Journey Through The Scriptures

Places in the Heart

Lesson 4: Jerusalem--Israel's Worship Center

(Scripture to Read: 2 Samuel 6:1–23)

After David had established Jerusalem as the political capital of his kingdom, he knew he also needed to make the city the center of Israel's worship. It was no accident that the king chose Jerusalem as his capital. It was in a neutral area between Israel and Judah, which would serve to unite the nation. Israel's tribes tended to be divided by geography and various disputes even before the official division of the kingdom under Solomon, and David understood that a central place of worship was crucial to a truly united kingdom. This chapter describes a time of great joy in Jerusalem – the arrival of the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol and focal point of Israel's worship. There were moments of sadness as a man named Uzzah died during the Ark's transport to Jerusalem, and of bitterness as David's wife Michal mistook his joyful exuberance for shameful exhibitionism. But nothing could dim the joyful celebration that erupted when the holy Ark of God arrived in the holy city.

Study Questions

  1. In what way did the Ark of the Covenant represent the presence of God among His people? (Hint: read Exodus 25:22.)
  2. The Ark was "called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty" (v. 2). According to Leviticus 24:16, how highly is the name of God to be held in reverence?
  3. In what way had David prepared a home for the Ark once it arrived in Jerusalem?
  4. David was not self-conscious about the joy he expressed in worshiping the Lord. How does true worship help us to forget our preoccupation with self?

Something to Think About

David learned the hard way that it matters very much to God how holy things are treated. For us, this certainly includes the way we use God's holy name, and the way we treat people, who are created in His image.

The Bible instructs us: "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). Is your "love quotient" toward others high today?