In my one-year Bible reading plan, I am coming to the end of 1 Chronicles. David is publically giving the throne to Solomon and giving him and the people instructions. Among these are provisions for the Temple Solomon will build.

In chapter 28, there is an interesting phrase, “David gave all unto Solomon in the Lord’s hand, according unto the understanding given him of the work of the pattern.” (1 Chron. 28:19, Asser LXX)

Brenton’s Septuagint reads similarly, and more explicitly, “David gave all to Solomon in the Lord’s handwriting, according to the knowledge given him of the work of the pattern.”
The KJV, translating from the Masoretic Text, also contains the thought that the LORD Himself had written instructions for the liturgical worship of the covenant people, “All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.”

Young’s Literal Translation is more forceful for the Hebrew as Brenton was for the Greek, “The whole is in writing from the hand of Jehovah, ‘He caused me to understand all the work of the pattern,’ said David.”

All of which is to say, as the author of Hebrews would later say (Heb. 8:5), the reason for all the liturgy, incense, bells, holy water, altars, feasts, fasts, antiphonal chanting, vestments, etc. in Old Testament worship was to reflect the eternal worship we see whenever the veil is pulled back and Scripture shows us the same elements occurring in heavenly worship.

As we see from the written liturgies that have come down to us and from the archaeological explorations of pre-Nicene house churches, the early Christians understood this and developed Christian liturgy with all of these elements as well. They were not looking backward to imitate the Old Testament worship of the Jews per se, rather, with the same intention as the Jews, Christians developed a pattern of worship that looked forward to the heavenly banquet of worship in heaven to which we are all called to participate in for eternity.

All of which is to say, according to the Bible, the form of covenantal worship is not a matter for personal tastes to choose, it is instead a revelation from the LORD’s hand to be received.



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