David brings the Ark of God into Jerusalem; God makes a covenant with David; David's prayer of thanksgiving; his victories; David's kindness to Mephibosheth
David now ruled over the united kingdom. He desired to honor God by bringing the Ark of the Covenant, the dwelling place of God on earth, to Jerusalem, which would become the religious and political capital of Israel. For about 75 years, during most of Samuel's leadership and during Saul's 40-year reign, the Ark had remained with Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim.
David often inquired of the LORD about what to do (see I Samuel 23: 2,4; 30:8; II Samuel 2:1; 5:19; 21:1), but he saw no need to pray about moving the Ark to Jerusalem.
David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. . . . to bring up from there (to Jerusalem) the Ark of God. . . . And they set the Ark of God upon a new cart, as the Philistines had done many years before when they had captured it, and they proceeded toward Jerusalem with great rejoicing. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart (II Samuel 6:1-4). David made the procession a national day of rejoicing to impress all Israel with the importance of putting God in the center of their national life.
Attempting to keep the Ark from toppling off the cart, Uzzah put forth his hand to the Ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. . . . and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the Ark of God (6:6-7). David was humiliated, disheartened, and displeased (6:8). David was sincerely seeking to honor God, but he had overlooked two very important instructions in the Word of God: The Ark had to be carried by poles on the shoulders of the priests, and the penalty for touching the Ark of God's Presence was death (see Exodus 25:10-15; Numbers 3:30-31; 4:15; 7:9).
This incident should teach us that it is a serious error to believe that, as long as a person is sincere, it makes no difference what he believes or does. It should also teach us the importance of knowing God's Word: Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (II Timothy 2:15).
6:2 Baale of Judah refers to the town of Kirjath-jearim; 6:7 error = rashness, negligence; 6:14 linen ephod = priestly garment; 6:19 dealt = distributed; 6:21 play = celebrate, show my joy; 6:22 vile = lightly esteemed; 7:8 sheepcote = pastureland; 7:9 cut off = destroyed; 7:12 seed = offspring, descendants; 7:23 terrible = full of wonder; awesome; fearful; 8:3 recover his border = establish his territory; 8:4 houghed = hamstrung; 8:5 succour = help; 9:8 dead dog = worthless person.
By the Ark of the Covenant which they . . . set . . . in the midst of the Tabernacle that David had pitched for it (II Samuel 6:17). The Ark contained God's Word which had been given to Moses (see Deuteronomy 10:1-5). Christ is the Living Word: The Word was made flesh (John 1:1,14) and dwells within us. Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
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Memory Verse for the Week:
I Thessalonians 5:16
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