April 13

Read II Samuel 6 -- 9

David was now king of the United Kingdom. His greatest desire was to honor God by bringing the Ark of the Covenant, the dwelling place of God, to Jerusalem. This would make the city both the religious and the political capital of Israel. For about 75 years, the Ark had remained in the House of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim. It was there during most of Samuel's leadership and during Sauls 40-year reign.

David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And . . . went with all the people . . . to bring up from there the Ark of God. . . . And they set the Ark of God upon a new cart . . . and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons (grandsons) of Abinadab, drove the new cart. . . . Ahio went before the Ark, meaning that he led the way while Uzzah walked alongside the Ark (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 nation.

Although David often inquired of the Lord (II Samuel 2:1; 5:19,23; 21:1), when he decided to move the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, he failed to do so. Instead, David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader (I Chronicles 13:1). They mistakenly chose to place the Ark on a new cart, as the Philistines had done many years before, and proceeded toward Jerusalem with great rejoicing.

Uzzah, attempting to keep the Ark of God from toppling off the cart, took hold of it; for the oxen shook it (stumbled). And . . . God smote him . . . and . . . he died by the Ark of God (II Samuel 6:6-7). Undoubtedly David was humiliated (6:8). Why would God allow this to happen?

Everyone had overlooked two very important instructions in the Word of God: The Ark must be carried by poles on the shoulders of the priests, and the penalty for touching the Ark was death (Exodus 25:10-15; Numbers 3:30-31; 4:15; 7:9; I Kings 8:7-8). Even the high priest in his ministrations before the Ark and the Levites who carried it on their shoulders did not touch the Ark of God (I Chronicles 13:5).

This incident should teach us that it is a serious error to believe that, as long as a person is sincere, it doesnt really make any difference what he believes or does. It should also teach us the importance of knowing God's Word: Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed (II Timothy 2:15).

Although Davids first attempt to bring the Ark to Jerusalem had been a failure, three months later he once again rallied the people and, this time according to Gods Word, they brought in the Ark of the Lord, and set it in His place, in the midst of the Tabernacle that David had pitched for it (II Samuel 6:17).

The Ark of the Covenant contained the Word of God and was the dwelling place of God. It represents Christ, the Living Word. There is a need today for the people of God to make the Bible prominent in all of our lives.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you (II Thessalonians 3:1).

Christ Revealed: By the Ark of the Covenant which David set . . . in the midst of the Tabernacle that David had pitched for it (II Samuel 6:17). The Ark contained Gods Word given to Moses (Deuteronomy 10:1-5), and God dwelt above its Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:22; I Samuel 4:4; II Samuel 6:2). Christ is the Living Word (Word made Flesh) and dwells within us (John 1:1; Colossians 1:27).

Word Studies: 6:2 Baale of Judah refers to the town of Kirjath-jearim; 6:14 linen ephod means priestly garment; 6:21 play means show my joy; 6:22 vile means undignified; 7:23 terrible means awesome; 8:3 recover his border means establish his territory.

Prayer:

Government Officials: Sen. Ben Campbell (CO), Rep. Susan Davis (CA) and Rep. Jack Quinn (NY) · BPM Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Pray for Shirley Dobson, Chairman, 2001 National Day of Prayer · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of L.B. Fann · Country: Croatia (5 million) in southeastern Europe · Major language: Serbo-Croatian · Religious freedom · 73% Roman Catholic; 15% Serbian Orthodox; 5% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God with a spirit of thankfulness for His goodness (Psalms 107:1,21).

Optional Reading: Acts 14

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 34:7