Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Chronicles 13:1-3
"David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, 'If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the LORD our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our brothers throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul' " (1Ch 13:1-3).
David should have consulted God instead of his captains about transporting the ark. His plan was good, but his methods were not well thought out.
Did David KNOW what to do? Did he simply choose to do something different, but "just as good"? Did he believe that there would be a new, spiritual priesthood -- over which he might preside -- with new rules? Was this a sin of ignorance, or a sin of presumption?
Either way, this first attempt to bring back the ark proved disastrous: "When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD'S anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God" (vv 9,10).
Reading 2 - Ezekiel 26:4
"They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock" (Eze 26:4).
"If you wish to survey the ruins of ancient Tyre, however, you really should have a frogman's suit. History tells how the ruins of the city really were cast into the sea, hundreds of years after Ezekiel had said they would be. In 332 BC Alexander the Great wanted to subdue an island fortress off the coast, near the ruins of the former city. He achieved his aim by building a causeway out to the island, and he used the remains of ancient Tyre for material.
"Every scrap of rubble from the ruins of Tyre was used by Alexander, so that the site really was, as Ezekiel put it, 'made like the top of a rock'. Moreover, as the prophet foretold, the site of the old city was never built on again. The city of Tyre mentioned in the New Testament, and which still exists today, stands on an entirely different site" (Alan Hayward, "God's Truth" ch 2).
Reading 3 - Luke 23:32,33
"Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals -- one on his right, the other on his left" (Luk 23:32,33).
The three crosses summarized:
The Thief: on the cross of rejection, a scoffer, a blasphemer, who died IN sin.
Christ: on the cross of redemption, a sacrifice, a benefactor, who died FOR sin.
The Thief: on the cross of reception, a seeker, a believer, who died SAVED FROM sin.