The Ark is Brought to Jerusalem

One reason sin flourishes is that it is treated like a cream puff instead of a rattlesnake. (Billy Sunday  in Who said that? by Billy Sunday p. 401).


Some days, no matter how carefully we plan and orchestrate events, things have a way of going wrong. This the way it happened with King David when he decided to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant from the home of Abinadab at Kiriath-jearim, where it had been stored for 20 years (vv. 1-3). When the Israelites were being beaten by the Philistines, they unwisely took the Ark into battle, thinking it would work as a magic charm. They not only lost the battle but they lost the Ark also (I Sam. 4). However, God plagued the Philistines so much that they finally decided to get rid of it. Because they did not know the law they choose to transport the Ark on a new cart, drawn by two cows. God had given very clear instructions (Num. 4) as to how it should be carried from one place to another. They got away with it because they were ignorant.

The problem is that 20 years later the Israelites imitated the Philistines rather than obeying God’s instructions. The Ark was to be moved only by the Levites, who were to carry it using the carrying poles and they were never to touch the Ark itself (Num. 4:5-15). A new cart was acquired to carry the Ark some six miles east and a little south of Jerusalem. There was great rejoicing as David and the Israelites brought the Ark to Jerusalem. David and those with him celebrated with all their might (I Chron. 13:8) as all sorts of musical instruments and singers participated (vv. 4-5). Suddenly something went wrong, as one of the oxen stumbled and nearly upset the cart. Uzziah was walking along side the cart and when he reached out to steady it, God struck him dead (vv. 6-7).

David was angry that a well-meaning man had been killed, but knowing he had not followed God’s instructions, he decided to put the Ark in temporary storage at the home of Obed-Edom (vv. 8-11). Knowing that God had blessed the house of Obed-Edom was a sign to David that he should try once again to move the Ark to Jerusalem, which he did with great celebration and rejoicing (vv. 12-19). Because of David’s informality and rejoicing Michael did not share his life and enthusiasm for God, but she became permanently estranged from her husband (vv. 20-23).


No matter how sincere I may be in what I am doing I need to be careful that I am proceeding according to God’s instructions and not just doing what I think is best.

II Samuel 6:1-23 (English Standard Version)

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