1Chronicles 13

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 5, 2002

Now that I’m king …

Lessons about making decisions and making mistakes

David has just been made king over the entire nation of Israel. As king, he’s going to start making some decisions, guiding the nation.

I think that for all of us, we have times in our lives where we learn to make decisions.  There are things in our lives that we have control over, choices that we make.  I may be the head of a Fortune 500 company, or I may be a young child living with my parents, but either way, I will make decisions.  Sometimes I make good decisions, sometimes I make bad ones.

One of the first decisions that David makes concerns that Ark of the Covenant.

This is that wooden box that is covered with gold that contains the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments on them.  It had a solid gold lid on it that was called the “Mercy Seat”.

At one point, it had been the central focal point of Israelite worship. It was supposed to be the place where God would meet with man.

But now, for almost a hundred years, the Ark has sat in the city of Kirjath-jearim, mostly forgotten.

The Israelites had taken the Ark into battle and had lost it to the Philistines. When the Philistines took it home with them, they developed a lot of strange problems and decided to send the Ark back to Israel. It was delivered by two cows pulling a cart. It first arrived at the city of Beth-shemesh, but the people of Beth-shemesh were a curious sort, and when some of them peeked into the Ark, a plague broke out and 50,000 people were killed. The Ark was then taken to Kirjath-jearim, where it has stayed, mostly forgotten.

David has a heart for God. He wants to be close to God. He wants the nation to be close to God. And he comes up with this idea of bringing the Ark home with him to his new capital in Jerusalem.

1Chronicles 13

:1 David consulted with the captains


Now that I’m king … Stay Teachable

David took time to listen to counsel.
Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean that you can’t listen to advice.
When you find yourself in a position where you are the one who is going to make the decision (like being a king), you still need to listen to advice.
We would be foolish if we didn’t pay attention to good advice.
(Prov 12:15 KJV) The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
(Eccl 5:1 KJV)  Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

The fool doesn’t stop and think, “Hey, maybe I’ve done something wrong”.

Note: David went to leaders to ask advice.  He went to other people who were experienced in making decisions.
I think there are a lot of people in our lives that we can draw upon for wisdom.  Professional Christian counselors are fine. Parents are good.  Look to people who display God’s wisdom.
It is good to get counsel from several viewpoints, from several counselors
(Prov 11:14 KJV) Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
(Prov 15:22 KJV) Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
(Prov 20:18 KJV) Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
Yet not everything that will come out of these counseling sessions that David will have will be correct. Some of the decisions were good, some of them were bad.
If David made a mistake here, it was in that he didn’t also ask advice from the Lord.  Later he will correct his mistake by finding the answers in God’s Word.
(Prov 19:21 KJV)  There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Does God’s Word say something about your situation?

:3 let us bring again the ark …

Saul seemed to be resistant to the things that God wanted to do. David wants to change all that.  What David wants is a good thing.  What David wants is the right thing.

:5 from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hamath,

From the farthest south to the farthest in the north.

:7 they carried the ark of God in a new cart

It seems kind of harmless, putting the Ark on a cart. Yet it will cause great trouble.

Where did they get the idea of putting the Ark on a cart?

The last time someone moved the Ark, about a 100 years ago, the Philistines had put it on an oxcart (1Sam. 6).  The problem is, God designed the Ark to be carried by men, not pulled by oxen.


Now that I’m king … Do the right things the right way

It’s not just important to do the right thing, but sometimes it’s also important how we do it.
For example – take the laundry – it’s important to do the laundry, but sometimes it’s also important how you do the laundry:
Copyright 2000 W. Bruce Cameron http://www.wbrucecameron.com
As usual, I’m the one who was blamed for the recent family crisis, even though, as readers of this column well know, I am a sensitive and humble husband who is right pretty much 100 percent of the time. I do admit that when it comes to the system that runs the laundry at the Cameron house, I have been a tad...oblivious. By “system” I mean, of course, my wife, who takes care of washing clothes for the rest of us without complaint—until recently, as you will soon see. My oldest daughter has never mastered the tricky mechanism required to open and shut her dresser drawers, with the result that her clean laundry winds up right where my wife has stacked it—on the bed, where it tips onto the floor and mingles with the dirty clothes residing there. “I have nothing to wear!” she’ll shriek every once in awhile, despite the fact that she is standing ankle deep in her entire wardrobe. When I get tired of this ransacked condition and advise her she can’t go to a friend’s party until her room is cleaned up, ignoring her claim that “these are the most important people in my life I PROMISED I’d be there,” she’ll take care of the problem by gathering up everything and trucking it down to the laundry room, even if my wife just washed it that very day. For my youngest daughter, the issue is the competency of the laundress. “I told you that this blouse has to be washed separately,” she’ll scold. “You’re supposed to soak it in rain water and then dry it with cotton balls!” Apparently everything she owns was hand-sewn by movie stars out of butterfly silk, and my wife is constantly “ruining” things by not treating them with gentle cycles and soft murmurs. My son never gripes about clothes—as far as he is concerned, the laundry area could be converted into a video game room. He generally wears the same outfit until it becomes toxic; the EPA has been to our house twice to see if his clothing should be awarded Superfund status. Often, peering at the condition of his attire, I realize he has more dirt on him than I have in my yard. Cleaning his apparel causes the washing machine to make a grinding, gritty noise, as if sand has gotten into the bearings. Against all this, my complaint seems a pretty mild irritant: I’ve begun noticing that whatever wash cycle she is employing, my wife is causing my pants to shrink around the waist. “You’re shrinking them so bad, I can barely button them,” I grumble. “Look at this!” She regards me wearily. “Those are new pants. I haven’t even washed them yet,” she advises. “What’s your point?” I demand. Sometimes she can’t seem to stay focused. “Meaning, I couldn’t have done anything to shrink them. They came like that.” “Defective trousers?” I sputter. How much more am I supposed to endure? She pokes me lightly in the stomach. “No, they’re the right size,” she claims. “So you did shrink them!” I accuse. Now, even though all I am doing is serving in my prosecutorial capacity as the man of the family, she completely over-reacts. “You know what? You’re right. I must not know what I am doing. So from now on, everyone in the family has to wash their own clothes. I am through doing laundry!” At first I believe this is a bluff. Each of us have our family responsibilities, after all—for her not to take care of the clothes would be like me no longer bothering to decide what we will watch on television. But when, after a few days, it becomes apparent that she has no intention of calling off her unauthorized labor action, I summon the children for an emergency session of arguing over who should take over laundry duties. We decide on a system based on blame and denial. This leads to a minor disaster in which everyone’s clothing somehow becomes pink, and a demand from my children, “How are you going to get Mom back in the laundry business?” I don’t know, but I suspect it will involve a lot of chocolate.

The Cameron Column, a free Internet newsletter; copyright W. Bruce Cameron 2000

God isn’t just concerned that we do the right things.
He is also concerned how we do it and why we do it.
Paul wrote,
(1 Cor 13:1-3 NLT) If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. {2} If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. {3} If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.

God is concerned that all we do is done in love.  If we don’t do things in love, they are worthless.

Is there an issue in your life of doing the “right thing”?
God is concerned with how you do it and why you do it.

(Prov 12:18 NASB)  There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing.

It’s not just what you say, but how you say it that counts.

:10 anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza

Why? Because he, being a sinner, put his hand on the Ark, which was holy.

One commentator wrote (K&D) - “he had no idea of the unapproachable holiness of the ark of God, and had to expiate his offense with his life, as a warning to all the Israelites.”

You might ask me, “Well, would it have been better if Uzza had let the ark fall off?”

Actually Uzza was in a “no-win” situation. The problem started long before the cart started to wobble.  The moment they put the ark on an oxcart, they were headed for trouble.


