The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

Key Verse: “So they brought the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.”
—II Samuel 6:17, New King James Version

Selected Scripture:
II Samuel 6:1-19

OUR KEY VERSE CELEBRATES King David’s successful installation of the Ark of the Covenant within the confines of Jerusalem. His persecutor, King Saul, had perished in battle against the Philistines by falling upon his own sword. The news of his passing did not please David, but rather it grieved him deeply. Yet David was now the singular chosen one of the Lord. As such the people of the tribe of Judah first anointed him to be their king, and he established his rule in Hebron. Shortly thereafter, the Lord’s favor toward David was further testified by the rest of Israel’s tribes proclaiming him to be their king.

David was a leader of great integrity, and a man after God’s own heart. (I Sam. 13:14) He led Israel in their military victories, and was blessed by Jehovah in basket and store. God gave him victory in battle even over the Jebusites in their reputedly impregnable fortress in Mount Zion—Jerusalem, the City of David.—II Sam. 5:5-10

The crowning glory of David’s accomplishments would now be to bring the Ark of the Covenant into the city of Jerusalem. Great preparations were made. Thirty thousand men allied to David would march in the grand procession. A new cart, pulled by oxen, was built to convey the Ark to its new home. Multitudes of musicians with all kinds of instruments such as lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals accompanied the spectacle. It was surely an exhilarating moment for the new king, but it was quickly disrupted. The oxen stumbled, and the Ark teetered. Uzzah reached out to steady it, and God in his anger slew him. The joyous celebration abruptly ended, and David was angered with the Lord, perhaps embarrassed that his moment of glory was shut down by God.—II Sam. 6:1-9

The Ark was moved quickly to the house of Obededom. David’s immediate plans were scuttled, but God was not done with him. It did not displease the Lord that David wished to bring the Ark into Jerusalem, but he was displeased with the manner in which it was done. It became evident to David that the Ark should not be transported by beasts of burden, but by men who were authorized by God to do so—not with a cart, but on their own shoulders. That the time was now right to bring up the Ark was attested to by the wondrous blessings being showered on Obededom’s household. We are not told what the blessings were, only that they were so apparent that they could not be ignored. During the three months’ time the Ark remained there, Obededom’s family and home received manifestations of God’s great favor.—vss. 10-12

Those three months stand in stark contrast to the more than seventy years the Ark abode in the house of Abinadab. There is no record of Abinadab and his household being blessed by the presence of the Ark. The lesson for us is that we may possess God’s truth and spirit, but if we do not properly enthrone him in our hearts, shouldering the burden and privilege of service to him, we may impede his blessings to us. Let us set God’s presence firmly in the midst of our hearts.