Our lives on this earth are temporary; we rise up like grass and flowers, and then blow away in the wind. We flicker briefly and are then extinguished. Why are we here? This week’s Fighter Verse reminds us of our ultimate purpose. As you memorize and meditate on the Fighter Verse, ponder the breadth of time: think about how these words anchor our own lives into the grand narrative of the Scriptures.
Around the time the author wrote these verses, a pagan conqueror from beyond the eastern mountains had declared that the people of God were to return home from the horrors of exile and rebuild their destroyed temple (2 Chronicles 36:23). Marveling that God would give His people a second chance and a second temple, the Chronicler sat down to write a sweeping history of Israel, with a special focus on the holy place where God dwelled: the tabernacle and then the temple. Thus we hear in 1 Chronicles 15 of how the ark returned to Jerusalem, and David danced with joy. Then at last “they brought in the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it” (1 Chronicles 16:1). Among all the celebration and feasting, David sung an incredible song of joy; in the middle of this poem, we read the following two verses:
“Sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!”
(1 Chronicles 16:23 – 24 ESV)
In verse 23, David calls on the whole world to sing to Yahweh. They will sing songs daily of His salvation — His rescue, His deliverance. The word for “tell” here also means to “bring news.” Look at these other translations:
“Proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day” (NKJV)“Announce every day how he delivers!” (NET)“Each day proclaim the good news that he saves” (NLT)
So why did David put the ark in a beautiful tent at Jerusalem? And why did God allow a second temple to be built in the days of the Chronicler? That all the earth would see it, that all the world would sing joyful praises to God, announcing every day the goodness of His rescue, His salvation. (By the way, Jesus’ name actually means “Yahweh saves!”)
In verse 24, David tells us to declare His glory. In the original language, the form of the word “declare” means to say it intensely — to shout it or yell it! Take God’s glory and wear it loud! Where? Among the Gentile nations. And what is His glory? What is weighty or famous about God? “His marvelous works.” We are called to shout out His amazing deeds among all the peoples of the whole world.
In the days of David, and in the days of the Chronicler, God’s blazing glory dwelt in a beautiful building. When the people obeyed and God blessed, all of the immigrants and traders passing through Judah would see and magnify His name. God told His people again and again to show hospitality, welcoming foreigners and immigrants into their land, so they would reflect God’s compassionate heart, and ultimately so that foreigners would see the glory of Israel’s God.
But something marvelous happened when Jesus died and rose again. We are now the temple (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19). And we are not just the temple, but more specifically the naos, the very holy place where God’s glory dwells. The ark of the covenant, which was once the throne of God’s glory in the holy of holies, has been replaced by you.
And you are mobile. You have been given the great commission. We are still called to show hospitality and to welcome strangers, yes, but we are also called to go out into all the nations of the earth. We are called to make disciples cross-culturally no matter where we are.
QUESTIONS TO ASK EACH OTHER:
- The music of salvation is now in your heart. How does it make you feel to think about the broad sweep of history and to know that you are now the temple where God’s glory dwells?
- We are called to evangelism and missions ultimately not merely to get people to Heaven, but to joyfully make God famous. Since you are now the temple, what do you do at work or in your daily life to make God famous?
QUESTIONS TO ASK CHILDREN:
- How can we brag about how great God is and what amazing things He has done?
- Can you think of a song that we could sing to celebrate how awesome God is?