Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
1 Chronicles 16:10 | NIV | Other Versions | Context
Like both books of Samuel and both books of Kings, it is a historical book in a chronological manner of the same period of time, but 1 Chronicles specially offers a unique perspective not found anywhere else in the Bible – perhaps best described as the book of God‘s perspective on Israel. The first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles is a very detailed genealogy from Adam to David – without doubt the most detailed series of genealogy found in the entirety of the Bible and proves to be very significant in proving the bloodline of the Israelites. The subsequent 20 chapters begin from the death of King Saul in chapter 10, and depicts the events of David‘s reign – most notably the return of the ark of Covenant from the Philistines to Jerusalem. In 1 Chronicles 16 David had just overseen the ark of the convenant of the Lord being settled in the city of David, and was singing a psalm of thanksgiving in celebration of that event. In this study, we will look into one of the verse that David sang in his joy and consider the joy that the Lord our God is associated with.
Glory in his holy name – Do you need an introduction to why His name is holy and why His name should be glorified? It is the name above every name [Phil 2:9|Article], the name that grants salvation [Acts 4:12|Article], the name that we pray in [2 Thes 1:12], the name that empowers us [3 John 1:7]. In the context of this verse, it would be by his name that the return of the ark was possible. It was a name that was worthy of the highest glory. It is a name that is worthy of the highest glory.
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice – the way psalmists have described the joy that can be found in the Lord has been nothing short of extreme – You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand [Psalm 16:11]; They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights [Psalm 36:8]; Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God [Psalm 43:4|Article]. Yet despite the extravagance in description, words alone are likely insufficient to express the true joy that one can discover in the Lord.
Are you happy? Are you content? Do you feel joy? Is that joy true? How do we know, and how can we measure something as intangible as joy? Surely we can. You will know if you’re happier today or yesterday. You will know if you’re happier with him or with her. You will know if you’re unhappy. And half the time, it is often difficult to want to go and seek the Lord because we feel that we’re unable to derive joy from this process. How strange, isn’t it? It has been said and promised, it has been done and proven before – that whoever goes to the Lord will find exceeding joy, their hearts will rejoice when they seek the Lord, drinking from the river of delights and feeding from the eternal pleasures of God’s right hands!
It doesn’t matter whether you turn to the Lord when you’re happy or when you’re sad. That doesn’t matter at all. What should matter is the fact that when you turn to the Lord; when your heart truly turns to the Lord, your heart will be filled with an abundance of joy, no matter your circumstances, no matter the weight of your burdens, no matter what you have done. When you turn to the Lord in repentance and in genuine desire to follow after him, the abundance of love, joy and peace will enter your heart and overflow to people around you. And because God becomes a source of joy to you, you will naturally want to turn to him in good times and in bad times, and the joy in your heart will only grow.
Does reading the Bible makes you happy? Does praying fill your heart with joy? Do you enjoy serving in Church and going on mission trips? Yes? No? Yes? You probably wouldn’t answer yes to all the questions one can possibly ask regarding this. That’s fine. That’s where we begin to learn to find joy in the right places – in the Lord, in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the Lord. That’s where we begin to learn to appreciate the value of seeking the Lord. After all, his love is more delightful than wine [Song 1:2|Article].