Archive for the 'The Old Testament' Category

1 Chronicles Chapter 23

Solomon was the son of king David and his wife, Bathsheba. He was raised knowing that he was chosen to follow David. He was prepared from a young age, to build the temple of the Lord. He was taught to walk in the ways of God. David made it his purpose to prepared Solomon as much as possible before he, David, was too old or died. This chapter begins with the following:

1 So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel.
2 And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites.
3 Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand.
4 Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the Lord; and six thousand were officers and judges:
5 Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.
6 And David divided them into courses among the sons of Levi, namely, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

When David was very old in age and he knew he would not live much longer, he made Solomon king of Israel. (see also 1 Kings 1) He gathered the princes, priests and Levites. Those levites who were of the age to serve in the work of the Lord, totaled 38,000. 24,000 of those men were appointed to work with the house of the Lord. This left 6,000 as officers and judges, 4,000 as porters, and 4,000 as musicians to praise the Lord with instruments commissioned by David. David divided the sons of Levi into the groups based on the patriarchs of the Levites, which were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. The work of the Lord is best done, with order and purpose. Throughout the history of the gospel, those who served in the priesthood have been organized into groups to better serve the Lord, just as David divided the men at this time.

David had a history of making music an important part of his life and of worship. When he was young, he played for Saul. Several times in the description of his rule, music is mentioned as a part of praise to the Lord. Music is an amazing tool for expressing the feelings of the heart, and for inviting the spirit of the Lord. In Doctrine and Covenants 136:28 we read, “If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.” It should not be a surprise that many musicians were given the duty or calling of playing in the tabernacle and temple of the Lord.

7 Of the Gershonites were, Laadan, and Shimei.
8 The sons of Laadan; the chief was Jehiel, and Zetham, and Joel, three.
9 The sons of Shimei; Shelomith, and Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the chief of the fathers of Laadan.
10 And the sons of Shimei were, Jahath, Zina, and Jeush, and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei.
11 And Jahath was the chief, and Zizah the second: but Jeush and Beriah had not many sons; therefore they were in one reckoning, according to their father’s house.

All those belonging to the Gershonites were the family of Ladan and Shimei. The sons of Ladan, were Jehiel, their leader, Zetham and Joel. The sons of Shimei, were Shelomith, Haziel, and Haran as leaders; and Jahath, who was chief, Zina (Zizah), Jeush, and Beriah.

12 The sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, four.
13 The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever.
14 Now concerning Moses the man of God, his sons were named of the tribe of Levi.
15 The sons of Moses were, Gershom, and Eliezer.
16 Of the sons of Gershom, Shebuel was the chief.
17 And the sons of Eliezer were, Rehabiah the chief. And Eliezer had none other sons; but the sons of Rehabiah were very many.
18 Of the sons of Izhar; Shelomith the chief.
19 Of the sons of Hebron; Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth.
20 Of the sons of Uzziel; Michah the first, and Jesiah the second.

The sons of Kohath, the second son of Levi, included Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Amram was the father of Aaron, the spokesman for his brother, Moses. Aaron was singled out, or rather set apart, to be over the most holy things in the house of the Lord, including burning incense and ministering to the Lord. The sons of Aaron, were those who served with the priesthood. The men of the family of the Levites, assisted the sons of Aaron. Moses was the father of Gershom and Eliezer. Gershom was the father of Shebuel, who was the leader. Eliezar was the father of Rehabiah only. Rehabiah had many sons. The second son of Kohath, Izhar, was the father of Shelomith. The third son, Hebron, was the father of Jeriah, Amariah, Jahaziel and Jekameon. Finally, the forth son, Uzziel, was the father of Michah and Jesiah.

21 The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. The sons of Mahli; Eleazar, and Kish.
22 And Eleazar died, and had no sons, but daughters: and their brethren the sons of Kish took them.
23 The sons of Mushi; Mahli, and Eder, and Jeremoth, three.

Finally, the sons of Merari, youngest son of Levi, were Mahli and Mushi. Mahli was he father of Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar died without having any sons, but did have daughters who married the sons of Kish. Mushi was the father of Mahli, Eder and Jeremoth.

24 These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and upward.
25 For David said, The Lord God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever:
26 And also unto the Levites; they shall no more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof.
27 For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above:
28 Because their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God;
29 Both for the shewbread, and for the fine flour for meat offering, and for the unleavened cakes, and for that which is baked in the pan, and for that which is fried, and for all manner of measure and size;
30 And to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even;
31 And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the Lord in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the Lord:
32 And that they should keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brethren, in the service of the house of the Lord.

