2 Samuel 6:12-19
And it was told king David, saying, The LORD has blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertains to him, because of the ark of God…
A grand day for Israel, and indeed for the world; the beginning of the religious significance of "Zion" and "Jerusalem," and the mighty spiritual influence which has gone forth far and wide from that centre. With respect to the bringing of the ark "into the city of David," we remark -
I. IT WAS THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A DELAYED PURPOSE. Although David was shocked and alarmed by the event which compelled him to desist from his first endeavour, he did not give up his purpose, but evidently set himself to prepare for a more imposing and appropriate introduction of the sacred symbol into his metropolis than he at first contemplated. The narrative in 1 Chronicles 15. and 16. shows this; for . such elaborate arrangements could not have been made in a short time. Delay tests the resolutions and purposes of men, reveals their quality, intensifies those which spring from true and reasonable zeal, and issues in their fuller execution.
II. IT WAS MARKED BY STRICT OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD. The death of Uzzah had led to careful study of the Divine directions, which were now rigidly obeyed (1 Chronicles 15:12-15, with which corresponds ver. 13 of our text, "they that bare the ark of the Lord"). It is well when painful experience of the penalties of disregard to God's laws leads to inquiry and improvement. Unhappily, multitudes who suffer the penalties fail to profit by them.
III. IT WAS ACCOMPANIED WITH MUCH WORSHIP. Sacrifices were offered when a successful start had been made. Others, in greater number, when the ark had been placed in the tent prepared for it. The praises of God were sung as the procession moved on; and at the close of the ceremonies David "blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts." The suitableness of all this to the occasion is obvious.
IV. IT WAS A SEASON OF GREAT GLADNESS. Indicated by David's dance "before the Lord with all his might." Also by the shouting and the noise of musical instruments; and the royal gifts to the people at large, that all might feast.
V. IT WAS A NATIONAL TRANSACTION. All the tribes, by their representatives in great numbers, and all classes of the people - the king, the priests and Levites, the nobles, the officers of the army and their forces, the rich and the poor - united in the celebration. It was an act of national homage to the supreme Sovereign of the people - a kind of enthronement of him in his metropolis. It was intended and well adapted to make the people realize afresh that they were one nation, and to bind them in a closer unity hereafter, religious as well as civil.
VI. IT WAS THE INAUGURATION OF A NEW AND BETTER ERA IN RELIGION. The ark was not thus brought to Jerusalem to remain solitary and neglected, as it had so long been, but that before it Divine worship might be conducted daily in a manner becoming the new circumstances of the people. For this David had made careful preparation, organizing part of the priests and Levites for the purpose, while others were appointed to minister at Gibeon, where the tabernacle proper and the altars were (1 Chronicles 16:4-42). For the national worship was not even now conducted in strict accordance with the Mosaic Law, since that required the ark and the altars, and the priestly and Levitical ministrations, to be all in one place. On account of Circumstances which are not explained, though they may be surmised, the king could not do all that he would, but he did what he could; and this prepared the way for the more exact obedience to the Law which was rendered when the temple was built.
VII. IT MADE MANIFEST THE CHARACTER OF THE KING. His convictions as to the claims of God over him and his people; his zeal for the worship of God, and desire to infuse a similar spirit into the nation; his humility in descending from his elevation and fraternizing with, whilst he led, the people. By the whole narrative we are reminded of:
1. The necessity and worth to a nation of true religion. To elevate its life, unite its various parts and classes, promote mutual justice and a spirit of brotherhood, regulate its conduct towards other peoples, and withal secure the blessing of God.
2. The worth of godly rulers. From their position, rulers necessarily exercise a wide influence, and it is a happy circumstance when their example is in favour of religion and virtue.
3. The difference between national religious pageants and ceremonies, and true national religion. Many will unite in the former who have no part in the latter. The former are often more brilliant and imposing as the latter decays. National Christianity can exist only as the individuals who compose the nation are sincere Christians.
4. The lessons which the proceedings here recorded suggest to those engaged in opening a new Christian sanctuary. Concern to secure the abiding presence and blessing of God. Much praise and prayer: praise for all the mercies which have led up to the day, and all the revelations and promises that give hope to its proceedings; prayer for the help of God in all, his acceptance of the work done in his Name, his use of it for the promotion of his kingdom, the good of his Church, and the salvation of those without. Much gladness and mutual congratulation on account of the work accomplished, and the good that may be hoped for from it to individuals, families, the neighbourhood, etc. A hearty union of all classes in the services, introductory to permanent union in mutual love and combined effort. - G.W.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: It was told king David, saying, "Yahweh has blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that pertains to him, because of the ark of God." David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom into the city of David with joy.