The Ark Comes to Jerusalem

Key Verse: “David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it.”
—I Chronicles 15:3

Selected Scripture:
I Chronicles 15:1-28

THE TIMING OF THIS VERSE occurs shortly after David had been anointed king over Israel, and had conquered the Philistines who came against him, as God had ordained by his Word. Prior to becoming king, David desired to return the ark to Jerusalem where it rightfully belonged.

Before David’s time the ark’s abode was frequently shifted. It had been kept among several Levitical families in the border villages of eastern Judah. (I Sam. 7:1; II Sam. 6:3,11) One of these was the household of Abinadab, “They carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.” (I Chron. 13:7) This event was marked with much joy by David and by all of the people of Israel. Music was played on all types of instruments, and there was singing and great rejoicing. (II Sam. 6:1-6) It was during this journey that the ark was improperly touched by Uzza, and he was struck dead by God. (vs. 7) David was frightened by this experience, and wondered how he would ever be able to complete its return. Due to this uncertainty, the ark was then given to a member of the tribe of Levi for safekeeping. “The ark of God remained with the family of Obededom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obededom, and all that he had.” (I Chron. 13:14) It is part of God’s dealings with those who faithfully serve him to bless them for their willingness to perform service to him.

Following his victory over the Philistines, “David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.” (chap. 15:1) He then gladly went out to personally bring the ark of the Lord from the house where it had been kept. He was so filled with joy that he danced, and the people rejoiced with shouting and the blowing of trumpets. (II Sam. 6:12-15) They brought the ark to Jerusalem, and set it in a tent that David had prepared for it “in the midst of the tabernacle.” (vs. 17) Sacrifices of oxen, fatlings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings were made to God.—vss. 12-18

David desired to honor God, and thank him for all that he had given to him. “The Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.” (I Chron. 14:17) He also realized that this time the symbol of Divine presence should be reverently borne according to Divine directions. This is clearly evident in his strict statement, “None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.”—I Chron. 15:2

David then gathered together all of Israel in Jerusalem, and “the children of Aaron, and the Levites.” (vs. 4) He reminded them of their important role in the sight of God and the nation, “Sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark.” (vs. 12) Once again, there was much rejoicing surrounding the return of the ark, and this would be remembered as a psalm of thanksgiving, and praise to the Lord God of Israel.—vss. 19-28

Dawn Bible Students Association
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