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Bible Pathways 04/13/2002

April 13

Read 2 Samuel 6 -- 9

In Today's Reading:

It is important to know why David fails in his first effort to bring the Ark into Jerusalem l After three months, David is successful in bringing the Ark to Jerusalem in the midst of an enormous celebration l David's wife Michal ridicules him l Covenant of God with David l David's prayer of thanksgiving l His victories l David's kindness to Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul.

Verses for Today:

David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And . . . went with all the people . . . to bring up from thence the Ark of God. . . . And they set the Ark of God upon a new cart . . . and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons (grandsons) of Abinadab, drave the new cart. . . . Ahio went before the Ark (meaning that he led the way while Uzzah walked alongside the Ark) (2 Samuel 6:1-4).

As king of the United Kingdom, David's 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 following its return from the Philistines, the Ark had remained in the House of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim. It was there during most of Samuel's leadership and during Saul's 40-year reign.

David made the procession a national day of rejoicing to impress Israel with the importance of putting God in the center of their nation.

Although David often enquired of the Lord concerning his plans (2 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 (1 Chronicles 13:1). They mistakenly chose to place the Ark on a new cart, just as the idol-worshiping Philistines had done years before, and they proceeded toward Jerusalem with fervent 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. . . . and David was displeased (2 Samuel 6:6-8). Undoubtedly David was humiliated. But, three months later, following the specific directions recorded in God's Word, David brought in the Ark of the Lord, and set it in His place, in the midst of the Tabernacle that he had pitched for it (6:17).

This incident should teach us that it is a serious error to believe that, as long as a person is sincere, it doesn't make any difference what he believes or does. It should also teach us the importance of knowing God's Word and the fallibility of human reasoning.

Everyone had overlooked two essential 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 (Numbers 4:4-15). 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 (1 Chronicles 13:5).

The Ark of the Covenant contained the Word of God and above the Mercy Seat was the dwelling place of God. The Ark represented Christ, the Living Word.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

Christ Revealed:

By the Ark of the Covenant which they . . . set . . . in the midst of the Tabernacle that David had pitched for it (2 Samuel 6:17). The Ark contained God's Word given to Moses (Deuteronomy 10:1-5), and God dwelt above its Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:22; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2). Christ is the Living Word (the 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 = priestly garment; 6:19 dealt = distributed; 6:21 play = show my joy; 6:22 vile = undignified; 7:8 sheepcote = pasturelands; 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 succor = help; 9:8 dead dog = worthless person.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Sen. Ben Campbell (CO), Rep. Susan Davis (CA) and Rep. Jack Quinn (NY) · Pray for your Church · Country: Benin (6 million) in western Africa · Major languages: French and tribal languages · Some hostility toward Christians · 59% animism and voodoo; 17% Muslim; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to reveal what is not pleasing to Him in your life (Psalms 139:23-24).

Optional Reading: Acts 14

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 John 2:5

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