This listing was those who were called to serve with the temple as soon as they came of age. David told the people that God had given rest to those who lived in Jerusalem and with the building of the temple, the Levites would not have to carry the tabernacle any longer. Some of the responsibilities of the Levites included serving in the courts and chambers of the temple, purifying the holy things, taking care of the shewbread, flour for the offerings, and all the unleavened cakes. They were tasked with expressing thanks to the Lord both morning and night, offering burnt sacrifices at all the times required by the Lord. They were also in charge of the tabernacle of the congregation and the holy place. They were to help the sons of Aaron with their duties of the priesthood, as they served the Lord.

The work of the temple is such an important duty, that an entire tribe of Israel was set apart for it. That duty continued from the tabernacle established by the Lord, to the temple that Solomon was to build during his reign. Temples have been important from ancient times, as designated places of worship and making covenants with the Lord. This work continues to be an important duty today in the temples that dot the earth. I am sure that all those who have served in the temples, in any capacity they were called to serve, have been greatly blessed for their service.

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1 Chronicles Chapter 22

The children of Israel had been instructed to create the tabernacle as the place of worship, which could be moved as they traveled in the wilderness. Now that they were established in the promised land, David had the desire to build a house of the Lord, or a temple, for a more permanent place to worship God. When he had prepared to do this, the Lord had instructed him, that he was not to be the one who would build it, but that one of his children would be given that responsibility. In the meantime, David had been working to protect Israel from their enemies and other nations around them. This chapter begins:

1 Then David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel.
2 And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.
3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight;
4 Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.
5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.

As David grew older, he felt the continued desire for a permanent house of the Lord. He may not have been given the specific charge to build it, but he wanted to do all that he could to make the preparations for it during his life, especially since Solomon was still so young. He gathered laborers from the bondsmen and found masons to begin preparing the stones for it. He had iron nails made, which would fasten the gate doors and such. Then, he had brass gathered and trees of cedar brought from the Zidonians and Tyre. The Zidonians were known for there work with timber (see 1 Kings 5:6). David wanted the temple to be grand and glorious, so that it would be known throughout all the nations.

6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the Lord God of Israel.
7 And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God:
8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
11 Now, my son, the Lord be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as he hath said of thee.
12 Only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the Lord thy God.
13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.
14 Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.
15 Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.
16 Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.

David gave a charge to his son, Solomon, that he was to build the house of the Lord. He told Solomon of his desire to build the temple, and of the Lord’s instructions against it. It teaches in these verses that David was given the reason for the Lord refusing his desires to build it. David had been a force of a lot of destruction among men, and because he had killed many people, he was not worthy of or possibly prepared for the task of building it. David told Solomon that the Lord had told him he would have a son called Solomon, who would have peace from their enemies and be prepared for the task of building it. Solomon would be blessed by the Lord as the ruler of Israel. David tells Solomon to build the temple as the Lord commands him, that the Lord would be with him and prosper him. David desired for Solomon to be blessed with wisdom and understanding, and to continue faithful in keeping the laws of God. He teaches Solomon that he would prosper if he would follow all the statutes and judgments which were given to Moses. He also told him to be strong and have courage, and to be not dismayed. Solomon was told that David had prepared gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone for the building of the temple, along with laborers and artisans, who could help him in this work.

17 David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying,
18 Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the Lord, and before his people.
19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.

Moreover, David commanded the princes of Israel to help Solomon in building the temple. He reminded them that the Lord had preserved them from all of their enemies, giving them peace and subduing the land for them. In response, they were given the duty to seek the Lord in their gratitude, by building the temple and relocating the ark and other vessels of God there, which were in the tabernacle at Gibeon during this time.

The house of the Lord that David desired to build was to be a holy place from the first stone to the last. David had lived a life that was not prepared for this. His son, Solomon, would be prepared from his youth. David recognized this as the will of the Lord, but he did not turn from the idea. Instead, he devoted time in the remainder of his days, to do all he could and prepare for his son to be able to build this holy house. This is an example of being a good parent. We should seek to prepare our own children for the service they will have the opportunity to give. The temples built in our day are every bit as holy and sacred as the temple that Solomon built. They are dedicated places for the spirit of the Lord to dwell. It is our responsibility to be worthy in our own building of these temples, and then to continue to be worthy when we serve in them. I am so grateful for temples and for the eternal significance of the teachings and sacred ordinances and covenants performed in them.

1 Chronicles Chapter 21

David had been chosen by the Lord and then prepared to become the king of Israel. The Lord had given rules and instruction to the kings, so that they could receive his blessing and continued guidance in leading the children of Israel. One of the instructions given, was that Israel was only to be numbered according to the commandment of the Lord. Numbering the people, was much like performing a census for today and it did things such as counting the number of men who would go to war for Israel. The kings of other nations would number the people whenever they desired. This chapter begins:

1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.
3 And Joab answered, The Lord make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?
4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.

