Friday, August 9, 2013

CLXII - I Chronicles 13-16

The chapters we will look at today were studied in more detail in II Samuel.  As stated earlier, Chronicles will serve as a good review plus offer a few additional details.  However, II Samuel is considerable more detailed in these events in the life of David.

Chapter 13 - David Attempts to Bring the Ark to Jerusalem

David has now consolidated his kingdom to include all of the tribes of Israel on both sides of the Jordan River.  An excellent "next step" for David would be to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, which David has established as the religious and administrative center for this new united nation of Israel.  However, David, his advisors, and the priests all failed to do their homework concerning the moving of the Ark.  God, through Moses, gave very clear instructions as given in the book of Exodus.  {Human hands were not to touch the Ark of the Covenant.  The Ark was never to be carried on an oxen-driven cart, but rather always carried by Levites using the poles inserted through the gold rings attached to the corners of the Ark.}

This 13th chapter tells of the awful consequenses of mishandling the Ark.  Uzzah, a humble servant lost his life in seemingly innocent attempts to respect the Ark.  As you read this chapter you will see that David first became frustratingly angry about this tragedy, but then became soberingly fearful of God and His Law as passed down through His servant Moses.

Chapter 14  -  More Philistine Problems

This chapter starts out with Hiram king of Tyre wanting to help David build a palace in his new capitol Jerusalem.  However, in our previous studies we learned that God did not allow David to build the Temple or the king's palace.  That honor would be reserved for Solomon.  However, David was permitted to use the materials from Hiram to build a home for his family in Jerusalem.

The subject in this chapter abruptly changes in verse 8 as it tells of yet another battle against the Philistines.  {It is my thought that the Philistines had seen David growing in power.  The Philistines knew that their best
chance to defeat David would be immediately before his army became stronger and more organized.}  But as the Philistines marched against Israel, David inquired of the Lord, who instructed him to attack the Philistines, which he did and defeated them soundly.  {This is worthy of mention because common sense would have told David to amass his army in Jerusalem (a fortified city by its terrain) and defend it from a favorable position.  But God told him to do the opposite:  Attack the approaching Philistines.}

Chapter 15  -  Let's Do It Right This Time

Back in chapter 13 we saw the failure to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.  David had placed the Ark outside the city for a short time, knowing it was still important for the Ark to be placed in its proper setting in Jerusalem.  This chapter 15 tells how David started by preparing a place for the Ark.  He then gathered the priests and Levites to make certain everything was done properly, even assigning responsibilities for the parade to take place upon the entering of the city.  He was even careful to assign the order of the marching of the Levites, the musicians by name, and even the particular instrument they would play.  Names are actually recorded in the official annons of Israel.  This event was important to David, and well it should have been.

 He did this right.  Additionally, he was careful to make certain that all Israel was not only given the opportunity, but encouraged to participate in this glorious occasion.

In the very last verse in this chapter it is mentioned about Michal, David's wife (daughter of Saul) and how she was embarrassed by David's behavior as he celebrated the Ark's arrival.  {Chronicles does not give further detail, but Michal actually scolded David for "making a fool of himself in front of the entire nation".  David at that time was given insight into the heart of Michal, which will be evidenced in the near future.}

Chapter 16  -  The Whole Nation Worships

The Ark has been brought into Jerusalem in glorious manner.  It was placed in the tent-like structure that was prepared for it.  Although David made the entering of the Ark filled with pomp and celebration, he knew that it was even more important to call for a day of proper worship to commemorate the Ark which is now in its newly assigned place in Jerusalem.  So David, carefully consulting with the Levite priests and scribes, directed the worship service .  He did it in a very organized fashion.  This was necessary, as there was a multitude of people in Jerusalem for this occasion.  As you read this account you will note that David made certain that every person had food and the necessary sacrifices to allow all to participate.  This man was an EXCELLENT leader.

Vss 7-36  -  You've heard me mention before that God really loved David.  And I've always added that one reason for this was that David really loved God.  David got it.  He understood the Heart of God and therefore knew how to please Him.  In verse 7 David continued directing the day of worship by not only appointing Levites by name to sing in thanksgiving to God, but actually wrote the song himself.  Note in verse 7 "....give praise to the Lord in this manner".  {We know that among David's multitude of talents, he was a gifted song writer and poet.}  As you read this song David wrote yo can see that David cannot thank and praise God enough for all He has done for His people.  David wants the entire world to celebrate the magnificence of God.

In the final verses of this chapter, the celebration is winding down.  In the very last verse it says that all the people went back to their homes and David went home to his own family.  {David's hopes in this festive occasion is that all of the tribal leaders present in Jerusalem would take the celebration back to their tribal home lands and the whole nation Israel would experience spiritual revival, which David properly discerned as a desperate need.}

In the next post we will continue our study of David's reign as king of the whole nation of Israel.

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