Through the Bible Day by Day
Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.
THE RETURN OF THE ARK INTERRUPTED
We have heard nothing of the Ark since it left the land of the Philistines, 1Sa_7:1-2. The spiritual life of the nation was low, else this holy symbol of God’s presence would not have been thus neglected. David wished to make the new capital the religious as well as the political center of his kingdom. It was necessary, therefore, that the Ark be removed thither.
The sacredness of the Ark lay in its association with Jehovah Sabaoth, “the Lord of Hosts.” It was His seat or throne. “He dwelled between the cherubim.” The clear order was that it should be borne on the shoulders of the Levites, and David had no right to substitute a new cart, after the manner of the Philistines, Num_7:9; 1Ch_15:12-16. The death of Uzzah and the blessing on the house of Obed-edom illustrate the severity and the goodness of God. Not one jot or tittle of the law can fail; therefore the least violation must bring suffering on the part of those who offend; while reverence, obedience and faith secure an immediate response of the divine favor and love. God can and will take care of His own. We need not fear for the safety of His Church.
And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.
THE ARK TABERNACLED IN THE CITY OF DAVID
Josephus tells us that from the moment the Ark rested beneath Obed-edom’s roof, a tide of golden prosperity set in, and he passed from poverty to wealth. But 1Ch_26:4-10 sheds a new light on the subject, for there we learn that the whole family became attached to the service of the Lord’s house, and even the grandchildren became mighty. If only we would open our homes to God’s Ark-that is, if we maintained the observances of religion for our children and dependents-for us also there would be similar blessing. One likes to imagine the reverence and joy with which those boys and girls lay down to sleep at night, feeling that the symbol of God’s presence was in the house.
This time the prescribed ritual was minutely observed. The warning given by Uzzah’s death had aroused the entire nation to a realization of their indifference and neglect. The stroke had been terrible, but the effect was eminently salutary. It seemed as if the flood-gates of David’s joy had been thrown wide open, and he could not contain his ecstasy. Then from an overflowing heart, he turned to bless his people. The one event that marred the day was poor Michal’s bitter speech. There is no perfect joy in this world; every rose has its thorn.