The Psalm 23 Adventure, Part 49
July 21, 2017
We’re going to run long today in an effort to wrap up this portion of our Psalm 23 adventure. We finished up last week talking about David’s expansion of the families of worshipers.
Take a look, if you will, at I Chronicles 25.
I Chronicles 25:1-7: Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:
Of the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king.
Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD.
Of Heman: the sons of Heman; Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamtiezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth: All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn. And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters.
All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the king’s order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman.
So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight.
(Notice, if you will, the doubling of the 144. Think maybe David saw something that has escaped a lot of people who’ve tried to understand and make predictions concerning the 144,000?)
I wish I had time to take you into the prophetic significance of each of the names of these worshipers. That’s a study in prophecy that could be a book by itself. Each name is representative of a portion of what takes place with our purpose in surrounding the Throne of God, ministering to Him in a dimension of praise and worship that Lucifer could never have accomplished! It is a continuing picture of the anointing that we have been destined for.
The ministries of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun were enhanced at this point. Their families were commanded to begin prophesying on and with musical instruments.
During the forty years that Solomon sat on the throne, Israel reached the zenith of its power and influence in the world. The nation had prospered during David’s years, and now saw such wealth and abundance as would stagger the world’s imagination for centuries, and even millennia, after Solomon’s death.
With praise and worship going forth unhampered and unhindered for eighty continuous years, the Lord did for Israel what they could never accomplish in the natural. Battles were fought in the Heavenlies in the midst of praise and worship and spiritual foes defeated.
Having been fought in the Heavenlies, the outcome of the earthly battles was a foregone conclusion. When the people ministered unto the Lord, He ministered unto them, provided for them, fought their battles and filled every conceivable need.
Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, did not see the connection between the worshipers and Israel’s might and prosperity, and after the counsel of some self-seeking politicians three years into his reign, he abandoned the ministry of praise and worship and sent the worshipers packing. No sooner had he done so when Jeroboam came out of Egypt, gained the favor of ten tribes and split the nation of Israel with civil war. Israel soon became prey to its former enemies and lost its dominion in the world from that day forward.
Never again would a unified nation of Israel see the power and glory that had been theirs. Never again would they see the provision of God in such manner as He had displayed during the eighty years of David and Solomon — and nearly eighty years of continuous praise and worship.
Only four more times in the nation’s history (and that only with the descendants of David who sat on the throne of Judah) did kings arise who remembered what God had done when praise and worship went forth in ministry to Him continuously.
Jehoshaphat was the first to remember, and the Lord gave him victory in the midst of an impossible battle with peace and prosperity during the last seven years of his reign — a seven-year period in which praise and worship went forth continually.
Fifteen years after Jehoshaphat’s death (a period of time in which there had been no ministry of worship to the Lord), after Jehoram’s eight years of war, Ahaziah’s conspiracy and death at the hands of Jehu after one year on the throne, and six years under Athaliah (Ahaziah’s mother), Jehoiada, the high priest, took a very young Joash, crowned him king, put Athaliah and her Baal-worshippers to death, and reappointed the descendants of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun to the ministry of praise and worship unto the Lord.
For the first thirty-nine years of Joash’s reign, praise and worship went forth as it had in the days of David and Solomon. For thirty-nine years, the nation of Judah prospered as it had in the days of David. Joash was able to throw off the yoke of his enemies, and ruled with freedom and authority in the land. At the end of the thirty-ninth year of Joash’s reign, Jehoiada died, and there came a flood of self-seeking soothsayers currying Joash’s favor. He succumbed to their words and enticements, abandoned the ministry of praise and worship, and dismissed the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun. Immediately, he was beset by war; and a year later, he was assassinated by his own servants.
For 112 years, the nation of Judah went through periods of war, famine, occasional prosperity and subsequent decline, politically, economically, militarily, and — most of all — spiritually. Not until Hezekiah came to the throne was the ministry of praise and worship reestablished. In his first year as king, Hezekiah reappointed the descendants of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun to the ministry of praise and worship. For twenty-nine years this ministry went forth unhampered and unhindered.
Hezekiah came to such prominence that even the kings of Israel honored him. (Let’s not forget the fact that Israel as a whole was a divided nation.) He shook off, once again, the yoke of bondage from the surrounding nations. The nation prospered as it had in the days of David and Solomon, saw victory over its enemies and saw a peace such as it had not seen in more than two hundred years.
During Hezekiah’s reign, the scion of a wealthy family came to prominence. He had already served for a time as a governor in the land, and (although he had already begun prophesying in the time of Hezekiah’s father and grandfather and great-grandfather) came to be recognized internationally as a prophet among prophets. During this time of such praise and worship going forth, he saw such visions as no prophet before or after him, and drew pictures of the coming Messiah and Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, in words which would forever etch themselves in the minds of God’s people. That prophet’s name was Isaiah.
Only one more time in Judah’s history did a king come to power that saw the pattern of praise and worship, who reappointed the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun to minister unto the Lord. Fifty-seven years after Hezekiah’s death — a period in which Judah had become a vassal-state to Assyria and Babylon — Josiah came to the throne.
