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David's consciousness of the true strength of the kingdom is manifest in his anxiety concerning the Ark of God. This had been at Kirjathjearim, and neglected for long years. He now set himself to bring it into the midst of the people as a recognition of the nation's relationship to Jehovah.
In connection with this action a terrible event taught David a lesson of deep solemnity. If God's order is to be restored, it must be done in His way. The long neglect of the Ark would seem to have rendered these men unfamiliar with all the particular regulations for its removal, which they attempted by a device of their own. The swift death of the man who stretched out a hand to save the Ark was evidence at once of the presence of God among the people, and of the necessity for perfect conformity to His minutest instructions. David was at once angry and afraid. The whole movement was stayed, and the Ark was carried for shelter to the house of Obed- edom.
Most graphically does this story set forth a truth never to be lost sight of by the people of God, that zeal for Him must be according to knowledge. When divine arrangements are made for methods of worship and service, no circumstances must be allowed to be an excuse for a change in such methods.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 13". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent