Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fear and Rejoicing

2 Samuel 6 brings us a whole range of emotions - fear, anger, rejoicing, disdain, and determination.

David had built up his city. Things were secure. Time now to bring up the ark of the Lord God from where it was sitting in Abinadab's house.

New cart, ox, things were ready to roll.
3And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, 4with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark. 5And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.
They were making merry. This was a happy, carefree time for them. And then....
6And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.7And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.
Uzzah should have known better. His father's house had kept the ark of the Lord safe. He knew then how to act around the ark, even if one's intentions are good (prevent the ark from falling) one does not presume to lay a hand on the holiness of God. So God's anger burned against Uzzah and he died for it. David's merri-making turned to anger and then fear. How could he presume to bring up the ark to the Lord to his city? And so David had the ark of God installed in the house of a it Gittite.
8And David was angry because the LORD had burst forth against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day. 9And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?" 10So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.

That worked out well for Obed-edom the Gittite, for God blessed his household. So David, seeing this learned that he could bring up the ark of God to his city. But he did so differently this time. No merry-making, this time there were sacrifices to the Lord. And David danced with joyful abandon before the Lord. The whole of Israel rejoiced with him. When the ark had been brought to it's resting place (a specific tent) then David sacrificed again, and gave the people a gift of a "cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one".

12And it was told King David, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. 13And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. 14And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. 15So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

David's wife Michal was unimpressed with David dancing. She saw him and merely had disdain for him. God's word says that she "despised him in her heart".

I have to admit, I loved David's response to his wife. "
It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD—and I will make merry before the LORD. 22I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes.
David didn't let Michal's opinion of him stop him or change his attitude in regards to how to praise the Lord. He had danced in joy before the Lord, and he would do it again!

God's response to Michal was to not bless her with children to the day of her death.

But David's response.... that is what I learned today.
To not let the opinions of others influence how I praise the Lord or how I act before the Lord. This is a thing that I need to remember. And it is good to so be reminded.

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