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Passage: 1 Chronicles 12-14

On Thursday, May 12, 2016, Yujin wrote,

And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, “If you have come peacably to me to help me, my heart will be united with you; but if to betray me to my enemies, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look and bring judgment.” (1 Chronicles 12:17).

When Amasai, the chief military commander over Benjamin and Judah, comes to David, David does not try to appease him or confront him. David acknowledges him based on his own devotion to the God of their fathers. David entrusts himself to God and so puts his fate into God's hands. David is under no illusion that his growing power and influence is of his own doing:

So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, for his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel (1 Chronicles 14:2).

David asks God before any military venture, and every time God answers him and gives him the way to victory (1 Chronicles 14:10, 14). David is careful to destroy the gods of the nations he defeats (1 Chronicles 14:12). And so we have this assessment:

Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations (1 Chronicles 14:17).

God brings David great fame and instills the fear of David upon all the nations.

Friends, we don't have to be a king to entrust ourselves to the LORD God. We do not have to be a commander of thousands to inquire of God. Consider what He has already given to us:

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things (Romans 8:32).

He's given us Jesus, the most precious thing He could give. So Paul writes, God is for us and not against us (Romans 8:31). As He has given us Jesus, through Jesus we will be given every good thing. 

Therefore, let us live our lives as David did. Let us cast every part of our lives in the framework of our devotion to Him. Let us not worry about victories or losses, successes or failures, but simply how completely our hearts can trust and obey Him, the only God and Jesus Christ our Lord. Then, we will understand the fear of the Lord and obtain the peace of God, for we will cease to live for ourselves or for an idealized situation we learned from some commercial or brochure. We will say, as Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him" (Job 13:15).

Passage: 1 Chronicles 12-14

On Wednesday, May 13, 2015, Yujin wrote,

Then some of the sons of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David. David went out to meet them, and said to them, “If you come peacefully to me to help me, my heart shall be united with you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look on it and decide.” (1 Chronicles 12:16-17).

Benjamin was the family tribe of King Saul (cf. 1 Chronicles 12:2), who up to the time of his death, was seeking David's life. Therefore, David's anxiety in accepting them is understandable. But after committing himself and them to the LORD, David even makes them "captains" over his mighty men (1 Chronicles 12:18). 

Should not David have tested them first? Perhaps he could have sent them on a difficult assignment or else had them betray their loved one to death. How else could he be assured of their loyalty and obedience?

Yet, he did none of these things. He simply entrusted them, along with his own fate, to the providence of God. After this, instead of testing them, he did the unexpected. He gave them his trust, even making them commanders of his troops.

Friends, if you try to uncover some strategem or tactic here of the likes of Sun Tzu, you will have missed the point entirely. David's confidence and success did not come from strategems and tactics but from the LORD. For what he did not know he trusted in the providence of God. In his shortcomings, even his moral failures, he trusted in the grace of God. And he diligently sought to acknowledge and honor God in everything.

This, then, is the lesson for us. Let us not be anxious about the infinite number of things we do not know and cannot control. Instead, let us entrust ourselves to our faithful and good Savior, who is greater than our bottomless ignorance and weakness. Then, whether in life or in death, we do not need to be afraid. There is no strategy for life that is better or greater than a pure and undivided devotion to the Lord. 

Passage: 1 Chronicles 12-14

On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, Yujin wrote,

"Then David consulted with the captains of the thousands and the hundreds, even with every leader... and let us bring back the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul." Then all the assembly said that they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people (1 Chronicles 13:1,3-4).

David consulted with his military captains, as well as all the people, but he did not consult God in the matter of bringing back the ark of God. He was so careful to consult God in his repeated battles with the Philistines (cf. 1 Chronicles 14:10,14), but he did not exercise th same care in the transportation of the ark. Perhaps this is why the Chronicler records that "the thing was right in the eyes of all the people." The expression does not normally have positive connotations. For example, in Judges, when the people were at their spiritual lowest, we read,

 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit (Judges 21:25; cf. 17:6).

Again, listen to the wise counsel of David's son, Solomon:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

Now, I may be extrapolating a little too much from this event; however, it is clear that David did not take care to find out how to properly transport the ark. He, along with the people, just thought it was the right thing to do, and they transported it just as they saw fit. But they did clearly did not inquire of God. 

Friends, this is such a frequently repeated refrain, it hardly bears emphasizing. But it is important enough to be repeated. Failure to inquire of God always brought disasterous consequences to God's people. Sometimes we feel that we don't need to ask God because God knows the intention of our hearts. It is true that God knows our hearts, but do we? When we don't ask God about everything, does this suggest that we trust God more or that we are trusting Him less. When we do not pray to Him frequently and about everything, does this mean that we have more faith or less? 

