Notes: August 8, 2008 – 1 Chronicles 13

Today’s reading is short; but it relates a big, though sad, day in the history of Israel

  • The ark of the covenant had errantly been taken into battle, and subsequently captured by the Philistines. Not long afterwards the Philistines returned the ark in hope of appeasing the LORD and removing his hand of judgment from their land (read: 1 Samuel 4, 5 and 6 ).
  • At the time, a number of men were killed for having peered into the ark; and the ark remained in the distant town of Kirjathjearim for a number of years, throughout the reign of Saul. During that time, David says (1 Chronicles 13:3), it fell into disuse. Please realize the implications of this statement: during that time, God’s prescribed form of worship was ignored. Yes, a nation with such a glorious spiritual history could abandon God and forsake Him.
  • All of this leads into David’s desire to bring the ark to Jerusalem. Further, David consulted with nation’s representatives before commencing the relocation of the ark (1 Chronicles 13:1-2). But, did he ask God?
  • The ark was placed upon a new cart for the journey (1 Chronicles 13:7); and it was accompanied by David and a host of others, rejoicing in the glad day (1 Chronicles 13:8).
  • Glad, that is, until the oxen stumbled, the cart shook, the ark appeared to be falling from the cart,  Uzza attempted to stay it (1 Chronicles 13:9), and God expressed His anger (1 Chronicles 13:10). David was displeased (1 Chronicles 13:11); though one wonders why, for it was David who had neglected to seek God’s will. And, with hurt pride, David somewhat foolishly asks, “How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?”

Meditation Points:

  1. How long can a nation survive without God?  How long can a church survive without God? How long will you survive without God?
  2. No matter how pure your intentions, whatever is done apart from the certain will of God is sin (Romans 10:17; 14:23). How much that is done in the name of God is just so much will worship, the inventions of men, and not obedience?




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