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David bringeth again the ark of God. 1 And David consulted with house of Abinadab: and Uzza the captains of thousands and and Ahio drave the cart. hundreds, and with every lead- 8 And David and all Israel er.
played before God with all their 2 And David said unto all the might, and with singing, and congregation of Israel, If it seem with harps, and with psalteries, good unto you, and that it be of and with timbrels, and with the Lord our God, let us send cymbals, and with trumpets. abroad unto our brethren every 9 And when they came unto where, that are left in all the the threshingfloor of Chidon, land of Israel, and with them Uzza put forth his hand to hold also to the priests and Levites the ark; for the oxen stumbled. which are in their cities and sub- 10 And the anger of the LORD urbs, that they may gather them- was kindled against Uzza, and selves unto us :
he smote him, because he put 3 And let us bring again the his hand to the ark : and there ark of our God to us : for we he died before God. enquired not at it in the days of 11 And David was displeased, Saul.
because the Lord had made a 4 And all the congregation breach upon Uzza : wherefore said that they would do so: for that place is called Perez-uzza the thing was right in the eyes to this day. of all the people.
12 And David was afraid of 5 So David gathered all Israel God that day, saying, How shall together, from Shihor of Egypt I bring the ark of God home to even unto the entering of He- me? math, to bring the ark of God 13 So David brought not the from Kirjath-jearim.
ark home to bimself to the city 6 And David went up, and all of David, but carried it aside Israel, to Baalah, that is, to into the house of Obed-edom Kirjath-jearim, which belonged the Gittite. to Judah, to bring up thence 14 And the ark of God rethe ark of God the LORD, that mained with the family of Obeddwelleth between the cherubims, edom in his house three months. whose name is called on it. And the LORD blessed the
7 And they carried the ark of house of Obed-edom, and all God in a new cart out of the that he had.
The duty of the state to the church. If a settled government under magistrates duly authorized and laws wisely framed, be one chief source of national prosperity, another important help towards this object is here presented to our view, namely, an established national church. This was one of the first things about which David was solicitous, when he was himself seated on the throne. He consulted with all the principal persons in the state, and proposed to gather together all the
Israelites in the land, and especially all the priests and Levites ; and with them to bring again the ark of God, into its proper place of honour and of use. How his design was frustrated for a while, and soon afterwards accomplished, is related here, as in the second book of Samuel, ch. 6. 2-12, with very little variation. The design as formed and executed, and even the very circumstance by which it was interrupted, furnish matter of seasonable reflexion, in times when it has been confidently stated by professed believers in God's word, that the rulers of the state ought by no means to take part in the upholding of the church.
Certainly neither the whole Law revealed by Moses, nor the institutions of the Jewish church or state, are binding on us as of divine authority. But admitting this, it is no less evident, that no principles which are therein sanctioned ought to be railed against by Christians as grossly wrong.
If God has suffered us in the Gospel to choose many things for ourselves, where no choice was allowed under the Law, it is surely our wisdom to follow in our choice the traces marked out for our guidance, in that one most highly favoured community, for which God was pleased to reveal from heaven the constitution both of church and state. In many things our altered circumstances render it impracticable to adopt the rules and institutions, which were the best that could be framed for the Israelites, in their times and country. But in every thing we may learn much, by studying the principles of the Law. And in that Law no one principle is more clear than this, that it is the duty of the magistrate to exert all the power of the state in upholding the ordinances of the church. We say, to uphold its ordinances, not to interfere with them ; for when the ark was to be brought again into its place, it might not be touched by any but consecrated hands. May the rulers of our state ever bear this great principle in mind! And whilst they leave to the rulers of our church their proper offices, may they ever feel that they have to answer unto God, for using the great authority which He has given them, in the maintenance of Christ's true religion against all error and ungodliness!
David's prosperity. i Now Hiram king of Tyresent into thine hand. messengers to David, and timber
11 So they came up to Baalof cedars, with masons and car- perazim ; and David smote them penters, to build him an house. there. Then David said, God
2 And David perceived that hath broken in upon mine enethe LORD had confirmed him mies by mine hand like the king over Israel, for his kingdom breaking forth of waters: therewas lifted upon high, because of fore they called the name of that his people Israel.
place Baal-perazim. 3 And David took more wives 12 And when they had left at Jerusalem : and David begat their gods there, David gave a more sons and daughters. commandment, and they were
4 Now these are the names of burned with fire. his children which he had in Je- 13 And the Philistines yet arusalem; Shammua, and Sho- gain spread themselves abroad bab, Nathan, and Solomon, in the valley.
5 And Ibhar, and Elishua, and 14 Therefore David enquired Elpalet,
again of God; and God said 6 And Nogah, and Nepheg, unto him, Go not up after them; and Japhia,
turn away from them, and come 7 And Elishama, and Beeliada, upon them over against the muland Eliphalet.
berry trees. 8 And when the Philistines 15 And it shall be, when thou heard that David was anointed shalt hear a sound of going in king over all Israel, all the Phi- the tops of the mulberry trees, listines went up to seek David. that then thou shalt go out to And David heard of it, and battle : for God is gone forth went out against them.
before thee to smite the host of 9 And the Philistines came the Philistines. and spread themselves in the 16 David therefore did as God valley of Rephaim.
commanded him: and they smote 10 And David enquired of God, the host of the Philistines from saying, Shall I go up against Gibeon even to Gazer. the Philistines? and wilt thou 17 And the fame of David went deliver them into mine hand? out into all lands; and the Lord And the LORD said unto him, brought the fear of him upon Go up; for I will deliver them all nations.
