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David and the Ark, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
June 30, 2022 7:05 am

David and the Ark, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 30, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

Cross the Bridge
David McGee
Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence
The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore
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Abidan Shah

In order to truly engage in a relationship, it's important to understand a person's background, where he or she was raised, the moral training from parents, and the events that influenced a life. And in many respects, that's the way we're approaching our study of David. Today, on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll helps us understand the cultural context of this unfolding story, so we can appreciate the impact of David's leadership, not only on his family, but on the nation of Israel as well. Chuck titled today's message, David and the Ark. Many of you will remember that I've said a number of times in our series on David that he was a man after God's own heart. So often David would pray for God's guidance, as he did after Saul's death, requesting what specific steps he should take next. He remembered how Samuel had anointed him with oil when he was a much younger lad, and told him that he was God's chosen man to become the next king over Israel. David never forgot that.

He always wanted to do it right. However, in our message today, we see where David tries to do God's will, in David's way, in relocating the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and the result is it cost a man his life. We need to listen and learn a lot from this story. So in our preparation for it, let's turn in our Bibles to 2 Samuel chapter 6, beginning with verse 1. Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand, and David arose and went with all the people who were with him to avail Judah, to bring up from there the Ark of God, which is called by the name, the very name of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned above the cherubim. They placed the Ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. So they brought it with the Ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, and Ahio was walking ahead of the Ark.

Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all kinds of instruments made of fur wood and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the Ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it, and the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah. And God struck him down there for his irreverence, and he died there by the Ark of God.

David became angry because of the Lord's outburst against Uzzah, and that place is called Peresuza to this day. So David was afraid of the Lord that day, and he said, How can the Ark of the Lord come to me? And David was unwilling to move the Ark of the Lord into the city of David with him. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom, the Gittite. Thus the Ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom, the Gittite, three months. And the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his household. Now it was told, King David, saying, The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him on account 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 gladness.

And it was so that when the bearers of the Ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the Ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet. Now verse 17, So they brought in the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offering, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the multitude of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread, and one of dates, and one of raisins, to each one.

Then all the people departed, each to his house. You're listening to Insight for Living. To dig deeper into the Bible with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures Studies by going to slash studies. And now the message titled, David and the Ark. I think at times that we preachers tend to take something that is designed to be very simple and we talk about it so long it becomes complicated and confusing. Therefore, people don't really have it in a package that they can remember and take with them.

So I don't want to be guilty of that. I just want to talk about the thing that impressed God the most about David. And when I mentioned the name David, I think probably you and I don't think of that thing. Some of us think of the time that he was anointed with oil by Samuel. That was a moving experience in which David, as a lad, stood before the Lord and, as it were, said, I'm grateful for this calling and I accept what you have planned for me to become the new king. Some of us think of David as a warrior. And when you mention to the world, David, they will immediately tell you David and Goliath. Others would picture David as a man who fell into sin and they would mention David and Bathsheba.

Unfortunately, we tend to remember the wrong things about people a lot longer than we do the great things. I, as a father, would think of David as a grieving man who walked across the courtyard after hearing of the murder of his son Absalom, and I would picture the man broken and dissolved in tears over that. But none of those things are the things that God remembers about his faithful king and his choice, his man. If you want to see what God remembers about David, you'll have to turn not to the Old Testament, but to the New, chapter 13 of the book of Acts, verse 22, which is in a context of verses that make sense. The speaker is Paul, according to verse 16, and he is addressing a group of people that don't know much about Jewish history, and he's developing a message that is going to end is going to end with the person of Christ. But in the process of developing the history of the Jews, Paul comes to Saul in verse 21, and he speaks of Saul as the one who ruled over Israel. And then in verse 22, he speaks of Saul's demise, where God, he, removes Saul, and God raised up David to be their king concerning whom he testified and said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my will. What an epitaph. Not, I found David a great warrior, or I found David a faithful shepherd, or I found David to be a diplomatic king, or I found David to be a good, caring father.

None of those things. I found David to care about the things I care about. He's a man whose heart beats in sync with mine. When I look to the right, David looks to the right. When I look to the left, David looks to the left.

And when I say, I care about that, David says, I care about that too. That's being after God's heart. Some of you are like that. Some of you are not. Some of you look upon life in a rather brusque tone and think, well, you win some, you lose some.

You can pull it off the best you can. Nobody's perfect. And others of you say, if God says it, I want to do it. You're the ones who are after God's heart. See, in the family of God, there are those two kinds.

And those like the first group spent a lot of time in the carnal corral, a lot of time moaning and complaining and even recovering from journeys that are far from his plan and will. But others of you don't get very far, for you take short accounts, you keep short accounts, you come back in line, because you're after his heart. And to you, there is nothing that's insignificant. Now, you're like David.

And I want to add, you are rare. There are not a great number of people whose heart is hot after God. David was like that, and he cared. Now, let me lay this on you as an illustration so you remember what that means. When you drive down the road and you see the sign, speed limit, 35 miles an hour, that's a precept. And it's 35 miles an hour, whether it's three o'clock in the morning or three o'clock in the afternoon, whether it's lunch break or five o'clock traffic.

