1 Chronicles 11-12 can be considered as an introduction to the next chapters, in which the main subjects are the ark and the temple service. In view of this, God has helped David in confirming his kingship and has brought the people to David.
In Deuteronomy we read about a place that God has chosen (Deu 12:55But you shall seek [the LORD] at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come.) and a king that God has chosen (Deu 17:14-1514“When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’15you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, [one] from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.). When Saul was king, it was not sought for that place, and Saul himself is not God’s choice, but the choice of the people (1Sam 12:1313Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen, whom you have asked for, and behold, the LORD has set a king over you.). Of David we read that God has chosen him (Psa 78:7070He also chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
). Only when Saul, chosen by the people to satisfy their carnal desires, is set aside can David, chosen by God, ascend the throne.
When David is in power, he goes in search of the place God has chosen for His name to dwell there. In Psalm 132 he expresses his longing for it (Psa 132:3-53“Surely I will not enter my house,
Nor lie on my bed;
4I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
5Until I find a place for the LORD,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
). There we also read that Sion is that place (Psa 132:13-1413For the LORD has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His habitation.
14“This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
). Sion is the mountain Moria (2Chr 3:11Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where [the LORD] had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.). On that mountain Abraham offered Isaac on the altar (Gen 22:1-141Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”2He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”3So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.4On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.5Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.”6Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.7Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”8Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.9Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.10Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”12He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”13Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind [him] a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.14Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.”; Jam 2:2121Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?). In this event we see a picture of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus (cf. Heb 11:1919He considered that God is able to raise [people] even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.). David has conquered Sion (1Chr 11:4-54Then David and all Israel went to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus); and the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, [were] there.5The inhabitants of Jebus said to David, “You shall not enter here.” Nevertheless David captured the stronghold of Zion (that is, the city of David).). There the ark will end up, in the temple that will be built there by Solomon.
Before that time that the ark will have its final resting place, a lot has been done with the ark and the tabernacle in which the ark was. It is good to evaluate these events briefly. We can at the same time make an application to the Lord Jesus of Whom the tabernacle and the ark are a picture.
When the people have come into the land, the tabernacle is placed in Shiloh (Jos 18:11Then the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there; and the land was subdued before them.). There it is until the birth of Samuel, which is a period of hundreds of years. In this we can see in picture the time of the life of the Lord Jesus on earth.
Then the ark is taken by Hofni and Pinehas in the fight against the Philistines (1Sam 4:3-43When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.”4So the people sent to Shiloh, and from there they carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts who sits [above] the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, [were] there with the ark of the covenant of God.). But God does not allow these wicked priests to abuse the symbol of His presence. “So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh, … And gave up His strength to captivity And His glory into the hand of the adversary” (Psa 78:60-6160So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh,
The tent which He had pitched among men,
61And gave up His strength to captivity
And His glory into the hand of the adversary.
). He has let the ark captured by the Philistines (1Sam 4:10-1110So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent; and the slaughter was very great, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.11And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.; 5:11Now the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.). Here we can see a picture of the surrender of the Lord Jesus into death by God (cf. Acts 2:2323this [Man], delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put [Him] to death.).
The ark is seven months in the land of the Philistines, but then returns to the land of the LORD (1Sam 6:1-2,11-131Now the ark of the LORD had been in the country of the Philistines seven months.2And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we shall send it to its place.”11They put the ark of the LORD on the cart, and the box with the golden mice and the likenesses of their tumors.12And the cows took the straight way in the direction of Beth-shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right or to the left. And the lords of the Philistines followed them to the border of Beth-shemesh.13Now [the people of] Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley, and they raised their eyes and saw the ark and were glad to see [it].). This can be seen as a picture of the stay of the Lord Jesus in death, who could not keep Him (Acts 2:24-2824But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.25For David says of Him,
‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;
FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.
26‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED;
MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;
27BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES,
NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.
28‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE;
YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’
). The ark returns to Israel, but not to Shiloh, but to Abinadab’s house in Kiriath-jearim (1Sam 7:11And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the LORD and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.). In this we can see a picture of the risen Lord, Who is no longer seen by all the people, but only in secret by his own.
The ark stays for a long time in Kiriath-jearim, until here the thread of the history of the ark is taken up again. It starts here with the observation that there is unanimity to pick up the ark (verses 1-41Then David consulted with the captains of the thousands and the hundreds, even with every leader.2David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you, and if it is from the LORD our God, let us send everywhere to our kinsmen who remain in all the land of Israel, also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their cities with pasture lands, that they may meet with us;3and let us bring back the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.”4Then all the assembly said that they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.), without one wondering how to do so and where to go.
It is important how the ark is transported. This leads to the first judgment on the new government, which leads to fear of God on the one hand and domestic blessing on the other (verses 12-1412David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God [home] to me?”13So David did not take the ark with him to the city of David, but took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.14Thus the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months; and the LORD blessed the family of Obed-edom with all that he had.). Later, in 1 Chronicles 15, the ark is in the correct way brought to Jerusalem. This can be seen as a picture of the ascension of Christ. The proof of this is the quotation by Paul in Ephesians 4 of Psalm 68 in connection with the ascension (Eph 4:8-108Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.”9(Now this [expression], “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?10He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.); Psa 68:1919Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God [who] is our salvation. Selah.
Finally, the ark is brought into the house that Solomon built. Then the glory of the LORD descends into the temple and fills the temple (2Chr 5:1414so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.). This event we can bring into connection with the coming down of the Holy Spirit, through which the church is formed to the house of the living God (Acts 2:1-41When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.; 1Tim 3:1515but in case I am delayed, [I write] so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.). This happened after the Lord Jesus is glorified in heaven (Jn 7:3939But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified.).