The year is 1000 BC, and David’s next task was to bring the Ark of the Covenant from where it’s been for 70 years to Jerusalem. He had good motives, but as you will see, his methods were lacking. Remember, Moses relayed to the Israelites the specific instructions God gave him on the building of the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus). They even had detailed directions on who and how it was to be carried. The Kohathites of the tribe of Levi were the only ones who were designated to touch, carry, and care for the Ark of God (Numbers).
Back in 1 Samuel 4, the Israelites got the bright idea to take the Ark into battle against the Philistines and they ended up losing it. They failed to seek God’s guidance in the matter. Then, the Philistines discovered that God is mightier than their man-made idols (that was funny!). They returned the Ark on a cart, but the Hebrews never brought it back to its proper place at the tabernacle in Shiloh. They left it in someone’s yard like an old useless relic.
So, what happens when David tries to bring it to Jerusalem? Let’s dig in….
2 Samuel 6 – Good Motive, Bad Method
Then David again gathered all the elite troops in Israel, 30,000 in all. 2 He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. 3 They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart 4 that carried the Ark of God. Ahio walked in front of the Ark. 5 David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.
6 But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. 7 Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.
8 David was angry because the Lord’s anger had burst out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means “to burst out against Uzzah”), as it is still called today.
9 David was now afraid of the Lord, and he asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of the Lord back into my care?” 10 So David decided not to move the Ark of the Lord into the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath. 11 The Ark of the Lord remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and his entire household.
12 Then King David was told, “The Lord has blessed Obed-edom’s household and everything he has because of the Ark of God.” So David went there and brought the Ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the City of David with a great celebration. 13 After the men who were carrying the Ark of the Lord had gone six steps, David sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. 15 So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.
Michal’s Contempt for David
16 But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.
17 They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. 18 When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19 Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes.
20 When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”
21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!” 23 So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life.2 Samuel 6 NLT
Points to Ponder
- The Ark was neglected for 70 years!
- David’s motives were right, but he failed to consult God on how to properly move the Ark. The Levites/priests also failed to follow the proper procedure outlined by God so many years ago.
- David’s negligence cost a man his life.
- Unholy hands were never supposed to touch the Ark.
- Once they figured out the poles on either side were for the Ark’s transport, they stopped and David sacrificed a bull and a calf.
- The lesson here is to do things God’s way not your own way or man’s way. And we can see this in all the religious rituals that man has invented to get God’s attention. God doesn’t want pagan worship. He wants sincere worship!
- At then end, Michal, Saul’s daughter, was ashamed of David’s worshipful dance, thinking it was beneath his status as king.
- David was more concerned about worshiping God than what people thought.
I remember when I started attending a non-denominational church. At first it felt odd raising my hands during the worship time. It took a while for me to feel comfortable doing it. I finally just let the spirit take over and sincerely worship God.
Back when I was growing up Catholic, I was more concerned about standing or kneeling at the right moment during the mass. In the Progressive church, raising hands, swaying with the worship songs was just not done.
Recently, I witnessed a friend be so moved by the Spirit during a worship song that she danced in the middle of the sanctuary. I’m moved when people go up to front to kneel and pray, humbling themselves before God. Not because they HAVE to but because they are genuinely MOVED to.
Psalm 101 – A Psalm of David
1 I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.
I will praise you with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life—
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
3 I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
4 I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.
5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
I will not endure conceit and pride.
6 I will search for faithful peoplePsalm 101 NLT
to be my companions.
Only those who are above reproach
will be allowed to serve me.
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
and liars will not stay in my presence.
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
and free the city of the Lord from their grip.
Living a Righteous Life
How can you do what it says in this psalm? Simple. With the help of the Holy Spirit! He’s available 24/7.
God’s Spirit is not some far-off entity only available to popes and priests. No! He is Jesus, living in YOUR heart when you repent of your sins, accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, surrender your life to Him and Invite Him into your Heart!
Jesus didn’t suffer torture and die so we could have religion! He died so He could have a Relationship with YOU!
Isn’t it about time that you got right with God?
Raise A Hallelujah!
Live with Abandon
Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)