It's 35 miles an hour, that's a precept, and there's no give or take. If the sign reads, drive carefully, that's a principle. And it means one thing in heavy traffic on a freeway, and it means something entirely different on a deserted road out in the country. You drive carefully in a certain way in traffic, you drive carefully in another way entirely on a deserted road.

You drive in a way entirely on a deserted road because that's a principle that's to be applied with wisdom. If I could turn that to the spiritual life, a person who is after God in his heart cares as much about the principles as he does about the precepts. And when he comes across, or when she comes across a precept that is clearly delineated, he says, as I look at my life, it's not like that precept. I'm going to bring my life in line with the precept. That's what we find David doing in our study in 2 Samuel 6. And I wish to raise up a band of Davids in this study. I wish to encourage those of you who have become rather concerned about the fine print of your life, because I want to commend you for that. You are the ones who make godly husbands, and godly roommates, and godly wives, and godly workmen, and godly pastors, and godly musicians, godly professionals. You care enough about your life that regardless of your occupation, when you hear something declared from scripture, you're thinking, how can I get that into my life?

Because I want it there. There was a period in my life in which I took some and left some. I bit off the part that was tasty, but I left the part that was painful.

Until a man cared enough to tell me the truth and to say to me, you are a classic illustration of a heady Christian. And I thought that was an insult, and I was so proud I didn't want to listen to what he had to say. And then he said, before you walk away, I just want to tell you, you have the makings of putting it together, but you're a long ways from it. And he said, I want to stick around you for a number of months and help you in the process so that you can see how it can be done, so that whether in public or private, you're putting it together. He cared enough to do that.

Those were some tough years in my life. Now I'm still in the process of putting it together, but thank God for a friend who was close enough to say, you need to put those precepts to work in your life. Quit excusing your disobedience. Now David was like that. Look at chapter 6 of 2 Samuel, and I won't linger long and painfully over this needlessly.

I just want to kind of set the stage and let you see it. I want you to understand several things to begin with in 2 Samuel 6. First of all, the place where we are is Jerusalem. Second, the king is David, and he's a new king. Saul is gone. He died of suicide, and in the latter part of his 40-year reign, he compromised and he fiddled around with all other things besides his job, and he neglected the things of God.

He was a mediocre king, to put it best. Now understand, in the days of David, the central place of worship was not the believer, but the tabernacle. And under Saul's reign, the tabernacle sort of drifted, and the enemy took the Ark of the Covenant.

There was no worship of Jehovah in Jerusalem. Now that doesn't mean anything to Gentile people today, but in those days, that meant there was not the presence of God, because the Lord dwelt in his glory upon the Ark of the Covenant, a piece of furniture in the tabernacle. And it was so important to the Lord that he gave to Moses the specific details of building this thing and making it portable so they could move this house of God through the wilderness and on into the land of Canaan as the place of worship. And everywhere the Ark of the Covenant was placed, God's glory rested on it, meaning the light, the Shekinah glory of God rested on the covenant, on the Ark of the Covenant.

It was a central piece of furniture. Now when David took over the throne, he realized there's no central place of worship. The people of Israel are spread out.

Their walk is mediocre. Their heart isn't hot after God. Now in order for me to pull some of this together, I need the Ark of the Covenant back in its right place.

In fact, I need to find out where it is and bring it into this particular spot and set it up as God designed it. His heart was after God's, even to the point of getting little pieces of furniture and putting it in a certain place within the parameters of God's will and God's precepts. So chapter 6 is how he got the Ark of the Covenant back in Jerusalem.

Let's read some of these things and see the tie-in. David gathered all the chosen men of Israel, 30,000. David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baal Judah to bring up from there the Ark of God which is called by the name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.

I'll explain that in a few moments. They placed the Ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab. Verse 4, so they brought it with the Ark of God from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill and Ahio was walking ahead of the Ark. Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord. Now here's David over here rejoicing and celebrating and having the greatest delightful time knowing that the Ark of the Covenant was coming back home where it belonged in Zion.

This even tells us about his band. He had instruments made of wood with lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. As I heard the recorders play tonight, it occurred to me that maybe some of the sounds that came from those little pipes were something like the sounds that came from these little instruments mentioned in verse 5.

There was a sound of music and there was the delight of obedience beating in the heart of David. The Ark is coming back. Now this is time to pause and explain the Ark because some people might think it's like Noah's Ark.

It's nothing like that at all. I want to show it to you because most of us are pretty fuzzy. Some of you are fuzzy when it comes to this Jewish ritual called the Worship in the Tabernacle. The name itself means box or chest. The pattern of the Ark was revealed to Moses and it was to be comprised of a body made of wood, rectangular in shape, gold plated inside and out. It was to have a gold around it, little golden decorative rim around the top of the chest. Another significant part of the Ark was its cover which was called the mercy seat. On top of this open chest was a covering made of gold and this was called the mercy seat.

