And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.
1 Chronicles 13:6
I. Among the more general lessons of this passage (1) we may notice that periods of reformation, after past neglect, are those in which we need more than ordinary caution, lest we mar the work which is designed to promote God's glory. (2) We may learn that all religious reformation which is the work of man can scarcely fail to be blemished and disfigured more or less by human infirmities; but that the effects of those infirmities are not to be acquiesced in, but to be confessed and corrected, if ever we would hope to obtain the Divine approval, or even to escape the Divine chastisement. (3) We may learn not to give over and abandon our good intentions because we have been checked and hindered in our efforts after amendment, but still to hold on and persevere in our exertions, only taking heed to profit by the instruction which the experience of past failure was designed to give. (4) Above all, we may learn, and take to ourselves the warning, that "God will be sanctified in all them that come nigh Him;" sanctified, that is, by obedience to His holy laws.
II. More particularly we notice: (1) Every Christian has his place in that great procession which is occupied in conveying the ark of the covenant (see Revelation 11:19) up to its final resting-place in Mount Zion; but every Christian has not the same place. In the things of God the distinctions which He has Himself ordained must be strictly kept. (2) It is not enough that we do whatever we do with a good intention unless what is done is also good, good in itself and good in us. Uzzah intended well, but he did not on that account escape the fatal punishment of his forbidden act, whether it proceeded from presumption, from ignorance, or from inadvertency. (3) The constant caution and watchfulness which we all require in consequence of our necessary familiarity with sacred things. The ark having remained so long in his father's house was probably the cause of Uzzah's fault. He had ceased to regard it with due reverence. But let us not forget that the same emblem of the Divine presence which brought sudden and awful death to the family of Abinadab brought abundant and abiding blessing to the house of Obed-edom.
Bishop Wordsworth, Guardian, Oct. 1st, 1884.
References: 13:8-15:25.—Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes, p. 96.
1 Chronicles 13:12There were two ways of answering this question: "How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?" There were two ways in which the work might be attempted: a wrong way and a right way. And it is so in other things. The great lesson from the text is that God may be sought and yet not be found, because the seeking is not in the way or "order" which He hath revealed as agreeable to Himself.
I. The right way of seeking God must be the way that God Himself has been pleased to reveal. But there is a twofold revelation: a revelation which God makes of Himself by and through conscience, and a revelation which is contained in the Bible. (1) If you would radically get quit of an evil habit, the "due order" of proceeding is to observe how that habit has been formed and to apply yourselves to the cultivation, by a similar process, of an opposite habit. This is the "due order" in labouring at the reformation which conscience demands. (2) The "due order" of the theology of the Gospel is not first repentance and then appeal to Christ. The "due order" is that, stirred by the remonstrances of conscience, by the pleadings of God's Spirit, we flee straightway to Christ and entreat of Him to make us penitent, and then to give us pardon.
II. He who has revelation in his hand, and either rejects or resists its sayings in regard of the alone mode of salvation, has nothing to expect but that, as it was with David and his people, the Lord God will break in in anger upon him, because in the matter of his endeavouring to "bring home to him the ark of the Lord" he has failed to proceed after the "due order."
H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2308.
References: 1 Chronicles 15:13.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vi., No. 307. 1 Chronicles 16:4.—Ibid., vol. xxii., No. 1308.
And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul.
And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim.
And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.
And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.
And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.
And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day.
And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?
So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
And the ark of God remained with the family of Obededom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obededom, and all that he had.