ribbon cutting April 30 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Psalm 105; Psalm 24, Psalm 65; Psalm 68; Psalm 110; Psalm 19

Reasons to Celebrate!

When we dedicate a new building it is a time of celebration! We might begin with a groundbreaking ceremony. Lots of pictures are taken. Perhaps a speech is made. When the cornerstone is laid we applaud. We rejoice once more when furniture, computers, multi-media, machinery and other things essential to our business or church are brought in for future use. But the biggest celebration is the ribbon cutting ceremony. There is much joy. There are speeches, congratulating all the ones who made this moment possible. There are expressions of hope for future success. Gifts are exchanged and best wishes are given. Sometimes there is a meal for everyone to enjoy.

For a church, what are some of the most important pieces of furniture to be installed? For the majority of Christian churches they are the pulpit and the communion table. After these things are supplied, pews or chairs, and instruments of music are usually brought into the worship center. Why are the pulpit and the Communion Table the most important pieces of furniture?

The pulpit brings the greatest joy to Christians because it is from this place that the Word of God is preached. The Communion Table is a symbolic piece of furniture where we remember our common faith. On it we periodically place plates or baskets of unleavened (yeast- less) bread and cups of wine or grape juice for a Communion Service. The unleavened bread, which is broken in pieces, symbolizes Christ dying for our sins bodily on the cross of Calvary. The small cups of wine or grape juice represent the blood of Christ that he shed for us, for which our sins are atoned (paid in substitution for or made amends for).

A piece of furniture that symbolized the holiness and presence of God in the days of King David was the Ark of the Covenant. Yesterday's Bible reading and today's reading focus on the celebration of bringing the Ark of God up into the city of Zion (Jerusalem). Yesterday, we read about a big party led by King David as the Israelites brought the Ark up from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem. Today we read about the installment speeches in the book of Psalms. This is the ribbon cutting ceremony, so to speak. It is a time of great joy and celebration. These speeches do not praise their own merits or the generosity of donors; they extol God for his virtues.

Psalm 24 extols the LORD for being the Almighty God, worthy of worship.

Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false (vs. 3-4, NIV).
Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty-- he is the King of glory (vs. 9-10, NIV).

These Psalms were evidently sung by Israel as a reminder of their Ark. From them we may learn things about our worship items. It is not enough to install a piece of church furniture—to stand in God's holiness we must be holy or righteous (1Peter 1:15-16). We must have a personal relationship with God and practice personal holiness to have his favor (more...).

Psalm 65 extols the LORD for answered prayer, forgiveness, and God’s temple (a reference to the tabernacle in David’s time), which was his place of worship and blessing.

Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come. When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. Blessings come to those who are righteous. (vss. 1-4, NIV)

Psalm 68 extols the LORD for his care of his people. God is high and mighty in his majesty, but he helps his people: Verse 35 (NIV) says, “You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!”

Also in this Psalm, David lists the order of the procession into Jerusalem (Psalm 68:24-27). Not all the tribes are mentioned, just a representative few. The southern tribes of Benjamin and Judah and the northern tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali represent all the tribes from south to north (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the O.T., edited by Walvoord and Zuck, ©1985, p. 844).

Psalm 110 is a prophetic Messianic Psalm and foretells a future day when the Lord Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem. The LORD may have revealed this Psalm to David on the occasion of the Ark (a symbol of the LORD's presence) being installed on Zion's holy hill, the city of Jerusalem.

Psalm 19 is a hymn of worship for God's creation and his Word, and it may also have been written for this occasion.

Lessons to Live By

  • God desires worship from those who lead righteous lives. Confess and turn to God from your sins. Then offer your gifts of worship to him, your Almighty creator and loving LORD (more...).
  • A church is just a building with furniture without God. Invite him into your place of worship. Celebrate his presence! Praise him and extol him in song.
  • Praise the LORD for being the Almighty God, worthy of worship.
  • Extol the LORD for answered prayer, forgiveness, and your church or worship center. Celebrate what he has done.
  • Give God glory for his personal care over you and other Christians.

Focus Verse

Psalm 65:4 (NIV) “Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.”

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A Look Ahead: After King David and the Ark of the Covenant are installed in Jerusalem, it not long before he faces enemies and has to fight. He learns like we can learn that God is Our Defense and Shield. Read more in our Next Lesson.

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