May 3. Ark Brought to Jerusalem and Placed in Tabernacle

II Sam. 6:1-23; I Chron. 13:1-13; 15:1-16:43

During the previous twenty years, the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord had been at Baale Judah, also known as Kirjath Jearim in the house of Abinadab. It had been housed there after being returned by the Philistines who had suffered plagues after having captured it earlier.

David had established himself in Jerusalem as the ruler of Israel. After inquiring of God, he took a group of thirty thousand men to move the ark to a permanent location in the City of David. Great care was taken to place the ark upon a new cart for transportation instead of being carried on poles by Levite men as God had previously commanded. They were attempting to improve upon the command of God.

No one was to touch the ark, but as the oxen pulling the cart stumbled, Uzzah held it to keep it from falling off. God struck him dead immediately because of his error. The death of Uzzah caused David to be afraid to take the ark on into his city. Instead, they left it in the house of Obed-Edom.

Three months later, after having prepared a new tabernacle for the ark of God, David took the proper Levite personnel to the house of Obed-Edom to continue its relocation. David had corrected his previous mistake. “And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.”

There was great joy and celebration because of the relocation of the ark to its permanent home. David and the people played their various musical instruments, sang and danced in their celebration.

After placing the Ark of the Covenant in its place in the tabernacle, King David offered burnt and peace offerings before the Lord. He presented each of the people a loaf of bread, a piece of meat and a cake of raisins. David also appointed administrative duties to various Levites. Everyone went home and he returned to his household.

During the celebration of the ark’s relocation, the king apparently had removed his robe of fine linen and danced clothed only in the linen ephod around his waist. That angered his wife, Michal who had seen the activities from a window. She severely rebuked her husband for his actions. David had the last word in the incident and, “Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.”

David continued writing poems of thanksgiving to God after the ark had been placed in its rightful place in the tabernacle. This psalm was passed to Asaph, one of the tabernacle musicians. It began with encouraging the people to give thanks and praise to God for His many blessings. They were admonished to seek Him in their lives.

The Israelites were reminded of the covenant that God had made with their fathers. That covenant had resulted in their presence in Canaan, the Promised Land. The psalm also related the history of God’s care up to the present time.

Because of God’s many blessings, man is encouraged to honor and fear Him above all of the gods, which are only lifeless idols. The Lord reigns over all the heavens and earth. They also rejoice in Him. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting!”