Obed-Edom

Last Sunday we focused in on a story from 1 Chronicles 13:13-14.  David begins to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.  In a hasty attempt to load the ark on a cart pulled by mules, the ark begins to slide off and Uzzah reaches out to steady the ark.  Because of their careless attitude towards worship/the Divine God strikes Uzzah.  David and the other Israelites take a step back to re-evaluate their approach to bringing the ark to Jerusalem.  In the meantime, the ark is left in the care of Obed-Edom the Gittite.  If you remember from our sermon, the Gittites were people from Gath (the same Gath as the infamous Goliath).  Despite being a foreigner, and having a shaky history with Israel in the past, this man from Gath houses the ark.  And God blesses Obed-Edom and his household.

In our reading from this week (1 Chronicles 21-29) the person of Obed-Edom re-emerges as one of those listed with the gatekeepers and musicians.  1 Chronicles 26:4 simply inserts Obed-Edom into the list.  We aren’t given any genealogical record for Obed-Edom, although the total claiming to be descended from Obed-Edom is 62, more than any other line of gatekeepers.  Obed-Edom is simply inserted into the line of the gatekeepers.

What’s the point?  Last Sunday I talked about how God is welcoming in the strangers, outsiders, and foreigners.  Anyone and everyone is welcome to come and be counted as the People of God as long as they faithfully seek God.  And now this outsider guy-from-Gath is participating in the worship of God.  Not only him, but he leaves a legacy after him of families devoted to the worship and service of YHWH.

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