2 Samuel 6
-This chapter takes us on the Ark of the Covenant’s journey from Baale-judah at the house of Abinadab on the hill (see 1 Samuel 7:1-2) to its new home in the city of David. There was peril along the way as David arose and went with all the people who were with him to bring this Ark of God which is called by His Name (the very Name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim) to its new location. The Ark was placed on a new cart, and Uzzah and Ahio, who were the sons of Abinadab, were leading it. While this procession was taking place, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with various sorts of instruments (2 Samuel 6:1-5).
-However, when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, tragedy occurred. Uzzah reached out his hand toward the Ark of God and took hold of it because the oxen had nearly upset it. This violated the LORD’s command (Exodus 25:10-15, Numbers 4:15), and the anger of the LORD therefore burned against Uzzah to the point of striking him down dead right on the spot for his irreverence. This activity frustrated the previously jubilant King David, and he became temporarily angry because of the LORD’s outburst. This led them to name the place Perez-uzzah (the breakthrough of Uzzah). David that day developed an extraordinarily agonizing fear of the LORD, which led him to comment, “How can the Ark of the LORD come to me?” He was then unwilling to move the Ark into the city of David there in Jerusalem initially. The Ark did however find its spot in the house of Obed-edom, the Gittite, and stayed there for three months (see also 1 Chronicles 13:13-14). During this time the LORD blessed the household of Obed-edom, and it was told to David. Therefore, David finally went and brought up the Ark of God into the city of David with gladness. This time he moved it in complete obedience to the Law of the LORD (see 1 Chronicles 15:1-15). It was carried by the priests, not stuck on a cart like the Philistines had once done (1 Samuel 6:7-8). When the bearers of the Ark had gone six paces, the king sacrificed an ox and a fatling. Then David danced before the LORD with all his might wearing the linen ephod of the religious leaders. “So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the Ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.” Michal, David’s first wife and daughter of Saul, looked out of her window at this time and observed David, her husband, leaping and dancing before the LORD, and “she despised him in her heart.” As the Ark was now brought into it place within a tent that David had prepared for it, he again offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. After these things, he blessed the people in the Name of the LORD of hosts and distributed to all the people of Israel, men and women alike, a cake of bread, a date, and a raisin to each one. After this massive celebration, they all departed each to their own house. But, when David returned to his household to bless them, Michal came out to meet him and scorned, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!” David’s response was classic, “It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the LORD. I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.” The Word says that Michal, the daughter of Saul, was cursed by having no children to the day of her death (2 Samuel 6:6-23).
-*Application* Sometimes the LORD has to do drastic things to bring us back into conformity with the fact that He is God and we are not. This deal with the Ark came at a real high point of David’s life when the temptation for haughtiness and pride were at its peak. In other words, he was feeling pretty good about himself and what was happening to him as this newly crowned king. God had to straighten him and his country out with an overwhelming reminder that He was holy and expected total obedience in genuine reverence. Our lesson? We can’t let unbridled passion, even in a worthwhile celebration, exceed the commands of our God. David learned from his mistakes, which is his mark of greatness, and corrected his errors the next time he moved the Ark. He followed God’s way, still celebrating before the LORD with what some perceived as undignified abandon, and esteemed himself lightly with humility. This is a true plan for success and will really distinguish us among people of our culture too.
Verses to Memorize: 2 Samuel 6:14, 18, 21-22