In the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah repaired the temple in Jerusalem and reappointed the worshipers to minister before the Lord continually. History tells us that Ephraim and Manasseh, and Simeon and Naphtali, four of the tribes of Israel, joined with Judah during Josiah’s reign to worship the Lord. For the next twelve years, they saw peace, prosperity, the provision of God, and victory over their enemies.
There is an important picture here that we need to see. In Heaven there are no enemies of God. The Will of God is always being fulfilled. There is perfect peace. There is no lack of any kind.
Israel experienced the same thing. Enemies that came against them didn’t last. They were defeated. Peace ruled the land. The nation prospered. Where needs had existed before, now the people prospered on every hand.
For reasons that seem to escape me, God’s people have not learned this lesson. More than that, those who have served in places of responsibility and leadership seem to think that it’s okay to call their hymn-singing, song-singing, scripture-choruses and preaching, “worship.” It may be praise (and that is sometimes questionable) but it is not worship! They wonder why there is such a struggle to see things happen. They wonder why there is no provision of God. They wonder where the miracles went. They wonder why there is such “back-sliding” among the people and why people’s relationship with God is like a yo-yo.
Let me be clear. I’m not saying that folks can’t or don’t worship while they sing their songs. What I’m saying is that their singing has become a tradition that more often than not loses the focus of worship. Folks sing the right words, they say the right things, they pray the right things, but the spirit of worship is missing. There is no heart of intimacy and love being expressed in the Spirit.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been frustrated going into churches and listening to the praise or worship leader sing these wonderful songs, get everyone hyped and excited and joyful, and then drop the ball. They lead up to worship, but the “know-how” to worship seems to be missing. Sometimes they will sing songs, Scripture choruses, or whatever, that really can lead folks into worship, and folks get right to the edge of entering into the presence of the Lord. Then they stop, and everyone sits down, and the preacher gets up to preach his message. And the heart of the Lord never gets fulfilled!
Let me digress for a minute.
I’ve shared this before, but let me share it again. Praise comes out of our intellect. It comes out of a decision we make to praise, to laud, to magnify the Lord with our understanding. Worship, on the other hand, comes out of our spirit. Worship comes from a place of love, a place of intimacy, a place of desire. Worship is adoration! Worship is the expression of love, spirit to spirit.
One cannot praise without expressing words that we choose out of a heart’s desire to magnify the Lord. Worship, on the other hand, while words certainly can be used, does not necessarily need words at all. Worship is the pouring forth of one’s spirit in a way that words fail to express.
We can use the illustration of speaking in tongues as an example. When we pray or when we praise, we choose the words that come out of our mouths. When we need to intercede, intercession comes out of our spirits. Words fail us. Hence, we cease to try and figure out what needs to be said and we pray in other tongues. Our natural minds shut off. Reasoning plays no part whatever. We yield ourselves to Holy Spirit and He ministers the need to the Throne using our mouths as the means to voice the need but expresses things according to the Will of God. We become the vessel of expression, but that which comes forth comes directly spirit to spirit.
The same holds true in worship. When we sing in other tongues — languages for which we have no learning or understanding — our minds shut off but our spirit is totally yielded to Holy Spirit. We are worshiping spirit to spirit.
Let’s get back on track again. Consider what David writes in the 104th Psalm.
Psalm 24: 33-35: I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
Notice the meditation? We’re talking spirit to spirit!
Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.
In these statements we have a perfect picture of what took place when praise and worship began to go forth out of Israel on a 24-hour basis. We also have a picture of that for which our anointing is destined.
Isaiah prophesied the following when he was describing the thousand year reign of peace on the Earth. He first prophesies this concerning the coming of Messiah (see Isaiah 11), and then as he wraps up his prophecies, we see the following:
Isaiah 65:20-25: There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
This anointing is such that we will demonstrate on earth that which takes place in Heaven. The demonstration of our anointing is to show the world at large — and particularly, those who have not come into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ — that which takes place with His total rulership, and that which takes place when we cover the land in continuous praise and worship.
Folks, we have an anointing that awaits the body of Christ unlike any anointing the world has ever seen. Yes, there are anointings for ministry. Yes, there are the anointings that take place for the various callings and facets of who Jesus is, but all of those anointings are designed to bring us to the place that we fulfill the heart of the Lord. Our purpose and calling is to accomplish that for which we have been created. We have been created for His pleasure! We have been created for an anointing to minister around the Throne of God!
For those of you who’ve been participating in our Monday night Healing Prayer Conference Call, we just want to let you know that beginning with the month of July and continuing until the first Monday night in October, we will be taking a break for the summer. We’ve found during the past three years of doing this call that participation during the summer months drops significantly because of folks taking their vacations, and being involved in other activities. That said, we will resume our prayer calls on Monday night, October 2nd.
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available by Skype. If you wish to participate by video on Skype, my Skype ID is regner.capener. If you miss the live voice call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
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