Scripture reading – 1 Chronicles 14-15
* For those following my two-year “Read through the Bible” schedule, you may notice the reading for today was limited to 1 Chronicles 14. Given the brevity of 1 Chronicles 14, and the fact it is also a parallel of an earlier study of the same events (2 Samuel 5) I am taking liberty to include 1 Chronicles 15 in today’s devotional commentary (which happens to be a parallel of 2 Samuel 6).
1 Chronicles 14 – The LORD Blessed David’s Reign
Having conquered and claimed Jerusalem as his capital city, it follows that David should build a palace in that historic city that would reflect his reign as king (14:1-2). The names of the sons of David that were born in Jerusalem are given, as is the mention that the king also had daughters, though they are not named in this passage (14:3-7).
As we noticed in 2 Samuel 5, the Philistines were the first to test David as the king of a united Israel, and they were soundly defeated (14:8-16). However, just as important as the battles, was David’s preparation for them.
We read, “David inquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand” (14:10). For the second battle, “David inquired again of God” (14:14). Interestingly, the LORD’S strategy for the second battle was unlike the first (14:14b-15); however, because David sought the LORD’s will, God gave Israel the victory (14:16). More than the victories, was the fact that David had become an international figure in the ancient world. “The fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations” (14:17).
1 Chronicles 15 – The Ark is Brought to Jerusalem
David’s first attempt to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem had ended in tragedy. Failing to consult the method or means of transporting the Ark, had cost Uzza his life (1 Chronicles 13:9-10). Displeased, angry, and frustrated, David had complained to the LORD, “How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?” (13:12)
David’s second attempt to bring the Ark to Jerusalem was a success. He had not only learned from his failure, but he had sought the mind and the will of God, therefore, he commanded the Levites to bring the Ark to his capital. The king confessed, “13For because ye [the Levites] did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach [sudden judgment] upon us, for that we sought him [the LORD] not after the due order [failed to seek the way of the LORD]” (15:13). Rather than a cart, David commanded the Levites bear the Ark upon their shoulders, using gold-gilded staves (poles) to carry it, “as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD” (15:14-15).
We have an important register of Levite families recorded in 1 Chronicles 15 (15:4-11). I especially invite you to consider the important role of singers, and musicians in worship (15:16-24). We have various classes of musicians named, including the principal composers, “Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah” (15:17).
The musicians were all from the tribe of Levi. The LORD had set apart the Levites to serve Him, and there were some who were not only skilled in singing, but also in various instruments that were employed in worship. Cymbals of brass, psalteries (lute), harps, and trumpets accompanied the choirs that lifted their voices in singing the psalms (15:19-24). In the midst were “doorkeepers” who acted as guards and gatekeepers (15:23-24).
Our study of 1 Chronicles 15 concludes with the national celebration that greeted the arrival of the Ark in Jerusalem (15:25-29). “A robe of linen” was the dress for the Levites, and the king draped himself in the same. Setting aside his royal apparel, David wore a simple “ephod of linen” (15:27). The arrival of the Ark in the capital city of Jerusalem was a cause for celebration, and David was ecstatic with joy (15:28-29).
Tragically, 1 Chronicles 15 concluded with a foreboding of sorrow. David’s first wife, “Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised [had contempt] him in her heart” (15:29; 2 Samuel 6:15-19).
Closing thoughts – 2 Samuel 6:15-19 amplifies Michal’s spirit toward her husband, the king.
Consider the moment: at the end of a day of celebration, David walked into the palace, still wearing his fine linen robe (15:27), and his heart filled with joy. Rather than delight in her husband’s triumph, Michal, the daughter of Saul, despised and condemned David (2 Samuel 6:20). David answered her contempt, and unashamedly identified himself as the man whom God had chosen to rule His people (2 Samuel 6:21).
As I look back over decades of ministry, I cannot remember a time that a moment of rejoicing was not threatened by an adversary. There will always be someone who is ready to dampen your enthusiasm to serve the LORD, and steal your joy. When those times occur, and they will, remember that God is just, and He rewards faithfulness, and punishes sin.
By the way, what became of Michal after she despised her husband? She went to her grave childless, for she “had no child unto the day of her death” (2 Samuel 6:23).
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith