SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- After the failed attempt to transport the ark (which we see in 1 Chronicles 13), David seeks to do it correctly this time. He has the Levites carry it (see verse 2) on their shoulders with poles (verse 15), which is what God had instructed long ago.
- Before carrying the ark the priests "purified" themselves (verse 12). To purify means "to separate." The priests would seek to separate themselves from sin and to cleanse themselves (literally and symbolically) by washing themselves and their clothing in a special ceremony (see Numbers 8:5-8).
- David put a great musical procession (see verses 16-24) in place to accompany transporting the ark. We see the significance they placed on praising God with music and singing.
- As the ark entered Jerusalem, David and many other joyfully celebrated with music and dancing (verses 27-28). David's wife (Michal) saw this and judged them. What matters is not what Michal thought of their worship, but what God thought.
- A word that might describe what we see in this chapter is intensity, especially when it comes to worshipping God. The priests need to move the ark for God, so they take time to purify themselves. When the ark is moved for God, it's accompanied by a parade of singers and musicians. As it's moved, people dance and worship with joy.
- We don't know why David had the ark moved in an incorrect manner the first time, perhaps he was unaware or maybe he knew but didn't care. What we do know, and learn again from this incident, is that it is never acceptable to disobey God. David corrects himself here, and the result is much better for everyone.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Could the word intensity be used to describe your approach to worshipping God? Do you prepare yourself when you're going to be serving God, or before you go to church or group? When you serve Him, or sing to Him, do you do it with all your heart, or is your heart not really in it? When you read the Bible do you try to focus intensely, or is your mind on other things? What if you, knowing God is totally worthy, choose, right now, to love Him with all you are and all you have, and decide to be intense in your worship of Him? That might seem challenging, so ask God to help you with it.