“You will make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy.” Ps 16:11

The Nature of Covenant Praise

Before we move on to the manner of public praise in worship before God, we pause to contemplate the nature of this public praise. First of all, your thanksgiving is covenant praise for covenant grace. In their singing, David enjoined the Levites to, “Remember His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations” (1 Chronicles 16:15). The words of 1 Chronicles 16:7-36 give us a sample of the praise David ordained. Verse 34 says specifically, “O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Lovingkindness is covenant love. When the “Levitical singers” lifted their voices and “praised the LORD,” they therefore sang, “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (2 Chronicles 5:13). This refrain, “for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” epitomized the praise appointed by David (2 Chronicles 7:6).

The sample of the praise in 2 Chronicles 16:7-36 ordained by David includes Psalm 105:1-15, Psalm 96:1-13, and Psalm 106:1 and 47-48. This Psalmody was later formalized. “King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the LORD with the words of David and Asaph the seer (2 Chronicles 29:30). David appointed “Asaph the chief” Levitical singer (1 Chronicles 16:5). Asaph was therefore David’s servant as both an author and a singer of Psalms. David, therefore, appointed both singers and songs for the covenant praise.

Not only so, as Moses made the tabernacle vessels, David made the instruments of song for covenant this praise. “The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the instruments of music to the LORD, which King David had made for giving praise to the LORD” (2 Chronicles 7:6 ). There are two connections with Moses. First, the word instruments may be translated vessels or utensils, as in the vessels of the tabernacle ordained through Moses. “All the utensils

[vessels, KJV] of the tabernacle used in all its service . . . shall be of bronze” (Exodus 27:19). Second, David did not take common instruments for use in the worship of God. The word made in 2 Chronicles 7:6 is the same word used in Genesis 1:31. “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” It is the same word God uses in a crucial command He gives to Moses in Exodus 25:8. “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Moses made the tabernacle and all its utensils for the worship of God. David also specially made the instruments for use in praise before God

Then 2 Chronicles 7:6 indicates that “David praised by their ministry” (KJV). That is, although David was dead (1 Chronicles 29:28-29), he continued to give covenant praise to God through the ministry of the Levites. This was the case since David appointed the Levites as singers. He appointed their songs. And He made and appointed the instruments of covenant praise.

Fast forward. David is a type of Christ. Jesus Christ makes you “new creatures” (2 Corinthians 5:17). He makes you “vessels of mercy” (Romans 9:23). He gives you the Psalms to sing. “From You comes my praise in the great assembly” (Psalm 22:25). You have become “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6, 1 Peter 2:9). Jesus Christ, the greater David, appoints you His singers. He makes you His instruments. He gives you His songs. What then is the nature of covenant praise in the church? In your praise to God, Jesus Christ continues to offer His songs of covenant praise to His Father by making you both His singers and His instruments.

2016-10-29T15:11:20+00:00 December 9th, 2013|