Modeled Worship

1 Chronicles 16

It is great to pause and reflect on God’s greatness.

The activities of the Israelites in 1 Chronicles 16 were intentionally recorded, and the occasion is the first worship service before the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem!

Days of celebration marked the end of the Levites’ task to carry the Ark to the Temple. Everyone brought burnt offerings and peace offerings to the priests in recognition of God’s presence. 

The job for the priests should have ended at this point, but King David chose to give them a new role. The Levites now had a permanent ministry before the Ark to make three components of worship occur (v. 4):

  1. Petition
  2. Thanksgiving
  3. Praise
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.
— 1 Chronicles 16:4 NIV

David is a genius of worship.

As an accomplished musician and poet, David is really intentional in his instructions about the different components of worship before the Ark.

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.
— 1 Chronicles 16:29 NIV

David’s expression in Chronicles is mirrored in the Psalms. It provided a structure for Israel’s religious life and is the model by which we worship our Heavenly Father today: remember His faithfulness, extol His wisdom, and declare who He is.