Now it was reported to King David, "The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and had the ark of God brought up from the house of Obed-edom into the City of David with rejoicing.
I. IT WAS THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A DELAYED PURPOSE. Although David was shocked and alarmed by the event which compelled him to desist from his first endeavour, he did not give up his purpose, but evidently set himself to prepare for a more imposing and appropriate introduction of the sacred symbol into his metropolis than he at first contemplated. The narrative in 1 Chronicles 15. and 16. shows this; for . such elaborate arrangements could not have been made in a short time. Delay tests the resolutions and purposes of men, reveals their quality, intensifies those which spring from true and reasonable zeal, and issues in their fuller execution.
II. IT WAS MARKED BY STRICT OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD. The death of Uzzah had led to careful study of the Divine directions, which were now rigidly obeyed (1 Chronicles 15:12-15, with which corresponds ver. 13 of our text, "they that bare the ark of the Lord"). It is well when painful experience of the penalties of disregard to God's laws leads to inquiry and improvement. Unhappily, multitudes who suffer the penalties fail to profit by them.
III. IT WAS ACCOMPANIED WITH MUCH WORSHIP. Sacrifices were offered when a successful start had been made. Others, in greater number, when the ark had been placed in the tent prepared for it. The praises of God were sung as the procession moved on; and at the close of the ceremonies David "blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts." The suitableness of all this to the occasion is obvious.
IV. IT WAS A SEASON OF GREAT GLADNESS. Indicated by David's dance "before the Lord with all his might." Also by the shouting and the noise of musical instruments; and the royal gifts to the people at large, that all might feast.
V. IT WAS A NATIONAL TRANSACTION. All the tribes, by their representatives in great numbers, and all classes of the people - the king, the priests and Levites, the nobles, the officers of the army and their forces, the rich and the poor - united in the celebration. It was an act of national homage to the supreme Sovereign of the people - a kind of enthronement of him in his metropolis. It was intended and well adapted to make the people realize afresh that they were one nation, and to bind them in a closer unity hereafter, religious as well as civil.
VI. IT WAS THE INAUGURATION OF A NEW AND BETTER ERA IN RELIGION. The ark was not thus brought to Jerusalem to remain solitary and neglected, as it had so long been, but that before it Divine worship might be conducted daily in a manner becoming the new circumstances of the people. For this David had made careful preparation, organizing part of the priests and Levites for the purpose, while others were appointed to minister at Gibeon, where the tabernacle proper and the altars were (1 Chronicles 16:4-42). For the national worship was not even now conducted in strict accordance with the Mosaic Law, since that required the ark and the altars, and the priestly and Levitical ministrations, to be all in one place. On account of Circumstances which are not explained, though they may be surmised, the king could not do all that he would, but he did what he could; and this prepared the way for the more exact obedience to the Law which was rendered when the temple was built.
VII. IT MADE MANIFEST THE CHARACTER OF THE KING. His convictions as to the claims of God over him and his people; his zeal for the worship of God, and desire to infuse a similar spirit into the nation; his humility in descending from his elevation and fraternizing with, whilst he led, the people. By the whole narrative we are reminded of:
1. The necessity and worth to a nation of true religion. To elevate its life, unite its various parts and classes, promote mutual justice and a spirit of brotherhood, regulate its conduct towards other peoples, and withal secure the blessing of God.
2. The worth of godly rulers. From their position, rulers necessarily exercise a wide influence, and it is a happy circumstance when their example is in favour of religion and virtue.
3. The difference between national religious pageants and ceremonies, and true national religion. Many will unite in the former who have no part in the latter. The former are often more brilliant and imposing as the latter decays. National Christianity can exist only as the individuals who compose the nation are sincere Christians.
4. The lessons which the proceedings here recorded suggest to those engaged in opening a new Christian sanctuary. Concern to secure the abiding presence and blessing of God. Much praise and prayer: praise for all the mercies which have led up to the day, and all the revelations and promises that give hope to its proceedings; prayer for the help of God in all, his acceptance of the work done in his Name, his use of it for the promotion of his kingdom, the good of his Church, and the salvation of those without. Much gladness and mutual congratulation on account of the work accomplished, and the good that may be hoped for from it to individuals, families, the neighbourhood, etc. A hearty union of all classes in the services, introductory to permanent union in mutual love and combined effort. - G.W.
The Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household.
I. THE TWOFOLD OPERATION OF ALL GOD'S OUTWARD DEALINGS. All the events are all meant to tell upon character, to make us better in sundry ways, to bring us closer to God, and to fill us more full of Him. And that one effect may be produced by the most opposite incidents just as the summer and the winter, with all their antithesis, have a single result in the abundant harvest. Here are two men tried by the same poverty. It beats the one down, makes him squalid, querulous, faithless, irreligious; and the other man it steadies and quiets and hardens, and teaches him to look beyond the things seen and temporal to the exceeding riches at God's right hand. Here are two men tried by wealth; the gold gets into the one man's veins and makes him yellow as with jaundice, destroying all that is noble, generous, impulsive, quenching his early dreams and enthusiasms, closing his heart to sweet charity, puffing him up with a false sense of importance, and laying upon him the dreadful responsibility of misused and selfishly employed possessions. And the other man, tried in the same fashion, out of his wealth makes for himself friends that welcome him into everlasting habitations, and lays up for himself treasures in heaven. The one man is damned, and the other man is saved by his use of the same thing. Here are two men subjected to the same sorrows; the one is absorbed by his selfish regard to his own misery, blinded to all the blessings that still remain, made negligent of duty and oblivious to the plainest tasks, And he goes about saying, "Oh, if thou hadst been here;" or "if — if" something else had happened, then this would not have happened. And the other man, passing through the same circumstances, finds that, when the props are taken away, he flings himself on God, and, when the world becomes dark and all the paths dim about him, he looks up to a heaven that fills fuller of meek and. swiftly-gathering stars as the night falls, and he says, "It is the Lord; let Him do what seemeth Him good." Here are two men tried by the same temptation; it leads the one man away captive, the other man by God's grace overcomes it, and is the stronger and the sweeter and the gentler and the humbler because of the dreadful fight. Nothing is sure to do a man good; nothing necessarily does him hurt. All depends upon the man himself, and the use he makes of what God in His mercy sends. Two plants may grow in the same soil, be fed by the same dews and benediction from the heavens, be shone upon by the same sunshine, and the one of them will elaborate from all sweet juices and fragrance, and the other will elaborate a deadly poison. So life is what you and I will to make it, and the events which befall us are for our rising or our falling according as we determine they shall be, and according as we use them.
II. THE TWOFOLD OPERATION OF GOD'S CHARACTER AND PRESENCE. The Ark was the symbol of a present God, and His presence is meant to be the life and joy of all creatures, and the revelation of Him is meant to be only for our good, giving strength, righteousness, and peace. But the same double possibility which I have been pointing out as inherent in all externals belongs here, too, and a man can determine to which aspect of the many-sided infinitude of the Divine nature he shall stand in relation. These bits of glass in our windows are so coloured as that some of them cut off and prevent from passing through certain rays of the pure white light. And men's moral natures, the inclination of their hearts, and set of their wills and energies, cut off, if I may say so, parts of the infinite, white light of the many-sided Divine character, and put them into relations only with some part and segment of that great whole which we call God. And thus the thought of God, the consciousness of His presence, may be like the Ark which was its symbol, either dreadful and to be put away, or to be welcomed and blessing to be drawn from it. Then, again, this same duality of aspect attaches to the character and presence of God in another view. Because, according to the variety of men's characters, God is obliged to treat them as in different relations, He must manifest His judgment, His justice, His punitive justice. The present God has to modify His dealings according to the character of the men.
