When you were few in number, and of little account, and sojourners in it, wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!”
–1 Chronicles 16:19-22, ESV.
When the ark of the covenant was placed in the tent in Jerusalem after it had been returned from captivity in Philistia, David sang this as part of his song of praise.
How often do we find ourselves thanking God for His provision and protection of the saints of old? Of the children of Israel? David was more than a couple generations removed from Moses or even Abraham. And yet he sets his praise of God in the context of God’s acts prior to his birth! And yet, he sings of God’s faithfulness.
Something I love about the liturgy of the word at my church: we often end a Scripture reading with the statement, “This is the Word of the Lord. This is our story. Thanks be to God!” The story of the wandering Israelites, the sojourning family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the story of David dancing before the ark–this is our story. God’s provision of redemption for his specific people is the story of the Church.
Don’t believe me? Peter has my back on this one:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
–1 Peter 2:9-10, ESV.
The goodness of God which brought his ark back to the city of David which caused David to sing of the faithfulness of the Lord is the same goodness with which Yahweh has called all who believe in Christ to be brought in, regardless of our status: Jew, Greek, slave, free, male or female.
So let’s not merely sing to this steadfast love: let’s sing of it. Let’s remind each other in our songs of the acts which were done for us, His people, in history. Who God is is bound up, inseparably, with what God does.
Let’s sing the praise of Him who died.
Let’s sing of the one who brought Israel over dry land.
Let’s sing of the one from whom came water in the wilderness.
Let’s sing of the one who made humans called us very good.