Now David was clothed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and as were the musicians, and Kenaniah, who was in charge of the singing of the choirs. David also wore a linen ephod. 1 Chronicles 15:27
David was dressed as a royal priest. This was quite unusual as the role of the king was separate from the role of priests. When Saul didn’t wait for Samuel the priest to offer the burnt offerings, but did it himself, he was severely rebuked for his actions (1 Samuel 13:9-13). God’s people aren’t to overstep their authority.
Yet here David acted in the role of the priest and had divine approval to do it. We read David told the Levites, regarding the first attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem, “We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way” (verse 13). The second time, David did inquire of the Lord. God gave him the privilege of being priest and king and enabled him to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to the city.
It brings to mind the account of Melchizedek when he was referred to as a king and priest. “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram … Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything” (Genesis 14:18-20). Salem was the original name of Jerusalem.
Only Melchizedek, David and Jesus, all kings of Jerusalem, shared the titles and privileges of king and priest at the same time.
As his children, God gives us many privileges, but let’s not take them for granted.