Friends, it is true that God knows what we need before we ask Him, but He also commands us to ask and seek and knock. Yes, He will do His will regardless of our prayers and obedience, but He commands us to seek His will. Yes, God can do everything Himself, but He has chosen human agents to do His work. He desires that we not only to trust and obey His Word but also to seek Him when things are not clear.

No one in Scripture was ever judged for inquiring too much of God, but Scripture is littered with instances of God's judgment when He was not consulted or, worse yet, ignored altogether. In fact, the Bible teaches us to "pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and "always" (Ephesians 6:18). It gives us an indiscriminate command to take our every request to God (cf. Philippians 4:6). Jesus taught His disciples to pray and not give up (cf. Luke 18:1). The LORD Jesus punctuated this principle with a three-fold command to...

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7, NLT).

Therefore, friends, join me in learning again to pray, that is, to bring every request to God. Join me in learning how not to take anything for granted but to inquire of God about everything. Join me in developing the habit of always asking, "Did I pray about it?" or "Have we prayed about it?" and taking the initiative to say, "Let's first pray about it" or "Let's ask God." For we read,

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
    but the prayer of the upright pleases him (Proverbs 15:8).

Passage: 1 Chronicles 12-14

On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, Yujin wrote,

We learn that day by day mighty men came to support David until he had a great army like the army of God:

For day by day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army like the army of God (1 Chronicles 12:22).

Who sent these mighty men? David recognized that it was the LORD who sent them his way:

And David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israeland that his kingdom was highly exalted, for the sake of His people Israel (1 Chronicles 14:2).

It was the LORD also that gave him victory over the Philistines again and again, and against all his enemies, so that none could stand against him:

Then the fame of David went out into all the lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him on all the nations (1 Chronicles 14:17).

Friends, while we are not guaranteed military power and dominance like David had, we have something greater in Christ: an eternal hope:

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).

As we reflect on God's faithfulness to keep His promises in the Old Testament, we are assured of His keeping His promises to us in the New Testament as well. This is how He is unchanging, the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the "I WAS", "I AM", and "I WILL BE" of Yahweh. He remains always faithful to His covenant promises, even His New Covenant promises in Christ, concerning which the prophets wrote, "They will all be taught by God."

Friends, let us keep this all-surpassing hope in view, even Jesus, who accomplishes it for us, for if we do, as Peter observes, He will become our "inexpressible and glorious joy" (1 Peter 1:8) as we meander through the uncertainties, perils, and changing tides of this brief life. Reflect on this encouragement from Paul,

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32).


Passage: 1 Chronicles 12-14

On Monday, May 14, 2012 (Last Updated on 5/14/2013), Yujin wrote,

David went out to meet them and said to them, "If you have come to me in peace to help me, I am ready for you to join me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free from violence, may the God of our ancestors see it and judge you." (1 Chronicles 12:17 NIV)

He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, "If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our people throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul." (1 Chronicles 13:2, 3 NIV)

And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel. (1 Chronicles 14:2 NIV)

The Philistines had abandoned their gods there, and David gave orders to burn them in the fire. (1 Chronicles 14:12 NIV)

so David inquired of God: "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?"The Lord answered him, "Go, I will deliver them into your hands." Once more the Philistines raided the valley; so David inquired of God again, and God answered him, "Do not go directly after them, but circle around them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. (1 Chronicles 14:10, 13, 14 NIV)

Notice that as David consolidated his power, the LORD was at the center of his trust. David recognized that the LORD was the reason for his successes and his protection against treachery. Notice that unlike what the kings after him would do, when the Philistines abandoned their gods, David neither took them nor left them. He burned them in keeping with the LORD's command to Moses. In these chapters, except for the case of the transport of the ark, David was careful to obey the LORD. 

I have been convicted of late to pray more, even to cast every decision, every plan, and every result as a prayer request or praise to God, and always at the same time being careful to subject my every thought, word and action to the scrutiny of God's Word. This is what David did and also what he learned to do.

So then, when I go to a Martial Arts testing, I pray for God's Name to be exalted through me in every speech, whether to a large group or an individual. I pray for the leaders of every division and for the members to be drawn nearer to the Lord through me. I pray this would be so whether I'm teaching them or training with them. And after the testing, I pray that God's will was done, and I praise Him for the privilege of serving Him through the event.

Even though I am away from them, I daily pray for my wife and child, my relatives and my friends, my church, the pastors and the association at large, that God would bless them and lead them through His Word and by His Spirit. For my part, I pray that I may be a godly husband and father, to lead my wife and child in the way of the Lord. 

I am learning to pray for any and every event, even for birthday parties, friendly meetings, and other casual events. I am learning to surrender my time and my plans to the Lord. And as I give them to God, I believe He is granting me a more heavenly and eternal perspective, so that I do not make judgments for earthly gains but for what will endure forever. I am finding myself spending less time watching television, reading news, tracking investments, and being concerned about saving a buck here or there, or worrying too much about the future. By God's grace, I believe I am learning more of what Jesus meant by "Seek first God's kingdom and righteousness..."

I remember a reading from Oswald Chambers, where he said, "It is not so much that prayer changes things, but prayer changes me, and I change things." I remember thinking that this sounded almost sacrilegious at the time, but now I perceive the wisdom in these words, for I have come to understand that prayer is not so much a way to get things from God but rather a means to align my will with His perfect and sovereign will. When I pray as I ought, I am declaring "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." When I pray perfectly, I am affirming, "Not my will but yours be done." And the nearer my prayers are to God's will, the more I am assured of His answer and that my life is pleasing to Him, for Jesus said, "If you abide in Me and my words abide in You, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you. This is to my Father's glory."

Therefore, dear friends, even as we are diligent in God's Word, let us also be vigilant to pray, so that we may not only learn God's will through His Word but by prayer and obedience learn to align our wills with His perfect will, and in this way Christ will be formed in us to the glory of God the Father.

Passage: 1 Chronicles 12-14

On Saturday, May 14, 2011, Unmi wrote,


Out of pure motive, David attempts to bring back the Ark of the Covenant.  They put the ark on a new cart and are celebrating as they are travel back. However, when Uzzah sees the ark about to fall off the cart, he touches it and dies. What exactly did Uzzah do to deserve death. Uzzah was only trying to prevent the ark from falling. However, if David had transported the ark in the manner that God had instructed in the first place, then it wouldn't have fallen and Uzzah wouldn't have died.  


What did God instruct? Of the three sons of Levi, the Kohathite clan was given the responsibility for the care of all the holy objects including the ark. 


When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and put it over the ark of the covenant law.  Then they are to cover the curtain with a durable leather, spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place. (Numbers 4:5-6)

“After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carryingBut they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting. (Numbers 4:15)

So Moses took the carts and oxen and gave them to the Levites.  He gave two carts and four oxen to the Gershonites, as their work required,  and he gave four carts and eight oxen to the Merarites, as their work required. They were all under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest.  But Moses did not give any to the Kohathites, because they were to carry on their shoulders the holy things, for which they were responsible. (Numbers 7:6-9)


God had given specific instructions through Moses how to transport the ark. The priests were to prepare the ark for transport by covering it and placing the carrying poles in the 4 rings surrounding the ark. Only after it was prepared, then the Kohathites were to "hand carry" it on their shoulders. Numbers 7 even says specifically that the Kohathites were NOT given any carts.



Uzzah's punishment wasn't unfair. It was just because God had already given the Israelites exact instructions as well as warning of death for touching the holy things of God. Even though David's motive may have been good, he was not obedient to God's commands. 


 David's initial response was anger.  "Then David was angry because the LORD’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah" (1 Chronicles 13:11). How often do we react with anger toward God to things we think are unfair. Even certain topics in the Bible such as eternal damnation or a literal hell are rejected because many think it is unfair. "My loving God wouldn't do that!" They distort God to conform into their own image instead of conforming their minds to the truth that has been revealed in his WORD. David may not have liked that Uzzah died, probably even thought it was unfair, however, from this incident, David learns to fear the LORD and his written WORD. 

Passage: 1 Chronicles 12-14

On Friday, May 14, 2010 (Last Updated on 5/14/2012), Fernando wrote,

Do we know what House Uzzah was from?  Wikipedia says Levi or Judah. Do you think we could speculate, if he were Levi he would not have died?

Yujin responds...2 Samuel 6:3 indicates that Uzzah and Ahio (or his brother) were sons of Abinadab. There is no evidence in Scripture that Abindab was a priest, or even a  Levite, for he does not appear in any of the Levitical or priestly geneaologies. And even though there is mention of an Uzzah in 1 Chronicles 6:29, it is likely a different Uzzah because a different father is mentioned there. Now, I have noticed that a number of websites have presumptively concluded that Uzzah was a Levite and even that Abinadab was a priest, but this seems to me to be unwarranted.

Furthermore, even if Uzzah was a Levite, he would have still perished because (1) he was not a Kohathite, which was the only priestly tribe that was allowed to carry the ark, and (2) no one, not even the Kohathites were allowed to directly touch the ark; thus, they were to carry the ark on poles and not on a cart.

Passage: 1 Chronicles 12-14

On Tuesday, May 4, 2010 (Last Updated on 5/14/2013), Yujin wrote,

It can be difficult to follow lists and numbers, but each time I read through the Bible more of the names become familiar to me. And I find myself looking for the familiar and interesting, as if God has somehow hidden pearls of wisdom there. Some of the thirty mighty men of David came from Saul's own household (cf. 1 Chronicles 12:2) . How amazing is that?! Just this tidbit gives us insight into the wisdom of David, who was not willing to do anything against Saul, the LORD's anointed. David won over the hearts of even his enemy's own family.