How Christians best prosper. The friendly help of Hiram was one of the tokens of prosperity; by which David was convinced " that the Lord had confirmed him king over Israel.” And so long as David felt that it was not for his own sake that his kingdom was thus "lifted up on high," but “because of his people Israel,” there was less risk of his being elated. The abundance of his offspring was another cause of thankfulness to God; though amongst these were found, after his gross transgression, some of the chief means of his chastise
ment. At present, however, all things went well with him. And to fare so well on earth was under the Law the usual consequence of serving God devotedly. So that we may think it probable, from his prospering thus largely, that David still continued to please the Lord as at the first. No such conclusion can safely be drawn at present, amongst ourselves, from the prosperity or adversity which we see happening to others. Houses of cedar, and the friendship of the great, as well as children after their desire, often fall to the lot of those who are furthest off from the kingdom of heaven. Whilst God's most devoted servants may be houseless, friendless, or childless here; and yet may be becoming more meet, by means of these very afflictions, for their eternal inheritance.
There was another point in which David was eminently prosperous, namely, in gaining two victories over the Philistines. And this also is a matter in which success is no longer to be taken for a sure token of God's favour, nor failure for a proof of his displeasure. Christians indeed ought to have no enemies, no strife, no fighting. Their controversy with the heathen is not, as of old, with the weapons of carnal warfare. They must exterminate the worshippers of false gods and of images, not by spear and sword, but by preaching and teaching the glorious gospel of God, the salvation which is by Jesus Christ. They are however still liable to be assailed by the enmity of those amongst themselves who ought to be as brethren, but who are disposed to revile or wrong them. And sometimes it may be their duty to contend with such as use them wrongfully, to seek redress by a peaceable appeal to the power of the magistrate, or to the sentence of the law. Let them not however in such a case suppose, that truth is always sure to prevail against falsehood, right against wrong: Let them not certainly expect, with David, to put their enemies to shame, because they have reason to think that God is on their side. In the present order of his providence, we know that falsehood may succeed, before the tribunal of man's opinion, better than truth. And perjury, in a court of human law, may make the worse cause appear the better one. The great thing now promised to those who love God, is that He will make all things work together for their good; not for their gain in worldly wealth, or worldly glory, but for the good of their souls both here and hereafter; for their growth in grace, for their advancement in a boly life, and in a heavenly mind, and for their final exaltation in heaven. The enemies then over whom God will surely give us victory, if we trust in Him, and follow his directions, are the enemies of our souls; the powers of darkness, a kind of Philistines besetting all true Israelites. And the glory which He will make us to enjoy, is not that which goes out unto all lands on earth, but that with which earth and heaven will ring aloud, when we shall share with Christ in the triumph over Satan, and when with Him we shall rejoice The solemnity of bringing the ark to its place. 1 And David made him houses at the first, the LORD our God in the city of David, and pre- made a breach upon us, for that pared a place for the ark of God, we sought him not after the due and pitched for it a tent.
order. 2 Then David said,
None ought 14 So the priests and the Leto carry the ark of God but the vites sanctified themselves to Levites: for them hath the LORD bring up the ark of the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, God of Israel. and to minister unto him forever. 15 And the children of the Le
3 And David gathered all Israel vites bare the ark of God upon together to Jerusalem, to bring their shoulders with the staves up the ark of the Lord unto his thereon, as Moses commanded place, which he had prepared according to the word of the for it.
Lord. 4 And David assembled the chil- 16 And David spake to the dren of Aaron, and the Levites: chief of the Levites to appoint
5 Of the sons of Kohath ; Uri- their brethren to be the singers el the chief, and his brethren an with instruments of musick, psalhundred and twenty:
teries and harps and cymbals
, 6 Of the sons of Merari; A- sounding, by lifting up the voice saiah the chief, and his brethren with joy. two hundred and twenty: 17 So the Levites appointed
7 Of the sons of Gershom; Heman the son of Joel; and of Joel the chief, and his brethren his brethren, Asaph the son of an hundred and thirty: Berechiah ; and of the sons of 8 Of the sons of Elizaphan; Merari their brethren, Ethan the Shemaiah the chief, and his son of Kushaiah ; brethren two hundred:
18 And with them their bre9 Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel thren of the second degree, Zethe chief, and his brethren four- chariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and score:
Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and 10 Of the sons of Uzziel; Am- Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and minadab the chief, and his bre- Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and thren an hundred and twelve. Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and O
11 And David called for Za- bed-edom, and Jeiel, the porters. dok and Abiathar the priests, 19 So the singers, Heman, Aand for the Levites, for Uriel, saph, and Ethan, were appointed Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and to sound with cymbals of brass; Eliel, and Amminadab,
20 And Zechariah, and Aziel, 12 And said unto them, Ye are and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, the chief of the fathers of the and Unni, and Eliab, and MaaLevites : sanctify yourselves, seial, and Benaiah, with psalteboth ye and your brethren, that ries on Alamoth; ye may bring up the ark of the 21 And Mattithiah, and ElipheLord God of Israel unto the leh, and Mikneiah, and Obedplace that I have prepared for it. edom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, 13 For because ye did it not with harps on the Sheminith to