III. THE TWOFOLD OPERATION OF GOD'S GOSPEL.
1. That is seen in the permanent effects of the gospel upon a man's character. Received by simple faith in Jesus Christ, it brings to us the clear consciousness of pardon, the calm sense of communion, the joyful spirit of adoption, righteousness rooted in our hearts and to be manifested day by day in our lives; it brings all elevation and strengthening and ennobling for the whole nature, and is the first thing that makes us really men as God would have us all to be. Rejection strengthens all the evil motives for rejection, and adds to the insensibility of the man that has rejected. The ice on our pavements in the winter time that melts on the surface in the day and freezes again at night becomes dense and slippery beyond all other. And a heart that has been melted and then has frozen again is harder than ever it was before. Hammering that does not break solidifies and makes tougher the thing that is struck. There are no men so hard to get at as men and women, like multitudes that have been hammered at by preaching ever since you were children, and have not yielded your hearts to God. The ark has done you hurt if it has not done you good. Christ's gospel is never inert, one thing or other it does for every soul that it reaches. Either it softens or it hardens. Either it saves or it condemns. "This Child is set for the rise or for the fall of many."
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
2. This deed of David some denominate as his humility, not presuming to proceed, but rather desist, seeing Divine displeasure seemed to say so to him, until God gave him new direction; but more probably David discovered in this deed great infirmity; for as Peter Martyr argueth excellently upon this point, if David did not, know that it was the will of God the ark should be carried to David's City Sion, then he ought not to have begun its removal upon his own head, but if he had God's warrant for so doing, then he ought not to have desisted from it at this time upon this discouragement. That old sophister Satan put a fallacy upon David here, for the ark was not the cause of this calamity, but sin, which, being removed, he might have found God reconciled. David should have considered that the matter of this action was good, but there was some failure in the manner of acting, which he, finding out and reforming it, should have proceeded, having God's word to warrant, him to carry the ark to Jerusalem, without fear of any further danger.
3. David's carrying the ark to Obed-edom's house (ver. 10, 11) wherein:(1) Obed-edom was a Levite (1 Chronicles 15; 1 Chronicles 18; 1 Chronicles 21; 1 Chronicles 24, and 1 Chronicles 16:5, and 1 Chronicles 26:4) and certainly a good man, who finding David at a loss what to do with the ark, desired of him that his house might entertain it for the present, which was near Jerusalem, because Nachon's threshingfloor (where this disaster fell) is named here (ver. 6) "as Araunah's threshingfloor" (where the temple was afterwards built) is named (2 Samuel 24:18, 22.) This man is called a Gittite, not because a Philistine of Gath, for he was an Israelite of the tribe of Levi as above, but because he had sojourned in Gath, being (as Peter Martyr saith) banished thither with David by Saul, when be slew the Lord's priests; and we find that the Levites sometimes were forced to sojourn where they could find a place (Judges 17:8) or he was of Gath-rimmon, a city of Levites (Joshua 21:24, 26.)(2) The ark brought a blessing to Obed-edom and all his household (v. 11). Some say, how durst David expose his neighbour to that, danger from which he delivered himself. God took this act of faith well at Obed-edom's hands, and blessed him in his flocks, in his fruits, and in all his affairs and actions, and not only in his temporals, but also in his spirituals, to shew what a liberal paymaster God is unto all both small and great, who favour his concerns, and further His Kingdom. They shall be no losers, but great gainers, who give either him or his servants due entertainment; as Laban was blest for entertaining Jacob, Potiphar and the chief gaoler for Joseph, the widow of Sarepta for Elias, the Shunamite for Elisha, Zacheus for Christ, as Obed-edom here for harbouring God's ark. The third part of this chapter is the carriage of the ark from Obed-edom's house to its proper place in David's City.Remarks upon it are:
1. The removal of the ark from hence upon the occasion of David's hearing how the ark had been entertained not only without any damage, but also with great advantage to Obed-edom. Though it had not been so (as we read) to Abinadab, who probably had not given it so noble and reverent an entertainment as Obed-edom did, and therefore was not blest like him: David hereupon begins to bethink himself of his own loss, that if the ark had been this half year in his own house (according to his first design) all those blessings upon Obed-edom had been bestowed upon himself and on his household; and 'tis a wonder David should neglect consulting with God by the Urim about this matter. Now those tidings flush David to renew his former design, when he saw the danger was over (v. 12).