Satan tempted David to number Israel, which he did in his weakness. Joab and the rulers over the people were instructed to do it and report back to him. Joab, who knew the Lord would make so much more of the people then the number they were, asked why David would go against the Lord in this thing. Nonetheless, David’s command won out and Joab went and numbered the people as he had been told to do. When he was done, he returned to Jerusalem. (see also 2 Samuel 24)

5 And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.
6 But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.
7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.
8 And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

Joab reported to David and the men who could bear arms totaled something like 1,100,000 men in Israel and 470,000 men in Judah. (This number is different then listed in 2 Samuel 24.) Joab found his duties were abominable, so he did not include the count for Levi or Benjamin. As a result of the numbering, God smote Israel. David recognized his sin against God and begged to be forgiven by the Lord.

9 And the Lord spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying,
10 Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
11 So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Choose thee
12 Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the Lord, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.
13 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.

David had a seer named Gad, whom the Lord spoke to with a message for David. David was given a choice between three consequences for his sin. First, three years of famine (seven years according to 2 Samuel), second, three months of their enemies being allowed to over take them, or third, three days of fighting with the sword through all the land of Israel. Gad told David to think about it and tell him what he should tell the Lord. David knew he was in a difficult situation and he knew that the Lord could be merciful to him, so he asked to be dealt with by the Lord and not by the hands of men.

14 So the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.
17 And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.

The Lord allowed pestilence to effect the land of Israel, and they lost 70,000 of their men. An angel was sent by the Lord, to destroy Jerusalem, and when he saw that their was sincere repentance in Jerusalem, the angel was stopped. (see also Joseph Smith Translation 1 Chronicles 21) David saw the angel near the land of Ornan the Jebusite, with his sword prepared to destroy Jerusalem. (Side note: Jebus was the ancient name of Jerusalem, so a Jebusite was likely one who natively lived in Jerusalem.) David and the elders of Israel, who were in mourning, fell down upon their faces. David recognized that the sin was upon him, for his commandment to number the people, and he prayed for the Lord to punish him and his family, not the people of Israel.

18 Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
19 And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the Lord.
20 And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.
21 And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.
22 Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.
23 And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.
24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
26 And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
27 And the Lord commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.

The angel gave instruction to Gad, to tell David that he was set up an altar to the Lord in the land belonging to Ornan. David went as instructed. Ornan and his four sons were working on his threshingfloor. The sons saw the angel and hid, while Ornan had his back turned and was working with his wheat. Ornan saw David approaching and left his work to meet him. Ornan bowed to the ground. David requested the use of Ornan’s threshingfloor to build an altar to the Lord. He would buy it at full price and hopefully the Lord would then have mercy on the people of Isreal. Ornan offered the place to David as well as oxen for a burnt offering, tools to prepared the wood and wheat to go along with the meat offereing, without asking for a price. Daivd told him he would pay him full price for it, because it was to belong to the Lord and not to David himself. He paid Ornan and did as he had been instructed in building an altar. David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings as he prayed to the Lord. The Lord responded with fire upon the altar. In accepting the offering, the Lord commanded that the angel put away his sword against Israel. (As a side note: This location would be the future site of the temple built by Solomon – see 2 Chronicles 3:2.)

28 At that time when David saw that the Lord had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.
29 For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.
30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

David made a sacrifice upon the altar when he saw that his prayer had been answered. He did it at the threshingfloor of Ornan because the tabernacle of the Lord was quite a distance away in Gibeon (about five miles north of Jerusalem). David was not willing to go there, in the presence of the Lord, for fear of the destruction of the angel of the Lord.

The events of this chapter occurred after David had committed great sins against the Lord. It is likely that David was not living in a way that would have allowed for the spirit to be as strong of an influence to him. In this state, David had allowed himself to be tempted by the adversary to do those things that he knew were against the statutes of the Lord. He may have justified his need to know the number of men who would go to battle for Israel, but the army of Israel was not to be handled this way according to the ways of the Lord. After the consequences came upon the people of Israel, David recognized the error of his ways. David saw this and desired to take the punishment upon himself. When we make bad choices, the consequences often times effect the lives of those around us. This can be hard to witness when we finally step away from our own selfish desires, especially with those we love. It is far better for us to think of what may result from our choices before we do something we would regret. David sought the Lord’s forgiveness through his own repentance and sacrifices to the Lord. He was forgiven and the plague of destruction was stopped from being upon others in Jerusalem. No matter how far we turn from the Lord, He will always be there to accept us when we repent and return to him.