Now that I’m king … Respect God’s Holiness

Holiness is that quality about God describing His absolute purity, glory, power, and absence of sin.
Lev.9:22 - 10:3 Nadab and Abihu. The tabernacle had just been set up, God sent fire upon the sacrifice, and Nadab and Abihu thought they as priests needed to be doing something. They rushed into the Holy of Holies to offer some kind of unprescribed incense, and were killed instantly.  They were out of order.
We will find that the closer we get to God, to more we realize that we aren’t like Him at all.
We down here on earth really have no idea what it is to be holy. It's getting so bad, that people now even have the gall to say that man is basically good.
The difference between us and God in holiness:
It's like being invited to a dinner party. You open the door and every body is dressed extremely formally. You think you're at a fashion show. Then you look at yourself and realize that you wore your dirty overalls and are covered with grease and dirt from changing your car's oil that afternoon, you're filthy, slimy, and you stink.
Jesus told a story about this:
(Mat 22:2-14 KJV)  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, {3} And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. {4} Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. {5} But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: {6} And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. {7} But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. {8} Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. {9} Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. {10} So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. {11} And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: {12} And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. {13} Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. {14} For many are called, but few are chosen.
God is going to have a wedding feast one day.  You’ll have to be dressed appropriately to get in the door.  If you are counting on wearing what you have on right now, you’re going to have a problem. 
You need new clothes.  You need new clothes that have been washed correctly, by someone who knows how to do the laundry.  The Bible tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, He paid for our sins and made it possible for us to be clean. The Bible tells us that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

It’s only with Jesus that we have the right clothes for God’s wedding feast.

:11 David was displeased

NASB - "David became angry"


Now that I’m king … Don’t be angry at what you don’t understand

It’s funny how we can get angry with God when things go wrong, when the actual fault doesn’t lie with God, but in us because we are being disobedient.
David was angry at God for Uzzah dying, yet David actually owned part of the blame because he has been moving the Ark improperly.
Sometimes anger comes not just because we don’t understand what God is doing, but because we don’t take time to understand each other.
(Prov 18:13 KJV) He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
Be careful not to overreact and do something stupid.
A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head. “The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: ‘My friend is dead! What can I do?’ “The operator, in a calm, soothing voice, says: ‘Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.’ “There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy’s voice comes back on the line. He says: ‘OK, now what?’
I think we ought to be careful that we don’t end up shooting each other, especially if we’ve misunderstood each other.
A king needs to learn to understand. It will take David three months, but he will find out that they made a mistake in trying to move the Ark by oxcart.

:13 David brought not the ark home to himself


Now that I’m king … Don’t let difficult times drive you away from the Lord.

We can get discouraged, but we need to keep pressing on.
David’s desire had been to bring the Ark home so he could be closer to God, and now he is temporarily abandoning that hope.

:14 the LORD blessed the house of Obededom,

Obed-edom was a Levite, from the family of Korah, whose responsibility it was to take care of the ark of the covenant. (1Chron.26:4)

The parallel passage states:

(2 Sam 6:11 KJV) And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.

Just how did God bless Obededom? How could David tell that God had blessed him?

(1 Chr 26:4-5 KJV) Moreover the sons of Obededom were, Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth, {5} Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him.
God blessed Obededom with lots of kids.  I wonder if Obededom’s wife and daughters-in-law didn’t all become pregnant while the Ark was at his house.


Now that I’m king … Let God bless you!

Sometimes we can get a little frightened with the power of God. Sometimes we go through difficult times and can think, “If this is what I get for following the Lord, I’m not sure I’m going to do this!”
Beloved, it is the right thing to follow the Lord.
There are great blessings in following the Lord.
Jesus said,
(John 10:10 KJV)  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
We had a wedding yesterday.  It was a wonderful time.  There was even a wedding feast filled with guests who were dressed for the occasion.
But it all started last May when a guy named Caleb asked a gal named Kim to marry him.  He was in love.  He wanted her to be with him forever.  After he asked her, she responded by saying, “Yes”.
Jesus is in love with you.  He wants you to live with Him forever.  He wants you to come to His wedding feast.  Will you say “Yes”?

Now that I’m king … I realize that there is another King.  He invites me to come and follow Him.