1 Chronicles 12-14

What does it say?
Chapter 12 begins by listing the supporters that David had at Ziklag.  Ziklag: “a town in the south of Judah, later allotted to Simeon; noted for its having been the city of David given to him by king Achish of Gath and his residence when he was joined by many of his mighty warriors and when he received word of the death of Saul.” (Olive Tree Enhanced Strong's Dictionary) David had support from many of the Israelite tribes while Saul was still king. Then the text shifts to Hebron when all of Israel came there in support of David as their king. The text first list the men of war and then speaks also of Israel. Chapter 13 describes the peril in transporting the Ark to Jerusalem. They carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab. Uzza and Ahio drove the cart. Uzza or Uzzah = "strength" (Ibid) Uzza was struck down because he put out his hand to steady the ark when it was rocked in the cart. This upset david a great deal and the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom. The end of chapter 12 spoke of Israel’s support of David at Hebron and chapter 13 spoke of the peril with the ark of God. Then chapter 14 begins with Hiram king of Tyre building a house for david in Jerusalem and David taking more wives for himself and david father more sons in Jerusalem.: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet. (vs. 14:4-7) The later part of this chapter speaks of the defeat of the Philistines when David inquired of the Lord. The chapter ends by saying: Then the fame of David went out into all the lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him on all the nations. (v. 14:17) 

What does it mean?
David had gained support from Saul’s own tribe of Benjamin before he was made king. It is noted that Israel’s most skillful warriors were turning from support of Saul to David. Then David is made king of Israel at Hebron. The tribes, like their elders (11:3), act in obedience to the prophetic word declaring David to be king. (ESV Global SB Notes) The ark of God signifies the Mosaic covenant which had been neglected throughout Saul’s reign. David going after the ark of God shows his commitment to God. It is noted that it was people from all over Israel who went along with David to retrieve the ark of God. It is as though repentance was spreading throughout the land. However, if you are to follow God you must do so on God’s terms and not your own. The Lord had commanded through Moses that the ark should be carried with long poles. (cf. Exodus  25:12-15) The third commandment is that you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Transporting the ark of God on a cart rather than the manner in which the Lord commanded dishonors his name. (ESV Global SB Notes) When the oxen stumbled, Uzzah touched the ark to steady it, and the Lord struck him dead. Even those whose job it was to carry the ark were forbidden to touch it (Num. 4:15). Despite the hiccup, God blessed David and this is depicted with the building of his house in Jerusalem. The fame of David’s kingdom among the gentiles is depicted at the beginning of chapter 14 and at the end. Hiram king of Tyre is a gentile ruler who recognized David’s kingship over Israel. The chapter ends depicting the nations fearing David which would keep them from attacking Israel. (ESV Global SB Notes) 

What shall I do?
David is a type of Christ who is yet to come and Saul is a type of the world’s leaders. The world’s leaders are concerned with self interest and not that of God or the people of God. Jesus Christ’s concern is for the glory of God and for his sheep. As a Christian, I am to be in subjection to the governing authorities. As the apostle Paul said, “For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” (Romans 13:1) However, like the Israelites turning to David at Ziklag before his consummation as king at Hebron, and his later coming into his house in Jerusalem (Zion), we must turn to following Jesus Christ as Lord, for he alone will save us from sin and death. Jesus has already been inaugurated king, just like David was, when he was yet a child. Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, but he has not yet returned to sit down on his glorious thrown to judge the earth. When he does, “every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11) The goats will go away into eternal punishment but the sheep will go into eternal life in the kingdom of God. (Matthew 25:46)

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