1 Chronicles Chapter 20

At this point, the host of Ammonites, which fought against the Israelites, had been defeated and no longer had the help of the Syrians in their fight. There was a time of peace between the two nations. This chapter continues with the following:

1 And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.
2 And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David’s head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.
3 And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

A year passed, and when the time came for the king to lead his people to battle, he sent Joab to lead his army against the children of Ammon. Joab surrounded Rabbah, a chief Ammonite city, and destroyed it, while David stayed in Jerusalem. David removed the crown from the king of the Ammonites. He took the crown for himself because of its gold and jewels, and then took a lot of goods from them. He had the people of Ammon cruelly destroyed in all of their cities, and then returned with his army to Jerusalem. (see also 2 Samuel 11)

4 And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, that was of the children of the giant: and they were subdued.
5 And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver’s beam.
6 And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot: and he also was the son of the giant.
7 But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David’s brother slew him.
8 These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

Then, the Philistines came to war against Israel at Gezer. The Philistines were subdued, when Sibbechai, the Hushathite, killed Sippai, of the Philistine giants. They fought again, and Elhanan killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath. Again, they fought with the Philistines at Gath, a previous place of refuge for David. The fight included the son of a giant, with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. Jonathan, David’s nephew, killed the Philistine giant. And so, Israel had defeated the Philistines. (see also 2 Samuel 21)

David continued to show that he was a king who could lead his men to protect Israel from their enemies. Sadly, at this time he made some awful choices that led him to be without the spirit of the Lord. It could have been avoided if he had chosen to physically lead his men into battle as was the tradition of the king, rather than allowing Joab to do it for him. In many things, however, David was a good leader for Israel and they were blessed during his reign.

1 Chronicles Chapter 19

David had been successful in subduing his enemies and bringing peace to his reign in Israel. He was a strong force in battle and the Lord was on his side. Among those nations, was the nation of the children of Ammon. When Saul had been king, fighting occurred between Israel and the Ammonites, and Saul had defeated them. Nahash, the king of the Ammonites, then had peace with Israel. This is the state of the matter, when David took over as king of Israel. The chapter begins:

1 Now it came to pass after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his stead.
2 And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him.
3 But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land?
4 Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved them, and cut off their garments in the midst hard by their buttocks, and sent them away.
5 Then there went certain, and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them: for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

When Nahash died, his son Hanun became king of the children of Ammon. David determined to maintain peace with their nation, as he felt kindness had been shown to him by Nahash. David sent messengers to Hanun to comfort him while mourning the death of his father. The princes of Hanun convinced him that David was deceiving him and was actually sending spies to see how they could overthrow his kingdom. Rather then accepting the messengers of David with gratitude, Hanun abused them, shaved and shamed them, and sent them away. Others went and told David what had happened to his messengers, and David sent for them. They were ashamed of what had happened. As an Israelite, having beards was important to their faith. David told them to stay in Jericho until their hair had grown back, and then return to him.

6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Syria-maachah, and out of Zobah.
7 So they hired thirty and two thousand chariots, and the king of Maachah and his people; who came and pitched before Medeba. And the children of Ammon gathered themselves together from their cities, and came to battle.
8 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.
9 And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array before the gate of the city: and the kings that were come were by themselves in the field.
10 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose out of all the choice of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians.
11 And the rest of the people he delivered unto the hand of Abishai his brother, and they set themselves in array against the children of Ammon.
12 And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will help thee.
13 Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.
14 So Joab and the people that were with him drew nigh before the Syrians unto the battle; and they fled before him.
15 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother, and entered into the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

Knowing they were now repulsive to David, Hanun began to prepared for war against them near Medeba, hiring 32,000 chariots and horsemen, and gathering with king of the Syrian kingdom of Maachah, and his men. David sent Joab and the army of Israel’s mighty men to fight. The greatest were placed in fighting positions against the Syrians, while the rest of the men were placed under the charge of Abishai against the Ammonites. Joab made plans that if either was finding their enemies to be to strong, they were to be helped by the other. When Joab and his men were ready to fight, the Syrians fled. When the Ammonites saw them run away, they also fled from Abishai. Joab returned to Jerusalem.

16 And when the Syrians saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they sent messengers, and drew forth the Syrians that were beyond the river: and Shophach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.
17 And it was told David; and he gathered all Israel, and passed over Jordan, and came upon them, and set the battle in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him.
18 But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host.
19 And when the servants of Hadarezer saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they made peace with David, and became his servants: neither would the Syrians help the children of Ammon any more.

