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Congregational Worship

The Temple

1 Corinthians 14:4, 12

4He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

12Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

Hebrews 13:15-16

15By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. 16But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

1 Chronicles 29:1-13

1Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God. 2Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood: onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistening stones, and of divers colors, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. 3Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, 4Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal: 5The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?

6Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly, 7And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. 8And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.

9Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.  10Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be Thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. 11Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all. 12Both riches and honor come of Thee, and thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.13Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:20-22

20And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshiped the LORD, and the king. 21And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel: 22And did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.

The early church realized the importance of community, as new believers.  They depended on each other in their newfound faith.  As a result, these Christians grew in their spiritual life and in close relationship with each other.  Worship and ministry were their goals. 

Believers today also depend on one another for encouragement in their faith. Gathering together with fellow believers is intended to enhance spiritual growth and Christian fellowship. The focus of our worship is God, and the emphasis of our Christian walk is ministry to others.

This week’s study presents some elements that are important in corporate worship…a thankful attitude, the sacrifice of praise and the edification of fellow believers.  We must allow the Holy Spirit of God to teach us in these areas this week.

David had called the leaders of the nation of Israel together in the chapter prior to today’s verses. In their presence he presented his plans for the building of the Temple.

It frequently happens in the history of a nation or an institution that some great project has to be launched.  The building of the Temple was such a project.

There are usually several successive steps necessary for the accomplishment of the project.  Included are such things as persuasiveness on the part of those who are leading.  On this occasion David was in a position to command or to require participation; however, he apparently felt it wiser to persuade the people.  

He began by telling them that God had chosen Solomon his son to build the Temple and that he was young and tender and that the work would be great, but the place was not for man, but for God.

He talked with the people about the sacredness of the work, the energy he himself had shown, the affection he felt and the personal sacrifices he had made and the consideration he had shown for the various necessities for the building of the Temple.

He appealed to the congregation “who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord.”  It is important to observe that David led the way in the act of self-dedication, offering his own personal treasures.

In response to David’s plea, beginning with the leaders, all the people offered willingly. Nothing is gained of any vital consequence until the heart is willing.  Every barrier of indifference had to be broken down; every objection must be eliminated. Then our will must consent to follow the path of obedience.  David not only displayed readiness but also eagerness.  Verse 1 states that he prepared with all his might. Verse 3 says he set his affection to the house of his God.  With David’s example, not only did the people respond without complaint, but they also gave joyfully.

Giving starts with our tithe, offerings to missions and building programs—and all that the Lord lays on our hearts.   Our attitude should be one of generosity.

 Jesus loves a cheerful giver as stated in 2 Corinthians 9:7, Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Back to 1 Chronicles 29 verses 10-13, above:  The beginning of David’s prayer puts all power in the right perspective.  He places greatness with emphasis on the LORD, as if to say: “It’s not me or Solomon, but YOU, Oh GOD, that’s great.

He lists some of the qualities that were appropriate for a great and mighty King:  power, glory and victory.  David recognized GOD as the source of all riches and honor; therefore, David humbly offered GOD his thanks.

David was a true leader.  He not only directed the people, but he also provided an appropriate example for them to follow. If he called upon his soldiers to fight, he led them into battle—if he desired others to offer gifts, he first gave generously and if he would have his people worship, he himself set the example.

Only after David had given generously to the fund to build the Temple and led his people in prayer did he instruct them: “Now bless the Lord, your God.” See 1 Chronicles 29:20 above.

Based on one estimate of the weight of David’s day he alone gave 110 tons of gold, 260 tons of silver.  The leaders gave approximately 190 tons of gold, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze and 3,750 tons of iron.  To this many added precious stones.

When David stated that riches and honor came from God, Verse 12, above, he was voicing the foundational truth of Biblical stewardship.  Everything that we have belongs to God.  We are just stewards.

We are to give willingly and joyfully from that which the LORD has given us.  By giving, we are thanking Him for who He is and what He has done for us.  David realized that the success of this building fund was not a result of his own efforts.  It was and is God’s power that gives strength unto all, Verse 12 above.  God had given the people the strength to give and He would give Solomon the strength to build.

David commanded the people to worship the LORD because He was their God, not only David’s, but the GOD of their fathers and the GOD of Israel. The people needed to worship Him and recognize His authority.

The following day the people expressed their worship through a series of sacrifices.  The offerings presented in this passage were classified as a peace offering, sometimes called a thank offering.  Animal sacrifice was important in the Old Testament worship system. The spilling of blood was a reminder of the separation sin has brought between humanity and God, but when Jesus went to the cross, He became our true sacrifice.  Because of this, animal sacrifices are no longer necessary.  Christ’s supremacy and sufficiency as our Mediator of God’s grace, that’s the major theme of the Book of Hebrews.

Because He has born our sin, we become His followers.  It is through Him, Jesus, that we can offer acceptable sacrifices to God. The sacrifices in the Old Testament were offered at specified times.  The sacrifice of praise and worship is to be offered continually. As believers we must use every opportunity possible to give praise to God.

Let’s recall what we were without Christ: without life, without hope—then let’s contrast this with our present condition with Christ: peace, joy, love and all the promises of old and  life eternal in the presence of God.

As we worship, it is also good to focus on Jesus and His accomplished work.  The purpose of the Lord’s Supper as He took the bread and gave thanks and broke it, as stated in Luke 22:19, is “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.”  In view of this, worship will become more meaningful when we remember the price He paid for our redemption.

There can be no greater joy or happiness than to truly know our sins and transgressions against God have been forgiven and we are now guiltless before Him.  When God meets our needs, spiritual or physical, we certainly want to lift our hearts in praise and thanksgiving, as we are reminded in:

Psalm 107:8

Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!

Not only should we praise God, but we should serve Him as well.  We serve Him and please Him by doing good and sharing what we have with others.

Hebrews 10:23-25

23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering: (for He is faithful that promised;) 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

In our day also, let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.  Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord!

One of the distinguishing marks of the “Church,” the redeemed of the LORD, is the consideration the individual has for one another, for each individual encountered.  That’s one way the world know that we are Christians.

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan
(Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)


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