September 22, 2015.
Daily Reading: I Chronicles 15-19.
Background: I Chronicles 11-14.
Concepts and Connections.
Bringing the ark to Jerusalem the right way: Back in chapter 13, we saw David try to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, but he did it in a way that he thought was best, and because they were not doing it the way that God commanded, Uzzah was struck down before the Lord when he went to stabilize the ark as the animal pulling it had stumbled. David was both angry and afraid, and he left the ark in the house of Obed-edom for the time being. Here we pick the story back up where David once again goes to bring the ark to Jerusalem, but this time he is sure to do it in the proper way. First, he calls the Levites together and tells the fathers of each of the houses of the Levites and the chief priests to concentrate themselves, for they were the only ones allowed to carry the ark, as the Lord had commanded (see Numbers 4), and they did so according to all the Lord had commanded through Moses. David also commissioned the rest of the Levites to appoint men to be singers who would plan on all kinds of musical instruments before the Lord as the procession of the ark went from Obed-edom to Jerusalem. There was a great celebration as the ark was brought to Jerusalem, and King David himself danced before the Lord as they came. He did so in a way that when his wife Michal, the daughter of Saul, saw him, she despised him (for more on this, see II Samuel 6:16-23). There is much to be said here in doing things the way that the Lord would have us do them, as opposed to the way that we might think is right or good (see also II Samuel 6).
Worship and thanksgiving before the ark: As the ark reaches its resting place in the tent that David had set up for it, burnt offerings and peace offerings were made before the Lord. Then David blessed the people and divided out food among them. He appointed certain Levites to invoke, to thank, and to praise the Lord, and a song of praise and thanksgiving is recorded in the text. Note the great praise that is given to the Lord here, as David ascribes his accomplishments to the Lord. The song of thanks invites all to come and call on the name of the Lord, giving thanks and praise, ascribing His name glory and honor and remembering the great works that He had done. Then the song takes the people back in history, describing all that the Lord had done for them, remembering His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and His presence and steadfast love that He continually showed His people. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised indeed. All the peoples of the earth, and the creation itself, are called to exalt the Lord and worship before Him. And all the people said “Amen” and praised the Lord. The worship and praise before the ark did not end on this day, but rather David appointed certain men of the Levites to minister before the ark, some to offer offerings, some to continually give thanks and some to play sacred songs on musical instruments. Afterwards, he goes home to bless his household.
The Lord’s covenant with David and David’s prayer: For notes on this section, see II Samuel 7.
The rise of David, though the Lord: For notes on this section, see II Samuel 8.
David and the Ammonites: For notes on this section, see (and compare) II Samuel 10.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 102-104.
Be strong and courageous.