It matched the dimensions of the chest. At either end of the cover was a hammered gold cherub, the word means angel, with wings outstretched over the plate. And notice one other thing, beneath the plate within the container were three objects, a golden jar that held the manna, Aaron's rod, and the tables of the covenant. God promised he would meet with the people above the mercy seat.

Isn't that strange? You see, all of our worship is so open and so realistic, but we see everything post-Calvary. Prior to Calvary, so many things were in symbols and types and pictures and sort of like looking at your face through a smoky mirror or a foggy mirror. You see the image but you don't see the details and that's the way they worshiped. A box and upon the box shone the very glory of God over this golden mercy seat. In other words, this piece of furniture was holy. It was set apart to God. So careful was God that in the details of the drawing that he wrote in Exodus 25, he gave the dimensions, he gave how it was to be covered, he even talked about how it was to be carried. See the word moving on this?

One more thought. At the base of each of the four corners was a fixed ring of gold. Through these rings were slipped gold-plated poles by which the entire chest was to be carried. Numbers 3, Numbers 4, Numbers 7 clearly state that handling the table, the tabernacle furniture was to be done by Levites and it was to be done on their shoulders. Now I purposely went over the details of the ark not only to acquaint you with it but to highlight each and every little specific thing because I want you to know each one was important to God.

Each one. Even how the thing was transported from one place to another because that's where David got into trouble. They're bringing it on the way and something happens.

Suddenly there's a death. Verse 7, the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah and God struck him there for his irreverence and he died by the ark of God. Well, what did he do? Verse 6, when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it for the oxen nearly upset him. Well, it wouldn't have ever dropped if they had done it right.

Well, what's right? The Levites, in fact the sons of Kohath, were the ones to carry the ark and the poles were to be put up on the shoulders of these specially chosen men and they were to balance this thing as they carried it from one place to another. David didn't do that. There's much more to learn about the relocation of the ark and we urge you to keep on listening as we discover how David handled this sensitive project. You're listening to Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll titled today's message, David and the Ark.

To learn more about this topic, visit us online at But first, keep listening because we'll hear a closing comment from Chuck in just a moment. I'd like to take a moment right now to remind you that Chuck wrote a full-length biography on David. It's remarkable to think that David, in spite of all of his foibles, was considered a man after God's own heart. He cared about the issues God cared about. In his biography on David, Chuck helps us understand how to become more like David. How do we cultivate affection for the things of God? Chuck's biography on David is a great choice to add to your reading list. It's called David, a Man of Passion and Destiny. To purchase a copy, give us a call.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or you can go online to slash offer. Here's Chuck. Thanks, Bill. Lest you think your Bible teacher lives in a protective bubble devoid of any disappointments and unwanted surprises, let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. My world is no different than your world. The Swindolls are not immune from the travails and the trials of this life. Even so, my heart is revived because God has proven himself faithful over and over again. That's what we love about David, right?

In our current study, we're allowed a front row seat in the theater of David's extraordinary life. His humble career started on the dusty hillside where he was caring for his father's smelly sheep. You remember that.

Later, he would bear arms. During one season, David slumped into depression and ultimately, he occupied the highest office in the land. What contrasts he endured.

Before you're too impressed, remember this. David's trajectory to the top was punctuated with embarrassing missteps. He was far from perfect and yet, God pointed to David and said this of him. There, that one right there.

He's a man after my own heart. Well, here at Insight for Living Ministries, this is our hope-filled message to a generation that's struggling for survival. This is our grace-filled message to a world that's bogged down in guilt and in shame. This is our radical message to a culture that's dissatisfied with the status quo.

And now, as we draw another season to a close, June 30th is the deadline. Would you be among those who make it possible for us to share Insight for Living far and wide? God has been so good to this non-profit ministry and yet, our financial goal for June remains enormous. And he's allowing each of us to be a part of his master plan of provision.

That includes you. As God prompts you to give, please respond right away. You'll never regret following his lead.

And please keep listening as we examine David's life in our lifelong pursuit of becoming a man or a woman after God's own heart. Thanks, Chuck. As you're prepared to join with us in providing these daily programs, we invite you to give generously. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888.

That's 800-772-8888. Or you can give online at slash donate. We are so grateful to those who give. In fact, listen to this comment from a grateful friend who said, I've been a listener since my teenage years and my one desire way back then, well before I was employed, was to one day serve him by giving to you. I'm moving closer to 60 years old now and it's been such a blessing to partner with Insight for Living. To know the number of hearts that are being touched globally each day blows me away.

Well, thank you so much. And you can join us too by giving us a call. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888.

Or you can give online at slash donate. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll continues his message about David and the Ark, Friday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, David and the Ark, was copyrighted in 1978, 1988, 1997, 2009, and 2022. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-28 22:03:29 / 2023-03-28 22:13:12 / 10

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