So he left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister before the ark regularly, as every day’s work required … to offer burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the Law of the LORD which He commanded Israel; and with him Heman and Jeduthun and the rest who were chosen … to give thanks to the LORD, because His mercy endures forever … 1 Chr 16:37, 40-41
The ark of the covenant has been away from its place since David was a child. Israel’s rejoicing was so great, because for the first time in a generation, the ark was returning to to its place in the heart of Israel; the ark bearing the presence of the LORD God.
David established the Levites to minister before the LORD continually, morning and evening, with the prescribed offerings, and also, with thanksgiving and music. David established the LORD’s worship before His presence 24/7.
The Levites exalted and magnified the LORD, not just because of what He had done for Israel, but what I believe is the higher worship, because of who He is. Who He is never changes, and therefore there is always something wonderful to worship the LORD for, no matter what is going on in life or in our circumstances.
He is great, glory is due to His name, His set apartness adorns and ornaments Him and His people like the finest jewelry (the story told by the phrase “beauty of holiness” in Hebrew). He reigns, and is coming to judge the earth. His mercy endures forever! These things never change, regardless of what is going on in the earth!
In our churches, it has become usual to think we are praising the LORD if the music is upbeat and joyful; and worshiping the LORD if the music is slow and reverent. Praise actually means, according to Webster’s, “to express a favorable judgment of; to glorify especially by the attribution of perfections.”
When we gather together to worship the LORD, He has not been praised if we sing songs about us, no matter how upbeat and joyful. Some “worship” services I have attended (and I am sure you have too) consisted of nothing but songs about us from beginning to end! Those songs have a place, they encourage us in truth, but their place is not the worship before the LORD’s presence.
His worship must extol Him and glorify His many attributes of perfections. The songs should be about Him and His excellence! That is the first move and change I believe the Holy Spirit is working in His body of believers right now; worship and music in the corporate assembly that is God- centered and not man- centered.
And I believe a second change, is this: leading the believers to worship Him, morning and evening, daily and continually in their own lives, and not be content with once a week worship at the church building. In Israel, to hear the beautiful worship that went up continually before the LORD’s presence, a person had to be in the vicinity of the Temple in Jerusalem. But now, each one of us is the temple of the Holy Spirit, where the presence of God dwells (1 Cor 6:19). And each one of us have CDs and the means to play music, so that in our own homes, the LORD’s many attributes of perfections may be glorified, daily and continually, morning and evening, and not only once a week at the church building.