King David and a lesson in obedience / 1 Chronicles 13 & 15

1 Chronicles 13: 5-14

So David assembled all Israel from the Nile of Egypt to Lebo-hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim that belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord who sits enthroned above the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart, from the house of Abinadab, and Uzzah and Ahio were driving the cart. And David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets.

And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. 10 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God. 11 And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzza to this day.12 And David was afraid of God that day, and he said, “How can I bring the ark of God home to me?” 13 So David did not take the ark home into the city of David, but took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 14 And the ark of God remained with the household of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that he had.  

Anyone ever notice when someone dies at your party its such a kill joy? No, Just me?  Now first reading this passage of scripture, it can seem as though God was kinda harsh here. He kills Uzzah just like that, for trying to keep the Ark from falling off the ox cart? It can make us think that if we do anything wrong God is just waiting to get us. But what was really going on here in 1 Chronicles?

First off there was disobedience and a carelessness to what God had already told them on how to handle the holy things of God, including the Ark. My pastor said it best “While we are suppose to be enthusiastic about God and our faith, emotion is no substitute for the knowledge of Gods will. It is important for us as Christians to carefully study His word so we know what it is that God desires of us.” Moses had already written in the Torah how God wanted Israel to carry the Ark. And there was nobody who was allowed to touch it, under any condition. If they had been carrying it like they were suppose to, on their shoulders with the poles, this never would of happened.


Exodus 37: 15

Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood. Two cubits and a half was its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height.  And he overlaid it with pure gold inside and outside, and made a molding of gold around it.  And he cast for it four rings of gold for its four feet, two rings on its one side and two rings on its other side.  And he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold and put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark.

Numbers 4: 15

And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry.

What this was speaking to me about is just because I am doing something good for the Lord, doesn’t necessarily make it okay. Its about whether I am being obedient to Gods will, while doing good things for the Lord. And that goes for everyone of us, including Kings. People can say “I’m just gonna go for it and trust God for whatever the outcome is.” To which a response can come “Is it Gods will, have you prayed about it?” “I don’t know, but God will honor it if I do it by faith, He knows my heart anyways. After all how can He be mad if I do this good thing for Him.” Ahh, this is where the crux of the matter lies. If I am not being obedient to Gods will then it doesn’t matter what I’m trying to do, its still not okay.  That’s why its so important to study the whole Word of God, to learn what His will is for our life. That’s exactly what David did in round two of this story. David repented for what he did and then did it the way God had commanded Moses. We pick up the story in 1 Chronicles 15

1 Chronicles 15: 1-5

David built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the Lord had chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister to him forever. And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place, which he had prepared for it.And David gathered together the sons of Aaron and the Levites: of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, with 120 of his brothers; …

1 Chronicles 15: 11-15

 Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, 12 and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. 13 Because you did not carry it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.”14 So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.

1 Chronicles 15: 25-28

So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-edom with rejoicing. 26 And because God helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams. 27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the music of the singers. And David wore a linen ephod. 28 So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres.

We see now the contrast of the exact same event happening with two different outcomes. The first was done with a carelessness to Gods word and holiness, the second was lined  right up with to Gods word. The first way resulted in judgement and the second way resulted in blessings. Same event, two different outcomes. Obedience to God is of first importance!

Picture I took in Jerusalem back in March.



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