The Syrians saw their failures, they sent messengers to gather their armies with the armies of Hadarezer under captain Shophach. David was informed, so he gathered his armies and went against them. They fought, some of the Syrians fled, but David and the host of Israel killed 7,000 Syrains with chariots, 40,000 of the footment, as well as Shophach. The people of Hadarezer gave in to defeat and made peace with David. The men of Hadarezer became the servants of Israel and decided they were no longer going to fight along with the Ammonites.

The Israelites were truly blessed to have the Lord on their side when they were led by the faithful. David and his armies were able to bring peace to Israel with the strength of the Lord. A lesson from this is that our enemies can be stirred up against us at any time, even when we feel that we have peace in our lives. This happens especially when Satan tempts men with pride and power, as he did with Hanun and his princes. Our trust in God and His plan, expressed by our willingness to keep the commandments, will keep us worthy of his help with any adversity in our lives.

1 Chronicles Chapter 18

David came into power in Israel, when the nation was fighting against many enemies in the nations around them. He was a strong man at this time, who had proven himself mighty in battle and as a strong leader. As the king of Israel, he had a responsibility to protect and build the nation, with the guidance and help of God. This chapter begins with the following:

1 Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hand of the Philistines.
2 And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts.

David had thought to have his mind set on building a house to the Lord, or a temple, but now that he had been told that this was not to be his responsibility or privilege, he turned his attention to subduing the Philistines and the Moabites. Gath, birthplace of Goliath and a place that had been a refuge for David, was taken by Israel. The Moabites became servants to the Israelites, and paid tribute to David.

3 And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates.
4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.
5 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.
6 Then David put garrisons in Syria-damascus; and the Syrians became David’s servants, and brought gifts. Thus the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went.
7 And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadarezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.
8 Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun, cities of Hadarezer, brought David very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brasen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.

David continued to fight against the ruler of Zobah, Hadarezer. He killed him and took chariots, horsemen and footmen. He rendered all of the chariot horses useless.
The Syrians had joined with Hadarezer, and David led his men to kill 22,000 of them. The Syrians lost to David and were compelled to pay tribute to him. This was all done by the hand of the Lord. David took treasures of the men and cities of Hadarezer, which would eventually be used to make parts of the temple built by Solomon.

9 Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah;
10 He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to inquire of his welfare, and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer, and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.

Gifts of gold, silver and brass were sent to David by the king of Hamath, who had fought against Hadarezer himself. Tou became a friend to David.

11 Them also king David dedicated unto the Lord, with the silver and the gold that he brought from all these nations; from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek.
12 Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt eighteen thousand.

David took the gifts and dedicated them to the Lord, along with all the treasures taken from their enemies. Additionally, thousands of the Edomites were killed by Abishai.

13 And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David’s servants. Thus the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went.

Soldiers were placed in Edom and the people there became the servants of David. By the hand of the Lord, David had victory over all his adversaries.

14 So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people.
15 And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, recorder.
16 And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Shavsha was scribe;
17 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the king.

David reigned with justice over the people of Israel. Joab, David’s nephew, was the leader of the armies of Israel. Jehoshaphat was the recorder (or keeper of the state chronicles according to the Bible Dictionary), Zadok and Abimelech were the priests, and Shavsha was the scribe. Benaiah was placed over the Cherethites and Pelethites. The sons of David were second in the leadership of the people.

The Lord had promised the Israelites that they would be a mighty nation who would be protected from their enemies, if they would be faithful to him. David was serving as a faithful king and was blessed for it. The Lord continually blesses those faithful to him and will deliver them from their enemies time and time again. We may not face physical enemies as great as entire nations, but we all face a common enemy to our spirits. The blessing for the faithful, is that the Lord will deliver us from the adversary and his host, which is a far greater gift to receive.

1 Chronicles Chapter 17

David had moved the ark of the covenant and had called men of the priesthood to serve in the tabernacle and with the ark. The manner of worshipping the Lord had not been strictly according to what the Lord had commanded the Israelites when they entered the promised land. David was seeking to set things right, or to put things in order. David was devoted to the Lord and it seems that he knew that they would be a better nation if they worshipped the Lord properly. This chapter begins with the following:

1 Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remaineth under curtains.
2 Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.

David felt that he was living well in the home built for the king, but that the ark of the covenant needed a permanent home as well. He consulted with the prophet Nathan, who told him that the Lord would be with David as he went forward with his plans.

3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:
5 For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.
6 Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?
7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
8 And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,
10 And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house.

