May 25: Longing and Being

1 Chronicles 16:1–17:27; 2 Timothy 1:3–18; Psalm 84:1–12

The general sense of what worship “is” is widely known, but the specifics of what it means are a little vague. Aside from obedience (i.e., avoiding sin and following what God asks of us), there are specific ways to show God admiration. In 1 Chronicles, during David’s many great acts, we get a glimpse into ancient worship practices that are still applicable today. We know that the biblical “editors” favored these practices because they would later ascribe countless psalms to David. His way of worship was deemed “the way to worship.”

After David and his comrades journey to Obed-Edom to bring back the ark of the covenant—the symbol of Yahweh’s provision and advocacy for His people—David appoints “some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of Yahweh” (1 Chr 16:4). The Levites, the tribe designated as religious teachers, are first to “invoke” Yahweh (call upon Him). They are then to do what should be natural in all encounters with Him: thank and then praise Him. These are all acts of worship and the way to worship: acknowledge Him by calling on Him, be thankful for His provision, and then praise Him for who He is.

David illustrates another part of worship in His song that follows this event: “Save us, O God of our salvation; gather us and rescue us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be Yahweh the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!” (1 Chr 16:35–36). David petitions God, and he calls others to acknowledge His work by making their own petitions. It’s not that God needs to hear how great He is—that is not why we worship. It’s that we need to be reminded. In humbling ourselves before Him, we are demonstrating our rightful place in His kingdom as His servants, appointed for His great works (Eph 1:11).

Worship is really about longing for God. Our attitude toward God should be as Psa 84:2 proclaims: “My soul longs and even fails for the courtyards of Yahweh. My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.”

How can you instill these worship practices into your daily life?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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