Scripture reading – Psalm 132; 2 Samuel 6

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Our chronological study of the Scriptures continues in the Book of Psalms (Psalm 132), and we also return to the book of 2 Samuel, chapter 6. In the latter, King David set his heart to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem, which served as the capital of Israel during his reign. That event will be familiar, for we considered the same event in our study of 1 Chronicles 13.

Psalm 132, titled “A Song of Degrees,” one of several by that title, was sung by pilgrims going up to Jerusalem and by the Levites when the priests ascended the steps to the Temple. Today’s devotion will be taken from 2 Samuel 6 as we consider the historical setting and narrative when the Ark was transported to Jerusalem.


2 Samuel 6

The Ark of God symbolized the LORD’s heavenly throne and testified of His presence among His people (Psalm 80:1; 99:1). Therefore, David set his heart to bringing the Ark to Jerusalem, his capital (2 Samuel 6:1-2).

The Failed Attempt to Move the Ark (2 Samuel 6:1-11)


The Ark had been neglected throughout the reign of King Saul. David, however, longed to return the Ark to its prominence in Israel, and he prepared a new tent that would serve as its tabernacle. The movement of the Ark to Jerusalem was a cause for celebration, and “David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand” (2 Samuel 6:1) to attend its journey.

Celebration, however, turned to tragedy when David “set the ark of God upon a new cart” and failed to employ the “staves” or poles God prescribed for its movement (Numbers 4:5-6). Tragically, when the Ark appeared ready to topple from the cart, Uzza placed his hand on the Ark to steady it and was struck dead, for he had defiled that which the LORD had sanctified for Himself (2 Samuel 6:3-7).

Uzza, a faithful servant, died because the king failed to search the Scriptures and seek the mind of the LORD in transporting the Ark. We read, “David was displeased,” and was angry with the LORD (2 Samuel 6:8). His anger, however, soon turned to fear, for the king complained, “How shall the ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9)

The balance of the now familiar story continued with its temporary placement in the home of Obededom the Gittite. The Ark resided in his household for three months and was accompanied by the LORD blessing his family (2 Samuel 6:10-11).

The Joy and Celebration When the Ark Arrived in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:12-19)


David then determined to renew his plan to retrieve the Ark and celebrated and offered sacrifices to the LORD as it was carried by the Levites (2 Samuel 6:12-15). All of Israel celebrated the arrival of the Ark of God in Jerusalem, with one exception: “Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart” (2 Samuel 6:16).

After celebrating the appointment of the Ark of God to its place on Mount Zion, David blessed the people. He sent them home with “a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine” (2 Samuel 6:19).


The Tension Between David and Michal, the King’s Wife (2 Samuel 6:16, 20-23)

However, when David “returned to bless his household,” he was scorned by Michal, his wife, who despised the king’s delight in the LORD (2 Samuel 6:20-23).


Closing thoughts –

In an earlier devotion, we observed the account of the Ark’s conveyance to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13) and some spiritual principles derived from the event. We should consider the same spiritual lessons again, for they provide spiritual principles for our lives, families, and ministries (2 Samuel 6).

The first lesson was that right motives never justify wrong methods. David failed to seek the LORD, and His plan for moving the Ark came at the expense of a faithful servant’s life (2 Samuel 6:3-7).

Another spiritual truth is that what God deems holy must never be treated as common. Uzza touching the Ark violated God’s holiness (1 Chronicles 13:3; Numbers 4:15).

A quote by the late evangelist Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. will serve as a closing thought: “It is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right!” 

Questions to ponder –

1) David’s desire to bring the Ark to Jerusalem pleased the LORD; why did He kill Uzzah? (2 Samuel 6:6-7)

2) What was David’s response to Uzzah’s death? (2 Samuel 6:8-10)

3) How did David’s second attempt to move the Ark to Jerusalem differ from the first? (2 Samuel 6:3, 13) 

4) What consequences did Michal, David’s wife, suffer for despising her husband, the king? (2 Samuel 6:23)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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