A House for the Lord from 1 Chronicles 13-17
Our passage reading begins with David trying to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. While he probably thought he was doing a good thing – he was doing it the wrong way. Often in our own lives we can attempt to do the good work of ministry, only to find out we should have consulted with the LORD on how to get it done. The incident that stops the whole show is when the oxen stumble and Uzza reaches out to steady the cart. God strikes him dead and then King David gets angry at the anger of the LORD. Needless, to say the Ark winds up staying three months with Obed-Odem and the blessings of the LORD are poured out there instead of Jerusalem. There is a bit of mysticism with the Ark of the Covenant – now I’m not trying to go Indiana Jones on you, but the Blessings that seemed to accompany anyone who had the Ark in their possession seems odd at best. The exception is when the Philistines capture the Ark [thinking that they have Israel’s god] and are “blessed with hemorrhoids. I found it quite interesting that the place from which the Ark had been left all the days of King Saul was in Kiriath-jearim. By now you are saying where? The place Kiriath-jeraim was the location in Numbers 13/14 where Israel was to crossover the first time into the Promised Land. Very Interesting, could this mean that we must sometimes have to go backwards to the point of our last failure/disobedience in order to start fresh? Probably so!
The Ark of the Covenant appears to have an unknown power about it; even the anger of the LORD if not properly handled. The Israelites felt there was a mystical power with it; they took the Ark before them before crossing the Jordan River and into battles. There is a great identity of the Ark and the Presence of God.
David has two battles against the Philistines which he ensures that God is with him in the battles – God affirms the how of the attack as well as the victory for David. The fear of King David grows throughout the land. King David attempts a second movement of the Ark. This time with great detail and caution, involving the Levites, priests and seems like just anyone else to ensure proper procedures are followed. We have covered the disgruntled Michal with David’s dancing and subsequent barrenness.
There is a great time of worship of the people, even King David is benevolent; he gives everyone a loaf of bread, raisin cake and portion of meat.
King David has an established unified throne with Judah and Israel. He lives in a fine house of Lebanon cedar. David had created a Tent for the Ark of the Covenant but appears to see the House of God as insufficient when compared to his house. He talks to Nathan about wanting to build the LORD a house. Nathan says go ahead. But the LORD comes to Nathan in a dream and says – Nope – not my way. Interesting that David desires to build a House for the LORD; and the LORD God turns around and establishes the HOUSE OF DAVID and the Throne of David as a perpetual eternal throne. The Covenant that God makes with David is an “unequaled covenant.” By this I mean that God and David are not equal. Just when David thought he could do good FOR God; God does more for David.
In this Davidic Covenant we have the establishing of Solomon to build the great Solomon’s Temple to the LORD, but also have the throne of David, the LION OF JUDAH prophecy. David was covenanted by GOD that there would not cease to be an heir of David on the throne of Judah. Ultimately, this prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus was born of the tribe of Judah, and will one day be the LION of Judah, sitting on David’s established throne pictured here.
Speechless is what I would be. But I think we must remember that GOD is the initiator of the Covenant relationship. We are blessed beyond measure with God’s love towards us. We do not DO to receive the blessing; but are merely recipients of God’s blessing through faith in Jesus Christ. Just when we think we can honor God and bless Him; He blesses us more. Think now on John 14:1-6 and the House of God prepared for those who love Him.
Tag Archives: Ark of the COvenant
A House for the Lord from 1 Chronicles 13-17
1 Samuel 6 & 7; in these two chapters we have David trying to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and the Davidic Covenant that God makes with David, that his throne would be established forever. In chapter 6, we have David attempting to bring the “forgotten and forsaken” Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant that was built by Israel in the wilderness. The same one that was stolen by the Philistines and returned because of the “tumors” they were plagued with. he same Ark of the Covenant that housed, Aaron’s rod that budded, a bowl of Manna and the Two Tablets containing the Ten Commandments. The Ark that was so revered by the people, for they saw it as the presence of God with them. David is not going to move the Ark without fanfare. He elicits 30,000 to bring the Ark home. The place where the Ark is located is significant – it was left vacated at Kiriath-Jearim. You may say so what, what does this place have to do with anything – it is the very place where Israel refused to cross over in Numbers 13 to inhabit the Promised Land! A place forgotten and the national symbol of Israel, left in the Wilderness.
David prepares are the pomp and circumstance to move the Ark with great celebration and extravagance. On a new cart, with people playing the harps, castanets, tambourines and cymbals – what a parade! Until at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumble and the Ark almost falls off, Uzzah walking along side the Ark reaches out to steady it, and is struck dead on the spot. Talk about crashing a party! David is enraged with anger, and leaves it right there – leaving it at Obed-edom’ house. David hears that because of the Ark at Obed-edom’s house he is being blessed. SO David again tries to bring the Ark into the city of Zion. Again the parade is on, this time without any mishaps – oh except King David is prancing around, dancing in his linen garments before the people and the entrance into Jerusalem – Michal [Saul’s daughter] is incensed with David frolicking around half-naked before the maidens. David says “I will act even more undignified than this.” [This was a song sung by DC Talk in the 1990’s]. Because of her rebuke of David, Michal was barren all her life.
Reflecting now on these two events – David absolutely enraged because Uzzah was struck dead. Here David is trying to do the right thing, and for no apparent reason, when Uzzah touched the Ark, he was killed. Seem a little harsh doesn’t it. Why did God strike him down? To us it doesn’t make sense, but we are given insight into God’s actions. “Irreverence” was the reason in 1 Sam 6:7. God didn’t need any help in ensuring the Ark was safe. It had been protected against enemies and elements of nature until Israel got ready to put it in its proper place. God was bringing the Ark in, not David and 30,000 soldiers. Irreverence means to disrespect or mock. Now I don’t fully understand how Uzzah reaching out to steady the Ark shows disrespect or mockery towards God, but it did. I do know that no one was to touch the Ark itself, it had loops at places along its outer frame so 2 poles could be pushed through and the Ark carried. The Ark is the Mercy seat of God, the place where the sacrifice done on the day of Atonement was done. A sacred place, a holy place, a revered place. I guess because of the Holiness of God, and Uzzah’s quick reaction of thinking like a man, he forgot the Holiness of God and approached God’s represented presents flippantly. We cannot regard things of God as common, nor should we regard things common as holy.
David was in the Spirit, rejoicing and praising God as he saw the Ark of the Covenant come to rest in Israel – there will always be those that will regard our celebration before the Lord and foolishness – people of the world don’t understand the things of God – Michal, would bear the reproach of woman being barren all her life.
Regarding the Everlasting Covenant of the Davidic throne. God bestowed a covenant of unequal participants between He and David. David was given the honor, that through his lineage there would not cease to be an heir on the throne. Many of you already understand this – the Heir that would reign is Jesus. King Jesus would/will/is reigning on the throne of Judah as the Lion of Judah. David wanted to build a house for God, to house the Ark of the Covenant. God tells David, you cannot “house me.” But God does tell him that his son would build a house where God would put His Name. Instead of David building a House for God; God established the House of David. Jesus was born into the House of David, the Covenant is still intact. When Jesus returns, He will take his seat on the throne of David – and execute judgment as the Lion of Judah.