However, the word of the Lord came to Nathan that night and told him to tell David that he was not to build the temple. The Lord made it clear that the tabernacle was designed for its purposes and that it would suffice. The Lord had never asked the Israelites to build a house to him. The Lord told Nathan to remind David that he had been raised by the Lord to be the king, and that the Lord had been with him, protecting him and causing him to become a mighty man. The people of Israel had been given their place to dwell and the promise of their safety continued.

The prophets were and continue to be blessed with the Lord’s trust. When Nathan told David to go ahead, it was not the wrong thing to do. The Lord trusts those who lead his people, to make wise decisions, but if or when those things are not what the Lord would have his people do, He will make his will known to His prophet, as he did with Nathan. (see also 2 Samuel 7)

11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.
13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:
14 But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.
15 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

Once David was ready to pass away, his son would have the kingdom of Israel, and would then build a house for the Lord. The son would be blessed with the throne and with the blessings and mercy of God.

16 And David the king came and sat before the Lord, and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
17 And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God; for thou hast also spoken of thy servant’s house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O Lord God.
18 What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.
19 O Lord, for thy servant’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness, in making known all these great things.
20 O Lord, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
21 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?
22 For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, Lord, becamest their God.
23 Therefore now, Lord, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said.
24 Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.
25 For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee.
26 And now, Lord, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
27 Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O Lord, and it shall be blessed for ever.

David praises the Lord for blessing him and his house in raising him up to be the king and allowing his posterity to rule. Additionally, David was blessed to have these things revealed to him by the mouth of the prophet. David recognized that the Lord is the only true and living God, and that the nation of Israel was greatly blessed to be His people. The Lord had removed other nations for them, after delivering them from the land of Egypt. David was willing to do according to the will of the Lord for the blessings of the Lord to be with his family.

It would be such a blessing and honor to have the Lord tell me that my children and their families would be blessed after my time. What a sweet comfort that would be. David’s desire to build a temple, was sincere and a show of his devotion and love for the Lord. However, the Lord will do His work in His own time, and this work was not to be in the days of David. David would still be blessed for his desire to do good, even though he was not given the honor of building the temple. In meekness, David accepted that his son would be the one to do that work. He was a good king, who recognized that the honors belonged to God and those to whom God wanted to bless. Good and faithful people, should seek to have meekness as David did at this time. Even though we know we are capable of doing good, even great things, it is better to recognize when we should allow someone else the opportunity to learn, grow and be blessed by doing them. With meekness, all involved are uplifted and blessed.

1 Chronicles Chapter 16

King David prepared the people to move the ark back to its resting place in Jerusalem. The Levites had carried the ark and they did so with praises to the Lord. David, himself, was among those who traveled with them. This chapter continues with the following:

1 So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God.
2 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.
3 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.

The ark was placed in the tent which David had prepared for it. The people offered sacrifices to God. David made an offering and then blessed the people. He gave everyone a loaf of bread, meat and wine.

4 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:
5 Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-edom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals;
6 Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.

Certain men were given the call to serve as ministers before the ark, to keep records, and to give praises to God. Among those called, were Asaph (the choir leader), Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom (also a door keeper), and Jeiel as musicians with harps and cymbals. Additionally, Benaiah and Jahaziel, the priests, were assigned to play trumpets continually before the ark.

7 Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.
8 Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.
10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
11 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
13 O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
14 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;
16 Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;
17 And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,
18 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;
19 When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it.
20 And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people;
21 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,
22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
23 Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.
24 Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.
25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
28 Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.
29 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.
32 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.
33 Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth.
34 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
36 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.

Then, David delivered a psalm of thanksgiving to the those he assigned to play. It praised the Lord. It was a message to the children of Israel, to continue in thanksgiving to the Lord, to pray to him and to let all know of the wondrous works of God. It spoke of singing to the Lord and to glory and rejoice in seeking after him and his strength continually. It called for the people to remember the covenants and commandments of the Lord to their ancestors, which were an everlasting covenant to Israel. The Lord had given them their lands of inheritance and had kept them safe from other kings and nations. It spoke of the greatness of the Lord, and that He should be known as the true god who created the heavens, while all other gods were idols. All people should glory the Lord and worship him. The Lord was to come to judge the earth, and the things of nature were to rejoice. And the faithful should always call upon God for their deliverance from the temptations of the world, and that they would not turn away from God. Those who heard the psalm praised the Lord.

37 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:
38 And Obed-edom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obed-edom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be porters:
39 And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon,
40 To offer burnt offerings unto the Lord upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the Lord, which he commanded Israel;
41 And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the Lord, because his mercy endureth for ever;
42 And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun were porters.
43 And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.

