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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May 4 - 2 Samuel 5:11-6:23; 1 Chronicles 13-16: The Ark of the Covenant Comes to Jerusalem

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 5:11-6:23; 1 Chronicles 13-16

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Although David's reign is growing stronger, he does not believe himself to be the cause of his strength.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God confirmed David's authority. David married more women and had many children at Jerusalem.
The Philistines attacked and God defeated them before David. David burnt their idols.
David wanted the Ark of the Covenant moved to his town. During the trip Uzzah touched it and God angrily killed him. As a result, David had the Ark stop at Obed-Edom's home. Obed-Edom flourished.
David then decided to finish its journey and had the Levites carry the Ark the correct way. All of Israel praised God with music and song while David danced in public, upsetting his wife Michal. She became barren.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Hebrew stories are told thematically.

One thing to remember as we get into this section of scripture is the writing style of Hebrew histories. Hebrew stories are told thematically, meaning each story may be told two or more times with different parts highlighted. Today's reading highlights this style. In 2 Samuel 5 all of David's sons are named. However, what happens next happened before many of them were born. It may get confusing if you think these scriptures are written chronologically as we would write a biography. If you understand that the books are arranged thematically instead of strict chronologically you will get through most of the confusing sections.

David takes physical blessings as God's confirmation.

In another sign that David was a man after God's own heart, he correctly interprets Hiram's gifts as coming because of God's power, not his own. He will praise God for having a great house built with wood gifted by a neighboring king. People who are wholly for God interpret great blessings as coming because of God and not themselves.

David once again consults God before going to war.

David does not allow his power to blind him to his God. So he once again consults with God before attacking the Philistines. This is also why he destroys their idols instead of keeping them for keepsakes.

Uzzah dies because he profaned God's Ark.

This short story is difficult for many of us. It is such a tragedy that Uzzah died because of a small thing. Yet we should understand that when God gave the instructions for packing up and travelling with the Tabernacle, Aaron and his sons were to cover it so none of the movers could see it. Uzzah, who isn't even a Levite, touches the Ark. This is why God is angry. God expects holy objects to be treated with respect.

David helps to cause Uzzah's death by hastily moving the Ark of the Covenant.

David has decided to move the chest to Jerusalem to keep it in front of the people and in front of their minds. However, he does not call the Levites or consult the Law before doing this. Because of that insistence on action instead of reflection Uzzah died. Before acting on hastily-made plans, reflect and go to God for direction. David learns his lesson and when he goes back to get the Ark from Obed-Edom's house he sends the Levites to move it the correct way.

Obed-Edom flourished because the Ark was in his house.

Compare this story with that of the Philistines taking the Ark. The difference is that Obed-Edom did not take the Ark by force and then place it in his house with his other gods. Obed-Edom was a child of God who kept it because of a tragedy. God blesses those who protect His holy things in holy ways.

The story of the Ark coming to Jerusalem gives an example of great celebration to God because of His greatness.

This story is difficult for many Americans to read and process. In the stodgy, Puritan age any form of music or dance was considered undesirable and often outright banned because it distracted the reveler from God. They follow Michal's example and despise this story because of the frivolity displayed. However, David and his people are not dancing and playing music due to alcohol, hallucinogenic drugs, or with hopes to honor some other god. They are dancing, singing, and playing instruments to celebrate the arrival of the Ark of the Covenant—the symbol of God being with them. In essence, they are praising God for being with them. Dances, music, and songs are wonderful when used to praise God for His goodness! If this challenges you, read David's psalm recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:8-36. David's singing, playing, and dancing are not to distract from the Ark, it is to highlight it's coming.

Give thanks to God—He is good and his love never quits!

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