1 CHRONICLES 13
1 And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.
Jerusalem becomes the centre of divine worship as the glory returns to Israel. For years the Ark remained disregarded and in obscurity, but now it is brought in triumph to Zion, a wonderful type of future occasion. It now became "the city of the great king," in conformity with the prophecy of Moses (Exo. 15).
This was not the snap decision of a moment, or a mere whim, but had been the subject of much thought and many sleepless nights on the part of David (Psa. 132:4). Earnest prayer had been directed to the Father for guidance in the matter (Psa. 141:1-2), and a special place for such a purpose had been indicated in the Law from the beginning (Deu. 12:5). Seven special Psalms are attributed to this occasion (Psa. 15, 24, 29, 30, 68, 132, 141).
... Having established his power and authority, David set about to institute religious reform establishing the worship of Yahweh. This was his greatest ambition, and earlier he had consulted with the prophet Samuel concerning this proposal (1Chr. 9:22). His earnest prayer and strong desire was for its consummation (Psa. 132:1-6). He then "consulted with... every leader" (1Chr. 13:1).
He adopted the spirit of appeal, not the driving force of command. Men work best when thus consulted. Their sense of responsibility is developed; their instinct of honour is happily touched. The work becomes more personal and intimate. David desired the fullest co-operation of all the people, and therefore approached them through their leaders
Bro Graeham Mansfield, Logos
Bringing the ark to Zion
From very early on, David recognised the significance of Jerusalem. 6 He believed that the symbol of God's presence should be there, so that it might be not only the royal seat, but also the place of the spiritual throne of God among His people. The capture of the stronghold of Zion laid the basis for his initiative in bringing the ark to that place. But it was characteristic of the man that, before he acted, he consulted with the nation, and lifted their view to the blessing of having among them the ark of God, that they might enquire of Him. 7
His call resulted in a great convocation of Israel from its furthest extremities, both south and north, 8 who gathered in support of such a grand spiritual objective, inspired by their king. Not since the days of Samuel had such a national assembly been seen, and there was an air of excitement as the journey began.
Caught up in the spirit of the occasion, the whole nation rejoiced, and songs were sung to honour God, accompanied by the players on instruments, who made music with harps and psalteries, with timbrels and cymbals, and with trumpets. There was no lack of fervency in this procession, for singer and player alike offered praise with all their might before God.
The ark left its abode in Kirjath-jearim and was borne away upon a new cart, watched over by two descendants of Abinadab. Ahio led the oxen and Uzza drove the cart, with the ark behind him. But at a certain point the oxen stumbled, the ark moved, Uzza reached forth his hand to steady it, and was in an instant struck dead by the divine glory.
David, fearful and upset, marked the tragedy by naming the place "the breach of Uzza", as the song of praise was silenced in the shock of this unexpected outcome. 9 But what David had first seen as a breach upon Uzza, he finally recognised as a breach upon the whole nation, and especially himself, for failing to honour God's ordinance. 10
David desired to bring the ark to Zion, so that the nation might enquire ofYahweh, but in its mode of transport he had not enquired of His word. 11 His readiness to overlook the ordinance of God in this matter might have led to the neglect of other principles of true worship, and God would not permit it. The ark was not merely a piece of sacred furnitury, but the very symbol of the divine presence among His people.
Under no circumstances would God permit His majesty to be violated, or His holiness to be ignored. Nadab and Abihu had been struck down by the same lightning flash of the divine majesty, when they also had approached the ark in a spirit of presumption. Their offering of strange fire brought immediate death, and a solemn charge to Moses
'I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me." 12
David learned on this day that only worship which honours God after His own due order is acceptable to Him. His second endeavour to bring up the ark would be marked by a scrupulous attention to divine detail and an earnest spirit of carefulness, that Yahweh's honour might be upheld at all costs.
7 1 Chronicles 13: 1-3.
8 The dimensions here from Shihor ... unto ... Hemath" (1 Chronicles 13:5) are reminiscent of the territory promised under Joshua (Joshua 13:2-5).
9 1 Chronicles 13:11.
10 Notice David's words: "Yahweh our Elohim made a breach upon us" (1 Chronicles 15:13).
11 The verb to enquire (darash) of God by coming before the ark (1 Chronicles 13:3) was now used by David in his confession of wrong: "we sought [darash, 'enquired of'] him not after the due order" (15:13).
12 Perhaps David reflected on this episode (Leviticus 10:1-3), before charging the Levites to "sanctify themselves" prior to their second attempt to bring up the ark (1 Chronicles 15:12,14,15).
Bro Roger Lewis - House of Asaph Ch 1