David left Asaph and his brethren to minister continually at the ark each day. Obed-edom and his 68 brethren were to be porters. Zadok and his brethren were to be the priests of the tabernacle in Gibeon, where they were to make burnt offerings to the Lord continually as the Lord had commanded. Heman, Jeduthun and the remaining who had been called by name, were to continue in praise to the Lord, along with those musicians who had been called. The sons of Jeduthun were called to be porters. Then David and all the people returned to their own homes.

I am sure that relocating the ark and calling men of the priesthood to attend to it continually, brought peace to the heart of David and those covenant people of Israel. Proper worship of the Lord, had been a message of the law of Moses and the teachings of Israel. Now, the people could return to a proper worship with the promised presence of the spirit of the Lord among them. There was great reason to give thanks to the Lord, to sacrifice and give offerings, and to praise with song and words. Likewise, when something is out of place in our own lives, and we have the wisdom and follow the promptings of the spirit to put it right, we also have great reason to do these same things–give thanks, sacrifice, give offerings, and praise. Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, have blessed us far beyond measure. We owe our every devotion and praise to God, for all that we have and all that we are.

1 Chronicles Chapter 15

In chapter 13 of Chronicles, David attempted to move the ark to Jerusalem, but after the incident with Uzza, who was destroyed for touching the ark, and out of concern for what may happen if they continued, he placed it in the house of Obed-edom. David’s intent to relocate the ark was not removed, and in this chapter the story relating to this continues. This chapter begins as follows:

1 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.
2 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.
3 And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord unto his place, which he had prepared for it.
4 And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:
5 Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:
6 Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:
7 Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty:
8 Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:
9 Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore:
10 Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.
11 And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,
12 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 I have prepared for it.
13 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.
14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel.

David took some time to prepare the city of David with his home and a resting place for the ark. He recognized that the Lord had called the Levites (in particular the sons of Kohath) to bear the ark of God, and so he called for them to be the only ones who should carry it. It is not stated directly, but it seems that Uzzah (who was destroyed for steadying the ark), may not have been a Levite given authority to touch sacred things, which would be part of the reason for the consequence he received. David may not have known the specific responsibilities defined by the Lord, but he had done what was needed to learn how God wanted this done, so that no one else would be harmed.

David gathered the Israelites together again, in order to finally move the ark to Jerusalem, where he had prepared a place for it. Specifically, David called upon the Levites and sons of Aaron. Among them were Uriel and 120 men of Kohath (the second son of Levi, in whose line were Moses and Aaron), Asaiah and 220 men of Merari, Joel and 130 men of Gershom, Shemaiah and 200 men of Elizaphan, Eliel and 80 men of Hebron (the Levitical city where Abraham was buried, which became the inheritance of Caleb, where David had reigned initially), and Amminadab and 112 men of Uzziel. He called for these six leaders along with Zadok (who officiated in the priesthood at Gibeon with the tabernacle) and Abiathar (who officiated at David’s camp), the priests, and commanded them to sanctify themselves and their men to bring the ark to Jerusalem. He told them that they had not been prepared properly the first time, and this is why the breach with Uzza had occurred. They needed to seek the Lord first and be prepared for this undertaking. The priests and Levites did as he commanded and sanctified or prepared themselves for the task of moving the ark of God.

It is so important for us to take the commandments of the Lord seriously and observe them with strictness. According to the words of David, the men who attempted to carry the ark the first time, had not done so. It is possible that the strict instructions of how to handle the ark had not been reviewed by Uzza, and so he had not realized what his choice would result in for himself or those who were with him. When we do things of a sacred nature, such as participating in sacred covenant making and renewing, we need to have our hearts turned to the Lord through our own sanctification, otherwise the consequences will be serious from our own offense to God. Before participating, we should prepare to administer or partake of the sacrament, and prepare to serve or make our own covenants in the temple of the Lord.

15 And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the Lord.
16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;
18 And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, the porters.
19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;
20 And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;
21 And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.
22 And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.
23 And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.
24 And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obed-edom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.

The Levites carried the ark as the Lord had instructed Moses to have them do. David asked that some of the Levites be called to sing and play music of joy. Heman, Asaph (cymbal player mentioned in Psalms), Ethan, Zechariah, Ben, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Matithiah, Elipheleh, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, were called. Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, carried brass cymbals. Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, Benaiah carried psalteries (large harps). Mattithiah, Elipheleh, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah carried the harps on the Sheminith. Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was called to lead the music because of his skill. Berechiah and Elkanah were called to be doorkeepers. Shebaniah, Jehoshaphat, Nethaneel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, were priests called to play trumpets before the ark. Finally, Obed-edom and Jehiah were called as doorkeepers for the ark.

Of all the people called to serve with the movement of the ark, the musicians are named specifically. This is a testimony to the importance of music in worshiping the Lord. Moreover, David was a skilled musician himself, and he knew the value of worshipping God through beautiful music.

