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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Revival and Reformation Pt 8: 1 Chronicles 15-16


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Revival and Reformation Pt 8
1 Chronicles 15-16
Reformation A-Fire

By your Word and Spirit, burn bright in our hearts, O Holy God, that our sin might melt away, and that the blazing warmth of your love would make the aroma of Christ more pronounced in us. Amen

Have you noticed the habit of God? It’s being played out here in these chapters. God delights to show mercy! He takes great relish in giving beauty for ashes, and the oil of gladness for mourning. He finds great pleasure in turning our mourning into dancing, and our funeral clothes into gladness. And that is what Chapters 15-16 show us.

Remember, chapter 13 describes when a revival and reformation misfires; chapter 15-16 displays a revival and reformation a-fire!

A. Preparation to Move Ark: 15:1-15. V. 2 (+v.15c) & 12-13 is a whole-hearted return to the Word of God. Sentiment and majority agreement isn’t enough in Revival and Reformation, there must be a burning desire to conform to God’s way and God’s Word – what David calls “Seeking God according to the rule”.Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1.38) and Isaiah 66.2.

B. The Move with Sustained Joy: 15:25-28. V. 26a – The Help of God and the Joy of God!

And don’t miss that David the King is dressed and acting as a Priest – 15.27.  “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10.19-23).

C. Attempted Intrusion of Saul’s Worldview: 15:29. Here is the voice of the old regime which is the voice of unbelief; where there’s no affection for a religion that is powerful, filled with love and joy! There’s no love for God, for God’s own sake! In Saul’s way, religion was just a tool to get toys, trinkets and clout. In David’s way, True religion is everything, because it’s all about God for God’s own sake! As the old Scottish theologian, Alexander Whyte once wrote with regard to this scene, “Those who are deaf always despise those who dance.” Or, in the words of Eugene Peterson, “…every aspect of David’s life—is God-defined, God-saturated. Everything that David knows about God he experiences—enters into, embraces, takes into himself. God isn’t a doctrine he talks about but a person by whom he’s led and cared for. God isn’t a remote abstraction…” (“Leap Over a Wall,” 141).

D. God Comes to Town: 16:1-3. The presence of God (the Ark) tabernacles among them – John 1.  / 16.1-3 – feasting; v.4-43 – festival! Very appropriate and fitting as God comes to commune with and fellowship with His people, there is feasting (1-3) and festival (4-43)! There is a fitting place for exuberant joy in reformation worship (Romans 14.17). In the insightful words of another commentator, “There are, doubtless, times to be calm, and times to be enthusiastic; but can it be right to give our coldness to Christ and all our enthusiasm to the world” (W.G. Blaikie, “The Expositor’s Bible,” 96)?”

The Rest of 1 Chronicles is the outworking of this Reformation & Revival (Chapters 17-29).

Observations
{1} Real Revival and Reformation that is warm and a-fire is Revival and Reformation under the Word of God.


{2} The God of Chapter 13 is also the God of 14-16. In Chapter 13, you tremble with David before Yahweh’s lethal holiness. In Chapter 14 you give thanks at Yahweh’s lavish generosity. And in Chapter 15-16 you cheer with Yahweh’s Joy. 2 Chronicles 20.20c. Isn’t this the way of God? He delights to be near His people, to be intimate in fellowship with us, and He will do what it takes to bring us back into full-fledged, flaming fellowship with Him. Chapter 13 and 14 are the essential part of God’s design to get David and Israel to chapter 15-16. Discipline first, godly grief producing repentance next, then the joyful, peaceable fruit of righteousness.

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