1 Chronicles 29:20
And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers…
David was a true leader; for he not only directed, he preceded his subjects in the path of duty. If he called upon his soldiers to fight, he led them to the field; if he desired the princes to offer gifts, he first himself gave munificently; and if he would have his people worship, he himself set them the example. Thus, upon the occasion of presenting offerings towards the building of the temple, the king summoned the inhabitants of Jerusalem together, and in their presence and hearing addressed to Heaven the adorations and petitions recorded in this chapter. Only after this did he use the language of the text, "Now bless the Lord your God.
I. THE NATURE OF WORSHIP: in what worship consists. Worship of some sort has been general among all nations. Revealed religion directs and consecrates what seems a natural tendency; and both the Old Testament and the New contain many admonitions to, many examples of, true and acceptable worship.
1. True worship is spiritual. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." It consists in the recognition of the Divine attributes, the acknowledgment of the Divine reign, and gratitude for Divine mercies - gifts, forbearance, loving-kindness. Nothing is more hateful to God than the language and posture of worship from which spiritual devotion is absent. Of the insincere he speaks with indignation, "This people draweth near unto me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." Silence is compatible with true worship; insincerity is not.
2. A devout heart will find expression for its sentiments. "The people bowed down their heads, and worshipped." Language is an assistance to the intelligent worshipper, though an unuttered aspiration or affection is heard and accepted by God. And attitudes of kneeling, standing, bowing the head, stretching forth the hands, are all appropriate as expressive of the feelings of the devout worshipper. It is only when they are substituted for spiritual worship that they are bad and displeasing to him who searches the hearts and tries the reins of the children of men.
II. THE OBJECT OF WORSHIP: to whom worship is due. The congregation of Israel "worshipped the Lord, and the king." Yet the homage offered to David was civil, not religions; and there could have been no danger of confusing the one with the other. Whilst the heathen worship gods many and lords many, to us there is but one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. The Christian adores and blesses God in Christ. Notice that he is:
1. Your God. The Israelites were reminded of this; and we all are summoned to regard him as ours; for he has made us and redeemed us, and by his own Spirit renewed us, so that we are his and he is ours.
2. And he is also your fathers' God. The Hebrews knew him as "the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob." And we can exclaim, when we approach him, "Doubtless thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not." The fact that God made himself known unto the fathers of mankind, that our parents or ancestors knew and acknowledged him, adds a pathos and a power to our prayers.
III. THE WORSHIPPERS. David summoned "all the congregation" to worship, bless, and praise the Lord.
1. All men have abundant reason to bless the Lord. He is "good unto all" His bounty, care, watchfulness, and long-suffering, have been experienced by all. No wonder that the psalmist in so many passages calls upon all people - all nations - to praise the Lord; summons young men and maidens, old men and children, to praise the Name of the Lord.
2. All men are in the gospel encouraged to present acceptable worship to God through Jesus Christ. The Saviour reveals the Father as the Object of worship, and himself provides the new and living way of access, and offers the intercession which secures Divine acceptance and approval for the believing worshipper. "I will," says the Apostle Paul, "that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
1. Do you worship God yourselves?
2. Do you admonish and encourage others, especially the young, to bless and praise the Lord? - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.
WEB: David said to all the assembly, "Now bless Yahweh your God!" All the assembly blessed Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads and prostrated themselves before Yahweh and the king.