2. David acknowledges his former fault committed in carrying the ark upon a cart, &c., but now it must be borne upon the shoulders of the Levites, according to God's own appointment as before, and finding his obedience to God herein (seeking God in due order) so far owned, us that the Lord helped the Levites by an invisible power so to bear it, as that it seemed light and no burden to them (1 Chronicles 15:2, 13, 26.) David upon this encouragement offers up a bullock and a ram every seventh station, as well as at the first stage (v. 18) in testimony of his thankfulness to God, for his making no breach upon them. as he had done in his former undertaking.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
1. Let me then begin with the observation that nothing can be more proper in itself, or more becoming persons professing to act under a sense of their dependence on God, than the observance of some special devotion when they first enter upon the occupation of their houses. Such a circumstance marks an epoch in the history of a family. In many cases, indeed, it is co-incident with the formation of a new family. But whether it be when first they assume that important station which constitutes them the heads of a separate household, or whether at some subsequent period of their family history they enter upon a new abode, it is highly becoming the piety of Christians to mark such an event by some distinct religious exercise of a domestic nature. Then let the altar be reared, the grateful Ebenezer be celebrated, and the access of God to the dwelling of His servants be implored with fervent and believing prayer. In every new position in which he is placed by the appointments of Divine Providence, the man of God will deem it not only an incumbent duty, but a privilege of inestimable value, to put himself and whoever is dear to him under His safeguard and guidance. Few of the events which fill up the brief chronicle of our earthly existence are fraught with more consequences for good or for evil than the removals we make from place to place, as we prosecute our journey to the final resting-place of man. The first step they take becomes of immense importance. Upon it will depend in a degree far beyond what any prudential foresight of ours can calculate, the complexion of their whole future course. Nor of their course simply. Others besides themselves are implicated in their determination to open or to shut their doors to the ark of God. To welcome the entrance of God into their house in the offices of domestic religion is to become the benefactors of all their connexions, as well as to secure his blessing upon themselves; while the refusal to receive and entertain him as a family guest may issue in their own external exclusion, and that of many besides, from the family of His ransomed people, when they meet in the mansions of Heaven. Will it be other than a just recompense that those who will not admit God into their houses should be hereafter refused admission into his?
2. This consecration of your house to God, I proceed to remark, involves the perpetuated observance of family prayer. There would be no sincerity in the proceeding by which, upon your entrance into your habitation, you should set up an altar, if the presentation of the one sacrifice on that special occasion were all that you designed. Your solicitude, if you are governed by the principles of genuine piety, will be to detain the Divine Presence. If you invite your Heavenly Father, when you pitch your tent, you will desire that He should never more leave it. Of all the various forms under which men are combined in social life, the family constitution is that, alone which takes its origin immediately from God. Other compacts into which they are moulded may have the sanction of his approbation, but this is the production of His own hands. He supplies the bonds Which unite us in the sweet conjunctions of domestic life. It is attributed to Him as an instance of His love, that "He setteth the solitary in families: that He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children." In their social characters, it; is consequently, incumbent upon families to acknowledge Him. It is not enough that the individuals composing them should worship apart, each in the retirement of his closet, but upon the head of the household it devolves as a sacred obligation to collect them together, morning and evening, unitedly to offer up their praises and their prayers. The component parts of family worship are three: The reading of the Word of God; the celebration of the praise of God; and prayer.(1) Since the Divine Being has graciously communicated to us the knowledge of His will, and put into our hands the volume that contains it, it is the dictate of reason that; we should on all suitable occasions consult it. Nothing can be clearer than that; the Author and Giver of the holy book designed it for the guidance of mankind in all the relations of life. Hence its marvellous adaptation to them all. It is profitable for every purpose. Every duty is enjoined in it, and instruction is communicated to every individual, in whatever modification of circumstances you can suppose him to be placed. Family relationships it especially recognises, laying down rules and affording encouragement to parents, to children, and to servants. And all this is done by it in addition to the disclosure of those momentous truths relating to human guilt and human redemption, to salvation by the cross of Christ, regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and to the glories and the pains of eternity, in which all the posterity of Adam have a common and an equal concern. The inference is too obvious to be avoided, that, while every one for himself should search the Scriptures, they should occupy, a prominent position in the devotions of the household.(2) The celebration of God's praise constitutes the second part of family worship. I mention it thus distinctly, because, though adoration and thanksgiving are comprehended in the general notion of prayer, to me it appears much to be desired that, whenever it can conveniently be done, some distinct attention should be given to this delightful and most celestial part of worship. Music is the language of feeling, and generally of elevated and joyous feeling; and when the heart keeps harmony, with the voice, and the sweet modulations of the psalmody are instinct, as it were, with the affections of the soul, we seem to rise in the scale of enjoyment, and to approximate to the state of the blessed.(3) It remains that I speak of prayer.
