The Public Worship of God
2 Chronicles 29:26-36
And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.…

The record of the latter part of the proceedings on this solemn occasion at Jerusalem may well suggest to us some aspects of public worship at all times.

I. ANTICIPATIVE SERVICE. David, who lived several generations before, bad his hand in that good work. The Levites played with "the instruments of David King of Israel" (ver. 27); and they "sang praise with the words of David and of Asaph" (ver. 30). A very great and admirable service have those men rendered to Christian worship who have written hymns that are sung in all the Churches. In the words which they have given us, sweet and strong, our hearts ascend to God in adoration, are poured forth in praise, are humbled in confession, renew their vows in glad self-surrender. Few men have rendered their race a truer or greater service than those who have thus contributed to the worship of many generations.

II. THE SERVICE OF SACRED SONG. "And the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded." This part was rendered by the Levites, and no doubt it did much to brighten the engagements of that hallowed time. "The service of song in the house of the Lord" constitutes a very important part of public worship, for two reasons..

1. Therein and thereby all the spiritual attitudes and actions which become us in the near presence of God are expressed - reverence, aspiration, penitence, submission, gratitude, etc.

2. Therein all the worshippers can join. It would not have been possible for all those who were in the temple to take audible part in the music and song without discord and confusion. But it is possible, and in every way desirable and delightful, for every voice among us (furnished, as we are, with all appliances) to bring its note of praise to the worship of the Lord. And thus there is ensured or there is facilitated -

III. COMMON PARTICIPATION. In this sacred service, on this great occasion, every one took his part and had his share. "All the congregation worshipped" (ver. 28) "The king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped." (ver. 29). It is best when all the people can take an audible part in public worship, u m the service of song. They can then and thus more readily enter into the spirit of it. But when this may not be, it is open to every one to take an appreciative and appreciated part by an unbroken, spiritual sympathy with all that is said and done; by an active, intelligent acquiescence, signified by the bowed head or by the final "Amen" when the ministering voice is silent. The unuttered sympathy of all reverent, earnest worshippers is a common participation, which, we may make quite sure, is observed and honoured in heaven.

IV. THE SERVICE OF CONTRIBUTION. "And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart burnt offerings" (ver. 31). The people gave of their own possessions freely as an offering to the Lord. This service of contribution should always be regarded as an integral part of Divine worship. It should be rendered as reverently as an act of prayer or praise.

1. It is - or it should be, as it certainly may be-an offering that comes from the heart as well as from the hand.

2. It is an eminently appropriate service; for what can be more fitting than that, when and where we are recognizing the fulness and greatness of God's gift to us, we should then and there offer him our humble, grateful gifts in response?

3. It is acceptable to the Lord whom we serve (see Mark 12:41-44; 1 Corinthians 16:2).

V. REVERENT JOY. "And they sang praises with gladness" (ver. 30); "And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people" (ver. 36). What was more fitted to fill their hearts with overflowing joy than the feeling that they, as a nation, had returned unto the Lord, and had renewed their covenant with him; that he had accepted them; that "his anger was turned away;" that they might now look forward to a time when they would dwell in the light of his countenance and walk in his loving favour? It was an hour for the exuberance of the people's heart, from the heart of the king to that of the humblest citizen of Judah. And there is no time when joy, reverent joy, is more becoming to ourselves than when we are worshipping in the sanctuary of Christ. There we are conscious of our reconcilation to our heavenly Father, in him who is our Divine Saviour; there we feel the nearness of our glorious Redeemer who is "present in the midst of us;" there we pour forth our gratitude and love, and there we renew our happy bends of holy service unto "him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood;" there we realize our substantial and abiding union with all his people, our fellow-citizens in the kingdom and fellow-workers in the vineyard of Christ; and there we anticipate the purer joys and the nobler service of the heavenly land. Sacred joy is the true key-note of the strain when we meet in the sanctuary and engage in the worship of Christ. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.

WEB: The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.

The Re-Dedication of the Temple
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