25 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.
26 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.
27 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.
28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.

David, along with the elders of Israel and an army of thousands, went to the Obed-edom and took the ark of the covenant of the Lord. They did this with joy. The Levites that carried the ark, had offered a sacrifice of seven bulls and seven rams to the Lord. David dressed in fine clothes, along with all those involved in carrying the ark and providing the music. David wore the ephod of the priests. So, the ark was carried to the city of David with great joy and rejoicing.

29 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.

When the ark reached the city of David, Michal, who was the daughter of Saul and David’s first wife, saw David out of her window, and she despised him deeply.

So, David accomplished the thing he felt inspired to do, and did it according to the pattern the Lord had established. This is an example of good, righteous leadership. He knew this thing was something to honor and celebrate, and so he called for the musicians and made this time, one of joy and rejoicing. It was a huge blessing for the ark to be with the Israelites in the place designated for worshipping the Lord.

1 Chronicles Chapter 14

The reign of King David in Israel began with things such as attempting to relocate the ark of the covenant. It continued with those things found in this chapter. David had already made a well-known name for himself, by leading armies with great strength and having many victories over their enemies. Moreover, he had reigned in Judah for 7 1/2 years. Once he was anointed king of Israel, he and his family, including his two wives Ahinoam and Abigail, had relocated from Hebron to Jerusalem. This chapter begins with the following:

1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house.
2 And David perceived that the Lord had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel.

Workers from Tyre were sent along with messengers of the king, Hiram, who was a friend of King David. They brought cedar to build David a house in Jerusalem. David could tell that he was being blessed by the Lord and therefore knew his anointing as their king was confirmed by God.

3 And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more sons and daughters.
4 Now these are the names of his children which he had in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon,
5 And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpalet,
6 And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
7 And Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphalet.

David married more wives while in Jerusalem, in addition to his two wives from before becoming king of Israel. These wives bore him children, including Shammua (Shimea, of Bathsheba), Shobab (of Bathsheba), Nathan (of Bathsheba), Solomon (of Bathsheba and successor of David), Ibhar, Elishua, Elpalet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada (Eliada), and Eliphalet (Eliphelet). (see also 2 Samuel 5 and 1 Chronicles 3)

Modern revelation teaches that the wives were given to David in a manner acceptable by God, by a prophet of God called Nathan, except for the case of Bathsheba, who was the wife of Uriah (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:38-39). In our current times, this act of having multiple wives has, in His wisdom, not been considered acceptable to the Lord.

8 And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. And David heard of it, and went out against them.
9 And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
10 And David inquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand.
11 So they came up to Baal-perazim; and David smote them there. Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine hand like the breaking forth of waters: therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim.
12 And when they had left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.
13 And the Philistines yet again spread themselves abroad in the valley.
14 Therefore David inquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
15 And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.
16 David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer.
17 And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.

The Philistines heard of David’s anointing and decided to go after him. David went against them and found them spread about in the valley of Rephaim (the giants). David asked the Lord if he should fight the Philistines, and if he did, if the Lord would deliver them into his hands. This was something that had happened a number of times before, because David turned to the Lord for his strength. The Lord answered David and told him to go against them, because the Lord would deliver them into his hand. David led his men and they were victorious in Baal-perazim, recognizing that God had done this for him and his people (see also 2 Samuel 5:19-20). The idols that the Philistines had brought with them, were burned at David’s command. Once again, the Philistines were in the valley and David went to God again. However, this time, God told him not to go after them in that valley. Instead, he was to go to a place that had mulberry trees. Once he heard the sound of their going, or marching, from the tops of the trees, he was to take his army against them. This would be a sign that God had gone before them to destroy the Philistines. David followed the commandments of God, and they were able to defeat the Philistines (see also 2 Samuel 5:22-25). Then the fame of David spread to all the nations and others feared him.

The message of faith and trust in God rather than in the arm of the flesh, that is found in this story of David, is such a good example to us today. David had already shown that he was a skilled fighter and leader of armies. He had grown in these talents over the years and had been continually successful in it. However, he was meek in his own power and in humility, turned to the Lord for guidance, knowing that God would help him if it was the right thing to do. God blesses the meek and humble with the power to overcome their challenges. It may not happen in the timing or way that we would expect. I imagine that David’s wisdom would not have led him to listen from the trees before attacking the Philistines. I don’t imagine that this was how he had initially expected to have victory over his enemies. However, it was God’s wisdom and it proved successful. We will be greatly blessed if we can demonstrate a level of faith and trust in God compared with our own challenges in life.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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