Summary: Since we are the Temple of God, we now have the Ark of the Covenant residing inside of us. However, as we learn from King David, we must handle it properly.
Today we will briefly study the life of a man that the Apostle Paul said God declared to be “a man after my own heart.”
(Acts 13:22) This man is King David.
We first meet David in 1 Samuel 16. The prophet Samuel is sent by God to the household of a man named Jesse. There, he is to anoint one of Jesse’s eight sons to become King of Israel after the death of King Saul. After looking at seven of these young men, the youngest and smallest of the eight comes in sight. God tells Samuel, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” From that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power.
Sometime afterwards, an evil spirit from the Lord began to torment King Saul. The only relief he could find from his torment was the soothing music of a harp. Word got back to the King of a young shepherd named David who played the harp better than anyone in the kingdom. King Saul sent for David and David entered into his service. But David did live in the palace but rather went back and forth between the palace and his father’s house.
David’s brothers had entered into the military service of Israel to fight against the Philistines. His father sent him with some food to check on them. When he arrived, the army was in retreat from one giant man named Goliath. David was appalled. He declared that he would face this giant with nothing but his sling and five smooth stones. With one shot he slew the giant and gave victory to Israel over the Philistines.
David moved in to the palace. He became friends with Saul’s son, Jonathan. He married Saul’s daughter, Michal. (My-cha). But King Saul soon became jealous of David. He began to plot against him and seek ways to kill him. Jonathan warns David so David flees. Saul began to pursue David, killing anyone who helped him.
King Saul became so entrenched with his passion to kill David that he forgot about his natural enemy, the Philistines. It was at Mount Gilboa that King Saul would take his own life rather than to be captured. Along with Saul his son Jonathan also died.
When the news of Saul and Jonathan’s death reached David, he sorrowed deeply. He next inquired of the Lord what he should do. The Lord instructed him to go to Hebron where the men of Judah anointed him to be king. Fifteen years has passed from the time he was anointed to be king by Samuel and actually became king.
The houses of Saul and David went to war against each other. Several key military leaders from both houses would die. After ruling for seven years, the elders of Israel would ask David to be their king also. For the first time in over three hundred years the nation of Israel was united.
King David and his men would march to Jerusalem and conquer the city from the Jebusites. King David would establish his residence there. He would also completely defeat the Philistines that were still in the land.
King David’s success came from the fact that he inquired of the Lord about everything before he acted. However, one day he would make a decision before inquiring of the Lord that would strain their relationship.
1 Chronicles 13:1-4 “David consulted with all his officials, including the generals and captains of his army. Then he addressed the entire assembly of Israel as follows: “If you approve and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send messages to all the Israelites throughout the land, including the priests and Levites in their towns and pasturelands. Let us invite them to come and join us. It is time to bring back the Ark of our God, for we neglected it during the reign of Saul.”
The whole assembly agreed to this, for the people could see it was the right thing to do.”
Let’s briefly talk about the Ark of the Covenant. It was created in the wilderness by those who had been liberated from Egypt. It was built with very specific instructions. Inside it held the commandments written in stone that were given to Moses. It also had Aaron’s staff that budded, a walking staff that had no roots yet budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds. Also it had a jar of manna, the mysterious food that fell like dew every morning to feed the Jews while they were in the wilderness.
The Ark was lifted by means of two golden staves which were to be passed through golden rings located on the corners of the Ark. The Ark was to be lifted up and carried upon the shoulders of a family of Levites. Once in the land of Canaan, the ark was at Gilgal before being moved to Shilo where it stayed for 300 to 400 years. The ark was carried into a battle with the Philistines to insure victory. However, they lost the battle and the ark was taken.