Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 16, 2015

“conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold …, but with precious blood, …, the blood of Christ.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Chronicles chapter 15.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Chronicles+15&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“2 Then David said, “No one is to carry the ark of God but the Levites;  for the Lord chose them to carry the ark of God and to minister to Him forever.”  3 And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place which he had prepared for it.

11 Then David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab, 12 and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ households of the Levites;  consecrate yourselves both you and your relatives, that you may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel to the place that I have prepared for it. 13 Because you did not carry it at the first, the Lord our God made an outburst on us, for we did not seek Him according to the ordinance.”  14 So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel.  15 The sons of the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles thereon, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.

25 So it was David, with the elders of Israel and the captains over thousands, who went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-edom with joy. 26 Because God was helping the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams. 27 Now David was clothed with a robe of fine linen with all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the singing with the singers.  David also wore 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 horn, with trumpets, with loud-sounding cymbals, with harps and lyres.”  1 Chronicles Chapter 15:  Verses 2-3 and 11-15 and 25-28.

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We remember what happened last time David transported the ark of the covenant.  “When they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, because the oxen nearly upset it.  The anger of the Lord burned against Uzza, so He struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.  Then David became angry because of the Lord’s outburst against Uzza;  and he called that place Perez-uzza to this day.  David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God home to me?”  1 Chronicles 13:9-12.

In today’s Scripture, we see the determination of David to be more careful in transporting the ark.  Everything was to be done “by the book”, so to speak, “as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.”  Verse 15.

But, there was still one thing missing. 

God supplied that very important missing thing.  God helped.  God gave grace.

But, this help, this grace, was not without the shedding of blood. 

“Because God was helping the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.”  Verse 26.

God supplied the grace through the shedding of blood by causing the Levites to sacrifice seven bulls and seven rams.

The lesson for us is that we cannot worship God as we should, or more generally we cannot live lives of obedience, without God’s grace given through the shedding of the precious blood of Christ.  1 Peter chapter 1 gives us a good summary.

First, like the Levites were “chosen”, we are “chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood”.  1 Peter 1:1-2.

Second, like David was “afraid of God”, “conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;  knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”  1 Peter 1:17-19.

Third, like David was not paralyzed by fear, but prepared his mind for more careful action in transporting the ark, trusting God’s grace for success:  “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 1:13.

Fourth, like David dressed in a robe of fine linen and also wore an ephod of linen, symbolizing holiness, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:16.  And, God clothes us with the holy righteousness of Christ.  Isaiah 61:10.


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