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people were assembled to do it honour: and as the Lord was about to restore his holy worship, it was necessary that the congregation should be taught to reverence His Divine ordinances. The religion of the Jews, as has been repeatedly observed, consisted partly of a variety of ceremonials, which were types and symbols of divine things, and the pledges of their Covenant concerning the land of Canaan; if they omitted them theyforfeited their privileges; and as the Divine Being had sanctified the Ark in so visible a manner b}' a token of his immediate Phesence, it was certainly sacred, and ought to have been attended with the utmost reverence: nothing less than a judgment from heaven upon a profanation of it, could recover the people to a proper sense of the respect due to that sacred repository of the written law and commandments of God, the Tables of Testimony.
It is said David was displeased; but from the piety of his disposition, itfe may suppose, that he was only disappointed and grieved, that his holy purposes were interrupted, and fear took possession of his mind, lest he should, through ignorance, commit offence likewise.
It may seem strange, that David should not be fully acquainted with the law of Moses; but we must consider the times he lived in; the Ark had been greatly neglected for many years; religion was but little attended to in the days of Saul, for the bad example of the sovereign and his court is too apt to influence a nation: all the priests who had ever seen the Ark were dead excepting one young man, who had never seen it removed; neither were there any Levites alive, who had been present at that solemnity. David and his people had been constantly engaged in war; and though his mind was naturally inclined to piety, he had not had much opportunity of attending pubic worship, according to the original establishment.
The signal vengeance of God on Uzzah struck David with the utmost consternation; and he would not venture to advance any farther with the ark at that time: Obed-edom, at whose house he left it, was a Levite, and a pious good man: he rejoiced to receive it, knowing it would prove a blessing io him and his family, as he well understood the nature of Uzzah's offence.
Though Christians cannot be guilty of the very crime for which Uzzah received such an exemplary punishment, every one who 'wilfully neglects to make use of the means with which it pleased God to bless them, for learning their duty, is certainly liable to the Divine displeasure. Let us therefore study, with unremitting diligence, the Holy Scriptures, lest, for want of knowing them, we fall into sin, and be, like Uzzah, cut off for our Error.
DAVID ORDERETH THE PRIESTS AND LEVITES TO CARRY THE ARK TO JERUSALEM—HE ATTENDETH IT WITH GREAT JOY.
From 1 Chron. Chap. xv. xvi. 2 Sam. Chap. v
And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.
Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.
And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lous unto his place which lie had prepared for it.
And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites: in all eight hundred and sixty-two.
And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel and Aminadab.
And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites, sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that 1 have prepared for it.
For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel.
And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders, as Moses commanded. /
And David spake to the chief of the Levites, to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries, and harps and cymbals sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy. And they did so.
So David and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord, out of the house of Obed-edom with joy.
And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.
And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song, with the singers!' David also had upon him an ephod of linen.
And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul, looking out at a window, saw king David dancing and playing, and she despised him in her heart.
So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the c 3 midst midst of the tent that David had pitched for it; and they offered burnt-sacrifices and peace-offerings before God.
And when David had made an end of offering the burnt-offerings and the peace-offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord.
And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.
And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel with psalteries, and with harps, with cymbals and with trumpets, continually before the ark of the covenant of Gon.
So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day's work required.
And Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the Lord, in the high place that was at Gibeon.
And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his household.
And Michal, Saul's daughter, came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel today, who appeared in the eyes of the maid-servants a* one of the vain fellows.
And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord.
And 1 will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maid-servants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
Whilst the ark remained at the house of Obed-edom, David fully instructed himself concerning the requisite ceremonials; the priests and Levites having also thoroughly considered the matter, the congregation of Israel was once more assembled, and the procession began with solemnity and decorum. The Levites were arrayed in robes of fine linen; and the king assuming the character of an humble attendant on the Ark of God, laid aside his royal garments, and attired himself in a long robe, like that worn by the Levites, over which he put an ephod as a mark of distinction.
Before the procession began from the house of Obed-edom, David offered up a devout prayer; and declared his firm belief in the promises of Gon, to him and his posterity, as follows *.
Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions.
How he snare unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob.
Surely I willnot come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed;
I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the Load, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest; Thou, and the ark of Thy strength.
Let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.
For thy servant David's sake, turn not away the face of Thine anointed.
The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, lie will
* I'salm exxxii.
C 4 not