Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.3. The Ark Brought to Zion
1. The ark fetched by David (2Samuel 6:1-5)
2. Uzzah: his error and death (2Samuel 6:6-9)
3. The ark in the house of Obed-edom (2Samuel 6:10-11)
4. The ark brought into David’s city (2Samuel 6:12-19)
5. Michal’s mockery of David (2Samuel 6:20-23)
It is of importance to read 1 Chronicles 13 for a better understanding of how the ark was brought from Kirjathjearim to David’s city. The book of Chronicles contains these larger records because in that book these events are described in their theocratic character, while in Samuel the outward aspect of David’s kingdom is followed. David issued the call that the people with the priests and the Levites should gather to bring again the ark of God (1Chronicles 12:2-3). However we do not read anything more about the Levites, who alone were commissioned to carry the ark. It is evident that David neglected to follow the divine instructions given in the law concerning the handling of the ark. (See Numbers 4.) This neglect may be traced to the fact that David did not inquire of the Lord. The way they transported the ark was the way of the Philistines (1Samuel 6:7). When Uzzah put forth his hand to steady the ark, he was smitten for his error and died. God had spoken to His people and taught them the lesson that the ways of the Philistines and disobedience to His Word in holy things demands His judgment. How many in the past and more so today act like Uzzah when in service for God they employ the methods of the world and disregard entirely His Word. Godly fear and faithful submission to the Word of God are essentials in true service for God. Service without these is often a snare and results in dishonour.
Then the progress of the ark was arrested, because David filled with fear would not remove it to his city. The ark found a resting place for three months in the house of Obed-edom (servant of Edom); he was a Levite and therefore authorized to care for the ark (1Chronicles 26:1-5). Blessing rested upon his house. The judgment of Uzzah and the blessing of Obed-edom had a great effect upon David. “So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.” This is all we find in our chapter. But how did he bring the ark up? 1 Chronicles 15 gives the answer. “Then David said, 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.” The sons of Kohath, Merari, Gershom, etc., are given there. All is now done in accordance with the Word of God and blessing follows. And David filled with divine joy danced, girded with a linen ephod, before the Lord. After the ark had been set in its proper place in the tabernacle which David had pitched and the burnt offerings and peace offerings had been brought, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. In his dancing the king had taken a place amidst the people. And Michal, who is called here not the wife of the king, but “the daughter of Saul,” despised David. She looked upon David’s holy joy as an indecent humiliation, while the king declared he would even be more vile than thus and base in his own sight. What a contrast with the pride of Saul which is now manifested in his daughter Michal. And what happened when the ark had been put into the tabernacle? 1Chronicles 16:4-36 tells us how David appointed Levites to minister and then he delivered into the hands of Asaph and his brethren a great Psalm of praise. And that sublime utterance looks forward to a far more glorious day, when the Lord dwells in Zion in the midst of an obedient people. Then the heavens will be glad and the earth rejoice and among all the nations it will be said “Jehovah reigneth”; and even nature will sing in the presence of the Lord (1Chronicles 16:31-36).