May 27 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.
Begin to build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the Lord.”
~1 Chronicles 22:19

God deserves praise. He is loving. He is compassionate. He is merciful. And He is just. It’s not surprising then that, as the Chronicler details the life of a man who experienced all those aspect of God’s character (King David), worship becomes a theme in the book. Great stress is laid on the Levites, including the temple music leaders, and their work. In this passage, David makes lavish preparations for the construction of that very temple. He paves the way for his young, inexperienced son to succeed at this great task. In fact, while many of David’s exploits are recounted in Chronicles, prepping for temple-building is presented as the pinnacle of his kingly career. David also is presented as a patron of the religious arts, a songwriter and singer, and a supporter of the musical guilds that flourished under his kingship. His reign inspired a worship renaissance and most of Israel’s songs were composed during this period (thus the book of Psalms). But His last contribution was setting the stage, so to speak, for the beautiful, permanent place of worship, a magnificent “cathedral” of praise to God.

Why does a king “waste” time like this? Doesn’t he have more important things to do than play his guitar and write songs and steer the church’s new building project? I mean, he’s the king! Christian thinkers have observed that worship is one of the few things that Christians do that has no utilitarian value. When we worship, we are not accomplishing anything! Theologian Marva Dawn gave her classic book on worship the tongue-in-cheek title A Royal Waste of Time. Worship has no practical value, but it has ultimate value because God is the Ultimate. He is the end, the purpose of our lives.

So anytime we can “waste” our time worshipping, let us do so! In fact, let us be inspired by the life of this great man who “wasted” his career on worship and became the greatest king in Israel’s history. Of course, when Chronicles was being written, Ezra the prophet was trying to motivate God’s people to rebuild the place of worship and again waste their lives doing what they were created to do: To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. There is no greater way for us to spend our lives either. Worship is an end in itself because God is the ultimate end! We don’t worship to accomplish anything, we worship because that is what we too were created to do.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.