1 Chronicles 13-16
(Arrival of the Ark)
April 29th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

So David and the elders of Israel, and the commanders of the thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-edom with rejoicing.

- 1 Chronicles 15:25 (NRSV)

Summary of Chapters

This group of chapters reviews Davidís leadership in defeating the Philistines and bringing the ark to Jerusalem. The order of events is not exactly the same as in 2 Samuel, but the events and main themes are consistent.

The first attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem failed because it was not done right, as noted in chapter 13. David had consulted his officers but did not consult the priests or the law or the LORD. Therefore, he did not realize there was a protocol required for this most holy of sacred objects. This protocol specified that the ark could only be touched by the designated priests and that it had to be carried with poles so that it was not touched during transportation.

Chapter 14 describes the growth of Davidís home and family and a military victory over the Philistines that was delivered by God Ė indicating that the hand of God was still upon David despite the ark incident.

Chapter 15 describes the second attempt in which David had the Levites carry the ark as prescribed, organized a big celebration and then danced as it arrived (to the chagrin of one of his wives, Michal). David composed a beautiful hymn to celebrate the arrival of the ark, as recorded in chapter 6. The hymn recognizes Godís glory and our position relative to him, such as in this set of verses:

    For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
       he is to be feared above all gods.
    For all the gods of the nations are idols,
       but the LORD made the heavens.
    Splendor and majesty are before him;
       strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

    - 1 Chronicles 16:25-27 (NIV)

Reflection and Application

The author focused on the arrival of the ark more than other victories of David because he intended to feature a theme of the centrality of worship throughout both books of Chronicles. He began with the ark and then moved on to the building of the temple in subsequent chapters.

David succeeded when he consulted with God, as in the defeat of the Philistines and the second attempt with the ark; he failed when he did not consult, as with the first attempt to bring the ark (and later events) Ė the lesson for us is to consult with God before making decisions. The hymn in chapter 16 includes specific praise for God and is a good example of adoration of God that we can use when we pray. When we praise God it puts him in our center as we reflect on his power, glory and love. We can find the same themes in the book of Psalms that we will read later this year. For example, the closing verses of the hymn, found in 1 Chronicles 16:34-36, are the same verses found at the beginning and end of Psalm 106:


    Give thanks to the LORD, who is good,
    whose mercy endures forever.

    - Psalm 106:1 (NAB)

    Save us, LORD, our God;
    gather us from among the nations
    That we may give thanks to your holy name
    and glory in praising you.

    Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting!
    Let all the people say, Amen!


    - Psalm 106:47-48 (NAB)

For additional analysis of the ark incident and Michalís reaction, see the study of 2 Samuel 4-7 from April 1st.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What experiences come to mind where you tried something and failed and then returned to try it again in a better (or more correct way)?
    2. In what other ways would you like to have a second chance?
    3. What parts of Davidís Psalm would you like to incorporate into your daily conversations with God?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we acknowledge that you created the earth and heavens and are to be feared above all others. Thank you for giving us second chances and help us to remain in conversation.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    People who move furniture

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: 1 Chronicles 17-19 (The LORD Defers the Temple Project)

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