Scripture reading – 1 Chronicles 14-15

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* For those following Heart of A Shepherd’s two-year “Read through the Bible” plan, the scheduled reading for today is 1 Chronicles 14. Given the brevity of 1 Chronicles 14 and the fact that it parallels an earlier study of the same events (2 Samuel 5), I will take the liberty to include 1 Chronicles 15 in today’s study (which parallels 2 Samuel 6).

1 Chronicles 14

 

David’s Kingdom and Family (1 Chronicles 14:1-7)

Having conquered and claimed Jerusalem as his capital city, David built a palace within the city that reflected his reign as king (1 Chronicles 14:1-2). The names of the sons of David who were born in Jerusalem were given, as was the mention that the king also had daughters, though they are not named in this passage (1 Chronicles 14:3-7).

David’s Adversaries Defeated (1 Chronicles 14:8-17)

As we noticed in 2 Samuel 5, the Philistines were the first to test David as Israel’s king. They were soundly defeated, not once but twice (1 Chronicles 14:8-16). However, just as important as the battles were David’s preparations to face his adversaries.

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” (1 Chronicles 14:10). When the king faced the Philistines a second time, he inquired again of God” (1 Chronicles 14:14).

 

Interestingly, the LORD’s strategy for the second battle was unlike the first (1 Chronicles 14:14b-15); however, because David sought the LORD’s will, God gave Israel the victory (1 Chronicles 14:16). A benefit of David’s achievements was that he became an international figure in the ancient world. We read, “The fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations” (1 Chronicles 14:17).

1 Chronicles 15

 

The Method to Convey the Ark to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:1-24)

David’s first attempt to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem failed and ended in tragedy. His failure to consult the LORD and His Word regarding the method and 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? (1 Chronicles 13:12)

The Place and Plan for Transporting the Ark (1 Chronicles 15:1-15)

David’s second attempt to bring the Ark to Jerusalem was a success. He had not only learned from his failure, but he sought God’s mind and will. Therefore, the king commanded the Levites to bring the Ark to his capital and 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]” (1 Chronicles 15:13).

 

Rather than a cart, David commanded the Levites to bear the Ark upon their shoulders, using gold-gilded staves (poles) to carry it, “as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 15:14-15).

 

The Personnel Responsible for Conveying the Ark (1 Chronicles 15:16-24)

 

An important registry of Levite families was recorded in 1 Chronicles 15. Consider especially the vital role of singers and musicians in worship (1 Chronicles 15:16-24). Various classes of musicians were 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” (1 Chronicles 15:17).

 

Notice also that the musicians were from the tribe of Levi. The LORD had set apart the Levites to serve Him, and some were skilled in singing and various instruments employed in worship. Cymbals of brass, psalteries (lute), harps, and trumpets accompanied the choirs that lifted their voices in singing the psalms (1 Chronicles 15:19-24). In the midst were “doorkeepers” who acted as guards and gatekeepers (1 Chronicles 15:23-24).

 

The Celebration of the Ark’s Arrival (1 Chronicles 15:25-29)

 

A celebration greeted the arrival of the Ark in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:25-29). The Levites “offered seven bullocks and seven rams” as sacrifices of praise to the LORD. Dressing appropriately for the occasion, the Levites wore robes of linen, and the king draped himself in the same. Setting aside his royal robes, David wore a simple “ephod of linen” (1 Chronicles 15:27). The arrival of the Ark in the capital city of Jerusalem was a cause for celebration, and David was ecstatic with joy (1 Chronicles 15:28-29).

Closing thoughts –

 

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” (1 Chronicles 15:29). 2 Samuel 6:15-19 will amplify Michal’s spirit toward her husband, the king.

 

Consider that moment: As the day of celebration ended, David walked into his palace, still wearing his fine linen robe (1 Chronicles 15:27), 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). Tragically, Michal will go to her grave childless, for she “had no child unto the day of her death” (2 Samuel 6:23).

 

On a personal note: When I look back on decades of ministry, I cannot remember when an adversary did not threaten a moment of triumph and rejoicing. I have learned that someone will always be ready to steal my joy and dampen my enthusiasm to serve the LORD.

 

Challenge: When an adversary threatens your joy, remember that God is just, and He rewards faithfulness and punishes sin.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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