1 Chronicles 15-17 The Message Bible

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The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

15 1  After David built houses for himself in the City of David, he cleared a place for the Chest and pitched a tent for it. 2  Then David gave orders: "No one carries the Chest of God except the Levites; God designated them and them only to carry the Chest of God and be available full time for service in the work of worship." 3  David then called everyone in Israel to assemble in Jerusalem to bring up the Chest of God to its specially prepared place. 4  David also called in the family of Aaron and the Levites. 5  From the family of Kohath, Uriel the head with 120 relatives; 6  from the family of Merari, Asaiah the head with 220 relatives; 7  from the family of Gershon, Joel the head with 130 relatives; 8  from the family of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the head with 200 relatives; 9  from the family of Hebron, Eliel the head with 80 relatives; 10  from the family of Uzziel, Amminadab the head with 112 relatives. 11  Then David called in Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab the Levites. 12  He said, "You are responsible for the Levitical families; now consecrate yourselves, both you and your relatives, and bring up the Chest of the God of Israel to the place I have set aside for it. 13  The first time we did this, you Levites did not carry it properly, and God exploded in anger at us because we didn't make proper preparation and follow instructions." 14  So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the Chest of the God of Israel. 15  The Levites carried the Chest of God exactly as Moses, instructed by God, commanded - carried it with poles on their shoulders, careful not to touch it with their hands. 16  David ordered the heads of the Levites to assign their relatives to sing in the choir, accompanied by a well-equipped marching band, and fill the air with joyful sound. 17  The Levites assigned Heman son of Joel, and from his family, Asaph son of Berekiah, then Ethan son of Kushaiah from the family of Merari, 18  and after them in the second rank their brothers Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, and Jeiel as security guards. 19  The members of the choir and marching band were: Heman, Asaph, and Ethan with bronze cymbals; 20  Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah with lyres carrying the melody; 21  Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah with harps filling in the harmony; 22  Kenaniah, the Levite in charge of music, a very gifted musician, was music director. 23  Berekiah and Elkanah were porters for the Chest. 24  The priests Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer blew the trumpets before the Chest of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also porters for the Chest.

25  Now they were ready. David, the elders of Israel, and the commanders of thousands started out to get the Chest of the Covenant of God and bring it up from the house of Obed-Edom. And they went rejoicing. 26  Because God helped the Levites, strengthening them as they carried the Chest of the Covenant of God, they paused to worship by sacrificing seven bulls and seven rams. 27  They were all dressed in elegant linen - David, the Levites carrying the Chest, the choir and band, and Kenaniah who was directing the music. David also wore a linen prayer shawl (called an ephod). 28  On they came, all Israel on parade bringing up the Chest of the Covenant of God, shouting and cheering, playing every kind of brass and percussion and string instrument. 29  When the Chest of the Covenant of God entered the City of David, Michal, Saul's daughter, was watching from a window. When she saw King David dancing ecstatically she was filled with contempt.

16 1  They brought the Chest of God and placed it right in the center of the tent that David had pitched for it; then they worshiped by presenting burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. 2  When David had completed the offerings of worship, he blessed the people in the name of God. 3  Then he passed around to every one there, men and women alike, a loaf of bread, a slice of barbecue, and a raisin cake. 4  Then David assigned some of the Levites to the Chest of God to lead worship - to intercede, give thanks, and praise the God of Israel. 5  Asaph was in charge; under him were Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom, and Jeiel, who played the musical instruments. Asaph was on percussion. 6  The priests Benaiah and Jahaziel blew the trumpets before the Chest of the Covenant of God at set times through the day.

David's Psalm of Thanksgiving

7  That was the day that David inaugurated regular worship of praise to God, led by Asaph and his company. 8  Thank God! Call out his Name! Tell the whole world who he is and what he's done! 9  Sing to him! Play songs for him! Broadcast all his wonders! 10  Revel in his holy Name, God-seekers, be jubilant! 11  Study God and his strength, seek his presence day and night; 12  Remember all the wonders he performed, the miracles and judgments that came out of his mouth. 13  Seed of Israel his servant! Children of Jacob, his first choice! 14  He is God, our God; wherever you go you come on his judgments and decisions. 15  He keeps his commitments across thousands of generations, the covenant he commanded, 16  The same one he made with Abraham, the very one he swore to Isaac; 17  He posted it in big block letters to Jacob, this eternal covenant with Israel: 18  "I give you the land of Canaan, this is your inheritance; 19  Even though you're not much to look at, a few straggling strangers." 20  They wandered from country to country, camped out in one kingdom after another; 21  But he didn't let anyone push them around, he stood up for them against bully-kings: 22  "Don't you dare touch my anointed ones, don't lay a hand on my prophets." 23  Sing to God, everyone and everything! Get out his salvation news every day! 24  Publish his glory among the godless nations, his wonders to all races and religions. 25  And why? Because God is great - well worth praising! No god or goddess comes close in honor. 26  All the popular gods are stuff and nonsense, but God made the cosmos! 27  Splendor and majesty flow out of him, strength and joy fill his place. 28  Shout Bravo! to God, families of the peoples, in awe of the Glory, in awe of the Strength: Bravo! 29  Shout Bravo! to his famous Name, lift high an offering and enter his presence! Stand resplendent in his robes of holiness! 30  God is serious business, take him seriously; he's put the earth in place and it's not moving. 31  So let heaven rejoice, let earth be jubilant, and pass the word among the nations, "God reigns!" 32  Let Ocean, all teeming with life, bellow, let Field and all its creatures shake the rafters; 33  Then the trees in the forest will add their applause to all who are pleased and present before God - he's on his way to set things right! 34  Give thanks to God - he is good and his love never quits. 35  Say, "Save us, Savior God, round us up and get us out of these godless places, So we can give thanks to your holy Name, and bask in your life of praise." 36  Blessed be God, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then everybody said, "Yes! Amen!" and "Praise God!"

The Levites Appointed for the Ark

37  David left Asaph and his coworkers with the Chest of the Covenant of God and in charge of the work of worship; they were responsible for the needs of worship around the clock. 38  He also assigned Obed-Edom and his sixty-eight relatives to help them. Obed-Edom son of Jeduthun and Hosah were in charge of the security guards. 39  The priest Zadok and his family of priests were assigned to the Tent of God at the sacred mound at Gibeon 40  to make sure that the services of morning and evening worship were conducted daily, complete with Whole-Burnt-Offerings offered on the Altar of Burnt Offering, as ordered in the Law of God, which was the norm for Israel. 41  With them were Heman, Jeduthun, and others specifically named, with the job description: "Give thanks to God, for his love never quits!" 42  Heman and Jeduthun were also well equipped with trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments for accompanying sacred songs. The sons of Jeduthun formed the security guard. 43  Arrangements completed, the people all left for home. And David went home to bless his family.

God's Covenant with David

17 1  After the king had made himself at home, he said to Nathan the prophet, "Look at this: Here I am comfortable in a luxurious palace of cedar and the Chest of the Covenant of God sits under a tent." 2  Nathan told David, "Whatever is on your heart, go and do it; God is with you." 3  But that night, the word of God came to Nathan, saying, 4  "Go and tell my servant David, This is God's word on the matter: You will not build me a 'house' to live in. 5  Why, I haven't lived in a 'house' from the time I brought up the children of Israel from Egypt till now; I've gone from one tent and makeshift shelter to another. 6  In all my travels with all Israel, did I ever say to any of the leaders I commanded to shepherd Israel, 'Why haven't you built me a house of cedar?' 7  "So here is what you are to tell my servant David: The God-of-the-Angel-Armies has this word for you: I took you from the pasture, tagging after sheep, and made you prince over my people Israel. 8  I was with you everywhere you went and mowed your enemies down before you; and now I'm about to make you famous, ranked with the great names on earth. 9  I'm going to set aside a place for my people Israel and plant them there so they'll have their own home and not be knocked around anymore; nor will evil nations afflict them as they always have, 10  even during the days I set judges over my people Israel. And finally, I'm going to conquer all your enemies. 11  When your life is complete and you're buried with your ancestors, then I'll raise up your child to succeed you, a child from your own body, and I'll firmly establish his rule. 12  He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom's rule forever. 13  I'll be a father to him, and he'll be a son to me. I will never remove my gracious love from him as I did from the one who preceded you. 14  I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will always be there, rock solid." 15  Nathan gave David a complete and accurate report of everything he heard and saw in the vision.

16  King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed: 17  But that's nothing compared to what's coming, for you've also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow and looked on me, Master God, as a Somebody. 18  What's left for David to say to this - to your honoring your servant, even though you know me, just as I am? 19  O God, out of the goodness of your heart, you've taken your servant to do this great thing and put your great work on display. 20  There's none like you, God, no God but you, nothing to compare with what we've heard with our own ears. 21  And who is like your people, like Israel, a nation unique on earth, whom God set out to redeem as his own people (and became most famous for it), performing great and fearsome acts, throwing out nations and their gods left and right as you saved your people from Egypt? 22  You established for yourself a people - your very own Israel! - your people forever. And you, God, became their God. 23  So now, great God, this word that you have spoken to me and my family, guarantee it forever! Do exactly what you've promised! 24  Then your reputation will be confirmed and flourish always as people exclaim, "The God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God over Israel, is Israel's God!" And the house of your servant David will remain rock solid under your watchful presence. 25  You, my God, have told me plainly, "I will build you a house." That's how I was able to find the courage to pray this prayer to you. 26  God, being the God you are, you have spoken all these wonderful words to me. 27  As if that weren't enough, you've blessed my family so that it will continue in your presence always. Because you have blessed it, God, it's really blessed - blessed for good!

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