Wonderfully, mercifully, there is Chapter 15 after chapter 13 and 14: God granting a second chance after repentance. Look at the complete turnaround as David and his people recognize their sins and repent of them!
The Ark Brought to Jerusalem
1David … prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it.
11And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites… 12 He said to them, “sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, that you may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it. 13 For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.”
14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. 15 And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.
16 Then David spoke to the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers accompanied by instruments of music, stringed instruments, harps, and cymbals, by raising the voice with resounding joy.
26 And so it was, when God helped the Levites who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that they offered seven bulls and seven rams.
1 Chronicles 15:1, 11 -16, and 26 New King James Version (NKJV)
Though it was with the best of intentions, the desires of David and the people to bring the Ark into Jerusalem initially failed. However, because David sought the Lord out of a tender heart, he learned from his mistakes. During the three months the Ark stayed at Obed-Edom’s house, he had plenty of time to relive his sin and its tragic consequences. We can also infer that he spent those months praying, confessing, inquiring of the Lord, and searching the Scriptures (v. 13). David’s first clue might have been that the three months the Ark was at Obed-Edom’s house, the house and its occupants were blessed. Obed-Edom was a Kohathite. The blessings were occurring because the Ark was finally in the right place! David had clearly learned from his mistakes, and much was done differently this second time around. The Ark was carried properly, on poles. Priests and Levites were used more correctly. A period of consecration preceded the move. In Jerusalem, the king had prepared a place for the Ark, a “tent” similar to the previous tabernacle. He had likely found the detailed instructions in the Law. David moved ahead in faith and humility, believing that God’s will done in God’s way brings God’s blessing, and even more important, that God forgives sin. They loaded the Ark right, made sacrifices, consecrated the Levites and offered sanctified worship. Because they now were seeking to totally do everything according to God’s prescribed way, “God helped the Levites.”
Not merely granted them bodily strength to carry it, which did not require a great deal; but helped them to carry it with cheerfulness, and without fear, and so as to commit no error, nor in any respect provoke his displeasure, as when it was brought before from Kirjathjearim: (https://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/1_chronicles/15.htm)
Their repentance resulted in God’s giving them a second chance. Their humility of heart ensured the success of that second chance. God was pleased and glorified.
A GLORIOUS REMEDY
To bring this entire lesson home even more emphatically the Lord has given a remarkable illustration in His Word that provides us with great hope in situations of the mingling of the holy and the profane. Turn with me to this passage in Acts 19: 18-20:
18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
– Acts 19:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
Like all of those gathered with David who wanted to bring in the Ark to Jerusalem, the people here were believers. In verses 11-12 of this chapter there is a description of wondrous miracles and healings taking place in the Name of Jesus. Ephesus was a center of occult practices. Therefore, while the Ephesians had been converted to the Lord, they still had not parted with their occult practices. The encounter with the sons of Sceva in v. 13 -17 convicted the Ephesians that the Name of Jesus was the most powerful Name, worthy of honor and worthy of exclusive adoration. So thoroughly convicted were they that they gathered their heathen books and burned their books in the sight of all.
The “new cart” was disposed of – the books were burned. The mixture of God’s precious Word with the words of heathen and unclean sources was ended. The result of this cleansing of the profane from the Holy was that hearts were touched, lives were changed and “the Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” Yes, it cost them a great deal to part with their books. But look at the Heavenly profit! True revival comes from repentance and a renunciation of sin. By obeying the conviction of the Holy Spirit and abandoning their involvement with the “mixed” books, the Christians made a path for revival and a great evangelistic effort came about. That made it worth it.
With my next and final post in this series, I’ll share with you a true story of the glorious results of the principle of “burning books” to rid ourselves of the mixture of unclean practices with the holy. It was truly awe-inspiring to be a part of and humbling to watch as God moved among His people.
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I would like to thank my fellow consultants for all their assistance in getting this blog published: Michelle Arrington, Hannah Hall, Ariel Mcgarry, Carol White, Tracy Yoder, and J.P.Wilhelm. Their encouragement and patience have been invaluable to me.