Big read today, right? I am actually going to start today’s comments with our reading from 1 Chronicles. The version in 2 Samuel almost seems like the “Cliff Notes” version to me and the order of events and details we are given in 1 Chronicles seem to make more sense in my head … so we’ll start there and I’ll throw a few comments from 2 Samuel in to make sure you guys are still awake out there. <<<smile>>>
1 Chronicles 13 –This begins with the moving of the Ark (the wrong way) rather than beginning with the war against the Philistines. The Ark of the Covenant and the Ark of God are the same thing in case you see this in different versions. Jerusalem was now the political capital of Israel. David had great intentions in trying to unify Israel with his desire to move the Ark to Jerusalem so the political capital AND the worship center would both be in the same place. Makes sense to me. David asked the opinions of the people he respected and everyone said YES … lets bring the Ark HERE. However, David did not ask God if he should do it, if it was the right time, or how to do it.
Now there is Uzzah…poor Uzzah. There is no evidence that he was a Levite descent (not good). Then as Uzzah noticed the OX CART about to fall he reached out to protect the ARK, touched the ARK, and BAM…he’s dead.
OK… so WHAT in the WORLD happened??? You’ve got two men trying to do the right thing….right?? Both our readings in 2 Samuel today and in 1 Chronicles share this story with us.
Let’s take a deeper look into this:
- David had a NEW OX CART built to carry the ARK on. RUT ROW!! David was actually following the ways of the Philistines by making a new cart for the ARK. NOT GOOD!! Maybe David didn’t know the Levitical Law or perhaps it had been so long since he had seen it practiced that he forgot … either way….the law was not followed and Uzzah died as a consequence of his good intentions but even more because of David’s lack of knowledge.
- Numbers 4:5-15 – God was VERY specific in how the ARK was to be moved, who was to move it, and other responsibilities that had to take place in moving the ARK. Ummmmmm….. none of these laws were followed!
- ONLY a Levite was to move the ARK & Uzzah was not one of them.
- The Levites had to be consecrated (set apart from the others for God) so that meant they had to be clean, wear the proper attire, be prepared to make the right sacrifices at the right times in this process. NONE of this happened at this point.
- The ARK was to be CARRIED by the Levites … if you happen to recall… when the ARK was made it had gold rings on each side which gold poles were to slip though. The Levites were to CARRY the ARK by holding on to these poles and NEVER TOUCH THE ARK…. NOPE not even the Levites could touch the ARK!!
We see where David became very angry with God and feared HIM. They stopped the movement of the ARK and left it with Obed-Edom for three months. During these three months, David had a chance to learn the laws, and discover his mistakes.
1 Chronicles 14 – “David KNEW God had established him as King over ALL Israel.” In the midst of all that happened in Chapter 13 and with his knowledge and remembrance that God has established him as king… the next thing we read is that David takes more wives and has more children. I don’t know why this was humorous for me, but it was. HEAVENS!!
Interestingly, during the 7 ½ years David was King of Judah the Philistines never attacked him. However, when they heard he was made King of ALL of Israel and had overtaken Jerusalem as the capital, they were threatened. They were ready to kill David. Also interesting at this point is that David asked God what he should do, and God answered him. THIS VERY POINT IS WHY I BELIEVE THE ORDER THE HISTORY IS REVEALED IN CHRONICLES IS MORE ACCURATE. DAVID WAS ALREADY LEARNING FROM HIS MISTAKE OF NOT ASKING GOD ABOUT THE MOVE OF THE ARK FROM CHAPTER 13. However, that is my personal opinion…maybe it simply appeals to my sense of organization and detail.
At any rate… he did ask God. God did answer. And the Philistines were defeated. Once the Philistines are defeated, David ordered his men to BURN all their altars, all their idols, all their poles….take NO SOUVEINERS. David’s actions were exactly in line with what God had originally told HIS people when they entered the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 7:5). Again, it appears that David had learned many things from the first incident with the Ark being moved.
1 Chronicles 15 – David had had some time to learn or be refreshed on the Levitical laws. This time the ARK was moved properly. David made SURE ALL the priests knew their roles from gatekeepers, to the carriers, to the worship leaders and musicians, to those involved with the sacrifices and the need to be consecrated before carrying the Ark. And, David learned well. He also put on the proper garments and all of the people worshipped God once the ARK was in place. There was “dancing in the streets.” I have heard some say that David was basically in his undergarments worshipping the Lord with every ounce of himself….every bit of his heart.
David unabashedly worshipped the Lord…no inhibitions..no shame…nothing held back for this special occasion. We are not told that he was doing anything wrong or inappropriate. However, this upset Michal so badly that we are told she despised him from that moment forward. In 2 Samuel 6:20 Michal is described as Saul’s daughter rather than David’s wife. Was this because of her anger? Was this because the writer and God wanted us to be aware that she was more concerned about appearances than God, like her father Saul? I don’t have the answers and both are good possibilities, but there is a reason for those words in Scripture.
2 Samuel 6 ends telling us that Michal, daughter of Saul, never had children. I want to be VERY gentle in what I am saying here because I am a woman who could NOT have children… so I am NOT about to tell you her sin prevented her from becoming pregnant. However, what I do know about life in GENERAL is that when we hate, and do not forgive, it can and will eat at us. Hate will destroy us which is why God tells us to forgive. Forgiveness is a command, but it is FOR US so we can move on in our lives and be open to all that God has for us. It is hard to receive anything if we hold our arms out with closed fists. Refusing to forgive keeps our fists closed. However, when we forgive, the picture changes to one where our arms lift up to God and our hands are open to HIM and then we can receive with open hands. Think about the Lord’s prayer (forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.) Does that make sense?
1 Chronicles 16—what a beautiful psalm of thanksgiving. We can learn 4 things from this to allow our praise and thanksgiving to be more pure:
- Remember what God has done.
- Tell others about it
- Show God’s glory to others.
- Offer gifts of self, time, and resources to others.
Verse 34 is a REPEAT from our readings yesterday. I have been told on several occasions by Pastors and Mentors that when God says things 3 or more times we need to PAY ATTENTION. SO… “GIVE THANKS TO THE Lord for HE is good HIS love endure forever.”
David wanted to unite Israel’s worship but the ARK moved to Jerusalem and the Tabernacle remained in Gibeon. The Tabernacle will remain in Gibeon until the Temple is built by Solomon. However, David KNEW UNITY was vital. He KNEW God had given him great responsibility to lead the way in this UNITY.
David ends our day today by verbally blessing all those around him and he also gave them “treats”. THEN he went HOME and blessed all in HIS HOME!!! Now that’s the way to end a day!!!
Sharing HIS love,