Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 6

The ark in the house of Obed-Edom

2 Samuel 6:10-11

Isaiah was afraid when he saw God’s glory, the splendid beauty of God. Probably, Isaiah thought that he would die (Isaiah 6:5). In Exodus 20:18-19, Israel’s people were similarly afraid when God declared his 10 commands. They expected to die if they heard the voice of God.

David had seen God’s judgement against Uzzah, the man who touched the very sacred object called the ark. God is completely good and perfect in every way. Like Isaiah, David knew that he himself was not perfect. David could not see how he could live in the same place as something so holy as the ark. So he decided that he must separate himself from it.

However, the ark was Israel’s most sacred object. Clearly, it had to go somewhere. So David decided to put it in the home of a man called Obed-Edom. It was a good choice. Obed-Edom belonged to the family of Kohath, son of Levi - it was to that family that God gave the responsibility to carry the ark (Numbers 4:15).

David was trying to separate the ark from himself and from Israel’s people. However, God does not want to separate himself from his people. He wants to help and to forgive them (Isaiah 55:1-7; Ezekiel 18:30-32). He wants to teach them (Deuteronomy 6:1-9) and to bless them (Numbers 6:22-27). In other words, he wants to show kindness to them.

That is what happened to Obed-Edom’s family. God showed special kindness to them while they looked after the ark. In fact, it seems from 1 Chronicles 26:4-8 that they continued to know God’s kindness long afterwards.

Next part: David makes right plans to bring the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:12)


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