Chapters 13 thru 16 of 1 Chronicles is all about the Ark. It was not only a symbol of God’s grace and presence but the actual place where God had chosen to reside among His people. The location of the Ark is important because that was where God was and where He manifested His grace. David’s desire to bring the ark into Jerusalem shows his concern that God would dwell among His people. It also reveals his desire that the people would again have access to God. They had not had this during Saul’s reign when the Philistines held the ark captive or when the Israelites kept it in a private residence. God blessed David and his kingdom in many ways for bringing the ark into Jerusalem.

The lesson we need to learn is that Yahweh is holy and His people should not take His presence among them lightly. God’s presence is real, and His people must deal with it harmoniously with His character. It would have been tempting to regard the rituals and physical objects used in worship as common. The writer warned his readers not to make this fatal mistake. In a real sense Yahweh was wherever His Ark was. It crystallized His immanence, bearing witness to both His nearness and His sovereignty.

With respect to the death of the man who reached out to steady the Ark we learn that even though there was much joy and worship as the people transported the ark, they did not obey God’s orders for its proper treatment. Worship can never replace obedience to God’s revealed will.

We learn again obedience is better than sacrifice.