(E. Steane.)I. THE NATURE OF FAMILY RELIGION. In conformity to the language of the narrative family religion may be said to consist in humbly and thankfully admitting the ark of God into our house. To receive the ark of God into our houses, is to receive Him whom the ark represented and symbolized, even Jesus Christ. Let Christ be received into our houses, and effects will be produced; and will evince His powerful and gracious presence with us. In one particular, indeed, we shall especially manifest His dwelling with us, namely, in the establishment of His worship in our house, in a daily social calling on His name by all the members of our household. It is by the regular performance of family worship that we make our habitations temples unto the Lord, and show that we have admitted His ark into our house.
II. OF THE PROFITABLENESS OF FAMILY RELIGION. Things are so appointed in the wisdom of God that duty and interest are closely joined together. It is a truth that the more attentive men are to their duty the more real peace and happiness they will enjoy. Scripture tells us that "godliness has the promise of the life that now is;" and reason, if we would listen to it, would tell us the same thing. It would tell us that those persons must experience most real enjoyment whom God regards with the greatest favour. But it is not in this indirect and incidental manner only that the profitableness of family religion shows itself. It is to be traced in its more immediate and practical effects. "The Lord blessed them." There was a peculiar manifestation of the Divine presence, favour, and protection, diffused around Obed-edom, and all that belonged to him. The power and goodness of God were, as it were, singularly exercised in his behalf.
PeopleAbinadab, Ahio, David, Israelites, Michal, Obed, Obededom, Perez, Saul, Uzzah
PlacesBaale-judah, Geba, Jerusalem, Perez-uzzah
TopicsAccount, Ark, Belongs, Blessed, Blessing, Bringeth, David, Declared, Edom, Family, Gladness, Household, Joy, Obed, Obededom, Obed-edom, O'bed-e'dom, Pertaineth, Pertains, Rejoicing, Saying, Town
Outline1. David fetches the ark from Kirjath Jearim on a new cart,
6. Uzzah is smitten at Perez Uzzah
9. God blesses Obed-Edom for the ark
12. David brings the ark into Zion with sacrifices, and dances before it;
16. for which Michal despises him
17. He places it in a tabernacle with great joy and feasting
20. Michal, reproving David for his joy, is childless to her death
Dictionary of Bible Themes2 Samuel 6:1-12
"From Beth-horon to Emmaus it was hilly."--It was sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem.--"To eight hundred only, dismissed the army, (Vespasian) gave a place, called Ammaus, for them to inhabit: it is sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem." I inquire, whether this word hath the same etymology with Emmaus near Tiberias, which, from the 'warm baths,' was called Chammath. The Jews certainly do write this otherwise... "The family (say they) of Beth-Pegarim, and Beth Zipperia was out of Emmaus."--The …
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica
The King --Continued.
The Danger of Deviating from Divine Institutions.
Excursus on the Present Teaching of the Latin and Greek Churches on the Subject.
Letter xxiv (Circa A. D. 1126) to Oger, Regular Canon
Reprobation Asserted: Or, the Doctrine of Eternal Election and Reprobation Promiscuously Handled, in Eleven Chapters.
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