WHEN WE ARE THANKFUL
2 Chron. 5:12-14
“All the Levites who were musicians— Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives— stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: "He is good; his love endures forever." Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.”
There are two reasons why I really like this passage. First it paints a picture for us of what it is like when God’s people are unified in their desire to give Him praise and thanks. The passage tells us that it sounded like “one voice.” But what a powerful voice it must have been! I have to believe that they really knew that God is good and that His love endures forever and so, when they began to sing and play, their hearts were undivided; and their unity of heart was expressed through the unity of their song. Oh what a powerful testimony it is when the church worships Jesus like that!
The second thing I like about this passage is that it shows us that, when God is glorified, His presence banishes all “performance.” You see, worship and performance aren’t the same thing at all. Let me give you an example: When I was in graduate school in Denton,Texas I visited many of the churches around town. (FYI- the University of North Texas has the second largest undergraduate school of music in the US but Denton is a small town. So there are lots of musicians – good musicians – to go around.) The performances were great, but I never got a sense of authentic worship. It wasn’t for lack of good singers or players; it was because the glory of God was absent. There was no spirit of praise or attitude of thanksgiving. It WAS a performance.
Friends, we ought to worship with excellence. We should always be willing to bring our best offering to God. But we have to remember that it is about Him. It is a thank offering that we bring. Let’s bring it joyfully.
--- Pastor Keith Andrews