The burnt offerings represented a consecration and complete devotion to God as well as an acknowledgement of their sin nature. The fellowship offerings were voluntary, and it symbolized peace with God. There were worship leaders that were chosen to lead the people in praise of the God of Israel. It says that David “appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the Lord God of Israel” (v. 4). There were numerous Levites that David chose to lead, and a man named Asaph was one of them. David composed a psalm of thanksgiving and delivered it to the head musician Asaph to be sung before the Ark of the Covenant. 

David’s psalm of thanksgiving is taken from a few psalms. Verses 8-23 are taken from Psalm 105 and verses 23-33 are taken from Psalm 96. We see clearly in this passage that God had been faithful to His people, and the only right response to Him is praise. A key verse for this chapter is, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His faithful love endures forever” (v. 34). There were and there are so many reasons to give thanks to the Lord. Just as the Israelites celebrated the presence of the Lord being with them, we can celebrate as believers that we have the Spirit of God inside of us. We might not always feel like praising God, but He is always worthy. We have to constantly remind ourselves of His faithfulness towards us. In the midst of the busyness, pain, and trials in life, we need to remember His promises that are true and His Word that will never fail. We need to call to mind His goodness and love for us. 

As we are going about our day, may we have a greater awareness of God’s presence. Would our lives be a true and proper act of worship to the King. Would we love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Would we declare to others the ways He has brought us from death to life. Would we gain perspective on the ways He has provided for us. Would we give thanks to His holy name and delight in his unchanging character! Would we rejoice in Him always, no matter what we are walking through. He is worthy of our worship, He is worthy of our praise, and He is worthy of our lives. His faithful love endures forever! 


  1. How has God been faithful to you? Can you think of a time recently that you doubted the faithfulness of God?
  2. What are some ways that you worship the Lord? 
  3. What can you give thanks to the Lord for today? Spent time thanking Him for His faithfulness! 

By the Way

Psalm 105 and Psalm 96 are both cross-referenced in this passage. Read each of those psalms today and look for the overlap!

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3 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 16”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    Reading this chapter brought joy to my heart. I can only imagine the celebratory energy that rippled through the crowd! The ark of the Covenant was back safely in their midst. How awesome that mighty King David was both a warrior and a creative who composed music. He was one who led battles but most importantly facilitated worship of Almighty God. His song used active verbs calling the people to remember what God had done, tell others about it, show God’s glory in their actions and offer gifts of self, time and resources. Let’s begin today and everyday with praise, declaring God’s character and attributes. I’ll go first, he is sovereign, merciful and just.

  2. We are to thank God in ALL circumstances. We are to recognize how and what He does for us daily!! His majesty, grace and power are exhibited at all times and should be on exhibited in our lives for all to see. We are to glory and rejoice in the Lord. Is our life showing who/what we worship? vs 25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. What other gods have I let creep in that need to go away? BUT GOD so lavished His grace upon us, we need to lavish it back and to be a light in this dark world. Tell about how great our God is and all the things He has done. Voice His praises today!

    God I thank You that Your grace is sufficient, but that I do not take it for granted ever. Thank You that I can extend that grace as well to others today. I believe Your steadfast Love endures forever. I love hearing the sounds of nature worshipping You. Give me the eyes to see and ears to hear the beauty of that worship that so gives You glory in Jesus name amen

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