Well, of course, today’s reading — like much of what we’ll be reading in the books of the Chronicles — will be territory that you have only recently read in the books of the Kings. So, lest I repeat myself, I’ll be looking for teachings or principles among some of the details of the narrative, which may be more of “the road less traveled”.
For example, as the Scripture tells us about men from Dan who came to join David, it notes of them that “These of the sons of Gad were captains of the army; he who was least was equal to a hundred and the greatest to a thousand” (1 Chron. 12:14, NASB95). It had to have been great to have a few of those guys on your side! It always is.
Some folks just seem to be great assets wherever they go. They leave leaders wishing, “May their tribe increase!” They’re the get’er done folks, the “what else can I do?” guys — the folks you want and need on your team, in the church. They don’t have to be coaxed or bribed to do something; no quid pro quo is necessary. They see what needs to be done, they’ve the motivation to do it, and then look for something else that needs to be done. Whether it’s on the battlefield or on the missionfield, they’re worth their weight in gold — the least is worth 100 and the greatest is worth 1000. How many are you worth?
“And let us bring back the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.” 1 Chronicles 13:3, NAS95. The ark of God was to be housed in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. It’s lid, upon which sat two bowing angels, was known as the Mercy Seat, and it was considered to be the very throne of God on earth. It was where the blood of Atonement was to be brought once per year. It had been carried into battle before with the Philistines in the days of Samuel, as if it were some sort of sure-fire guarantee of battle success. But because Israel did not stand right with God, instead of being a guarantor of success, it was captured in the Philistine’s defeat of Israel. The ark of God was ultimately returned by the Philistines to Beth-Shemesh, but finally “landed” in Kiriath-Jearim, where it stayed the whole time of Saul’s reign as king — “we did not see it in the days of Saul.” For years, then, the central object which symbolized God presence had been separate from the Tabernacle and its proper Holy of Holies. Didn’t anyone miss it? Didn’t anyone say, “How will we do the Day of Atonement without the Mercy Seat?” So, it is greatly to David’s credit that he was seeking to restore the patterned worship of God, by bringing back the ark of God (it seems to be implied at 2 Sam. 15:24,25,32 — the priest Zadok was keeping it, David mentions coming back to the habitation of God, and God is worshipped there) together with the Tabernacle, where it appears to have been set up on the Mount of Olives (2 Sam. 15:32).
And it encourages us to seek restoration of God’s way today. Are there ways in which “we did not seek [the ark of God] in the days of Saul”, too? There are too many examples we’ve already read about partial restorations. There are a number of examples in church history itself of partial restorations. What God is truly pleased by is complete restoration. We ought to keep our eyes and hearts always open to the truth.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.