Posts Tagged 'Rejoicing'

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.

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Alma, Chapter 46

“And thus we see”

This phrase is often used in the Book of Mormon, when Mormon was giving us the moral of the story.  “And it came to pass that as many as would not hearken to the words of Helaman and his brethren were gathered together against their brethren (v. 1).  And now behold, they were exceedingly wroth, insomuch that they were determined to slay them (v. 2).  Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah (v. 3).  And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power (v. 4).  And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people (v. 5).  Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for they were high priests over the church (v. 6).  And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord (v. 7).”  And thus we see how quickly men are to forget the Lord’s blessings.  And thus we see how those who seek after power can lead the righteous away from God with their cunning words and flatteries.  I think either of these can be learned from this part of the story.

Mormon said, “Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one (v. 8 ).  Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men (v. 9).  Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake (v. 10).”  I think I understood most of what Mormon felt we should from this story.

What was the title of Liberty?

We sometimes wear things to remind us of our beliefs.  I wear a CTR ring as a reminder to myself and also as a missionary opportunity (Mine is in cursive letters, so I often get people who want to know what it says and this gives me an opportunity to tell them what it stands for as well.)  Others wear the Young Women medallion or a small temple tie tac, and so on.

“And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah (v. 11).  And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole (v. 12).  And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land (v. 13)—”

Moroni had led the Nephites through a gruesome battle against the Lamanites, to protect all the things that they valued.  He created the Title of Liberty to remind others what they had done and how God had preserved them because they had been righteous.  He wrote on it, those things that had been the most important things to protect from the Lamanites; God, religion, freedom, peace, and family.

Moroni knew who the Nephites had been before.  He prayed to God that the righteous would be blessed and not trodden down (v. 18 ).  “And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part, and crying with a loud voice, saying (v. 19):  Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them (v. 20).  And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments (v. 21).  Now this was the covenant which they made, and they cast their garments at the feet of Moroni, saying: We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed, even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if we shall fall into transgression (v. 22).”

Many of the people were reminded of what was important, when they saw the Title of Liberty and heard Moroni’s call to them.  They made a covenant and tore their clothes, just as Moroni had done to witness the covenant they were making.  I think that part of the reason why this was so effective to the people is that they would have been reminded of how Moroni had led them, and seeing him humbly giving credit of their victory to God was a strong reminder that God was the one who saved them.

“Moroni said unto them: Behold, we are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; yea, we are a remnant of the seed of Joseph, whose coat was rent by his brethren into many pieces; yea, and now behold, let us remember to keep the commandments of God, or our garments shall be rent by our brethren, and we be cast into prison, or be sold, or be slain (v. 23).”  Moroni reminded the people of Joseph of Egypt who was sold by his brothers and his clothes were torn just as they had torn their clothes.

“Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us remember the words of Jacob, before his death, for behold, he saw that a part of the remnant of the coat of Joseph was preserved and had not decayed. And he said—Even as this remnant of garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto himself, while the remainder of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the remnant of his garment (v. 24).  Now behold, this giveth my soul sorrow; nevertheless, my soul hath joy in my son, because of that part of his seed which shall be taken unto God (v. 25).”  The coat of many colors (the coat of Joseph) was torn and that part that remained was a reminder of the portion of Joseph’s seed that would be saved for their righteousness.  The Title of Liberty was a representation of this as well.  The part that torn was a reminder of the liberty that God had given them and had been saved because they were righteous.
“And now it came to pass that when Moroni had said these words he went forth, and also sent forth in all the parts of the land where there were dissensions, and gathered together all the people who were desirous to maintain their liberty, to stand against Amalickiah and those who had dissented, who were called Amalickiahites (v. 28 ).”  Those who followed Moroni, wanted to stand together to protect their freedom and liberties.
“And it came to pass that when Amalickiah saw that the people of Moroni were more numerous than the Amalickiahites—and he also saw that his people were doubtful concerning the justice of the cause in which they had undertaken—therefore, fearing that he should not gain the point, he took those of his people who would and departed into the land of Nephi (v. 29).”  Even Amalickiah could see that those who followed him had doubts about their cause.
Moroni knew that the escape of these people would mean they would stir the Lamanites to anger against them (v. 30).  He knew they needed to stop the Amalickiahites (v. 31).  He led his army to cut them off (v. 32).  Amalickiah escaped with a few followers and the rest were taken back to Zarahemla (v. 33).  “And it came to pass that whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter into a covenant to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free government, he caused to be put to death; and there were but few who denied the covenant of freedom (v. 35).”  Many were quick to return to their covenants and leave the idea of being ruled by a king.
“And it came to pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by the Nephites; and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites (v. 36).”  Moroni put the title of liberty up on all the towers in the land, as a reminder to the people.
“And they began to have peace again in the land; and thus they did maintain peace in the land until nearly the end of the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges (v. 37).  And Helaman and the high priests did also maintain order in the church; yea, even for the space of four years did they have much peace and rejoicing in the church (v. 38 ).”  This constant reminder to them, brought them peace for four years.
I am glad that I have things around me to remind myself, and my family of what is important.  I have pictures of the Savior in my home that are a wonderful reminder.  It is scary how many people in the world today, do not value these precious liberties the way they should.  So many are willing to throw them down to be trodden under the feet of unrighteous men.  I hope that those of us who are trying to do what is right can work to preserve these precious liberties and that we will live in a way that will keep God on our side of this ongoing battle with Satan.
How can people leave this world rejoicing?
If I was to die today, I don’t know that I would have regrets, but I do know that I would wonder if I had done enough.  I wonder if I have done enough service, if I have spent enough time with my family, if I have done enough in my calling.  I am trying to do my best, and I guess that is all I can do.  I trust that at this point in my life, my effort is an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord.
“And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing (v. 39).  And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate (v. 40)—But there were many who died with old age; and those who died in the faith of Christ are happy in him, as we must needs suppose (v. 41).”  Those who left the world rejoicing had faith and believed in Jesus Christ.  I think that this would cause rejoicing, because if you have faith in Christ and have done your best to live righteously, you believe that his mercy will save you of your shortcomings.  I know that this is true.  I am really happy to be trying to live righteously now and I hope that I can continue to have the will to do what is right and do my best to follow Jesus Christ.

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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