David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

2 Samuel 6

David became king of Israel after Saul died but he knew that God was really in charge. David was ruling from Jerusalem, so he decided that the Ark of God’s Presence should also be in Jerusalem. This story is about David’s mission to please and honor God by bringing the Ark to it’s rightful place in Jerusalem.

Key Verse

“The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord.
 The world and all its people belong to him.”

– Psalm 24:1 ICB


Lesson

Introduction

Ask the children to think about what the most important thing is that they own. You could even have the older kids write it down on a piece of paper. Then have them think about where they got that thing. Was it a gift? Did they have to save up to buy it? Read Psalm 24:1 to them, and then ask. Who do you belong to, according to this verse? If you belong to God, then who does your stuff belong to? This Psalm was written by David, and today’s story reminds us that God is ultimately in charge of everything!

Background

A few weeks back we learnt that God sent Samuel to anoint David as king when David was still very young. Saul was still on the throne and he didn’t like David’s success. So Saul tried to get rid of David, but David ran away. Well, one day Saul died in battle against some of Israel’s enemies and then David officially became the new king of Israel!

David was a good king but he knew that God was really in charge of Israel. Why? Because the whole earth and everything in it belongs to God! So David decided that it would be good to bring the Ark of God’s presence to Jerusalem, which was like the capital city. If God was the true ruler of Israel, then surely the Ark should also be in the capital city where the king reigns!

David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

Props: A cardboard box, 2 broom sticks, tambourines/shakers, raisins

Tell the story from 2 Samuel 6:1–15, 17–19

For the little kids you can fill in verse 6–10 by saying something like: Unfortunately the cart had an accident and God was not happy about how they handled the Ark because that’s not how he told them to carry the Ark. It was very important that they respect the Ark and treat it the way God asked them to.

Some storytelling ideas:

  • Cut 2 holes in each end the box and have the kids try to figure out how to safely carry the cardboard box with the broom sticks without touching it.
  • Have the kids stand up and do their best ‘celebration dance’ when you speak about David’s dance before the Lord.
  • Have raisins with your snack at the end to remind the kids of the raisin cakes that the people had.
Application

So, David was in charge of Israel but he wanted to make sure that people understood that God was the true King and that Jerusalem and Israel belonged to God. David sets a good example for us that we should let God be in charge of our lives. We should use whatever we own to glorify God. That could be things that we own, but it could also include special abilities or talents. It all belongs to God!

Uzzah died for his sins

Does it seem unfair to you that Uzzah died for touching the Ark? Even though he was protecting the Ark, touching it was not allowed according to God’s law (Num. 4:15). It was a sin and the Bible says that the wages for sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Uzzah died for his sin, but strangely he also died making sure that the resting place of God’s presence would be safe for all Israel. How is that similar to what Jesus has done for us? Well, Jesus also died for sin. But not for his own sin, he died for each of us. Jesus died protecting each one of you, so that if you give yourself to him, his presence can rest in you!

David and all the people were so happy that the Ark of God was now in Jerusalem. It was a really big celebration! When we give ourselves and everything we own to God––when we open up our hearts to him––there is also a celebration that happens! Jesus says that there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents! (Luke 15:10).

Prayer: Thank God that he has given us our lives and that we belong to him. Pray that he would strengthen the kids to be able to live for him remembering that everything belongs to him.


Review Questions
  • Where was the Ark at the beginning of the story?
  • How did David try to bring the Ark to Jerusalem?
  • Why didn’t that work?
  • How did they bring the Ark into Jerusalem the second time?
  • How did they celebrate?
  • What does it look like for us to give ourselves to God?
  • How do we invite God’s presence into our own lives?

Image Credit: Gargiulo, Domenico. The Transfer of the Ark of the Lord to the City of Jerusalem by King David (Late 1640s)