A Reflection on 1 Chronicles 16: 23-36
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
The curse of evangelicalism is that most of us are satisfied with a privatised faith: personal, inoffensive and above all, politically correct. It is a position that many of us, including myself, gravitate towards because it is safe and non- confrontational. The problem is that it is deadly, both for us, as we fail to be the people God wants us to be, and the world, who don’t get to meet God’s representatives. A private faith has minimal consequences.
In 1 Chromicles 16, as the Ark of the Covenant is brought into Jerusalem, King David describes a far more striking reality. David, on behalf of his community, God’s people, writes a psalm that is public and communal, but more than that, it reveals the task of the people of God. It reminds the people of Israel what they are there for; and that is not to be a people who cower in in an insular world of private faith.
Their calling, job, vocation (insert whatever word your theology recommends) is to:
- Declare God’s name to the surrounding (unbelieving) nations. David reminds them that they were set apart to represent God.
- Praise and honour God for who He is and and His faithfulness to them.
- Remember what He has done for them. In other words, without Him they were nothing and would have gone nowhere.
- Reveal who God is to the surrounding neighbours, but this goes further than point 1 , they were to urge their neighbours to bow in worship before Him.
This is a snapshot of God’s people about 1000 years before Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Knowing that Christ IS the Saviour and that God has blessed us with His Holy Spirit means that we are without excuse not to Declare, Praise, Remember and Reveal. Or more simply, there is no place amongst the people of God for a privatised faith.