King of Kings
“Who among the gods is like You, Lord?…majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exod. 15:11).
Read 2 SAMUEL 6:1-23
 David again brought together out of Israel chosen men, thirty thousand in all.  He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark.  They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart  with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it.  David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.  When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled.  The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.  Then David was angry because the LORD’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.  David was afraid of the LORD that day and said, “How can the ark of the LORD ever come to me?”  He was not willing to take the ark of the LORD to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.  The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the LORD blessed him and his entire household.  Now King David was told, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing.  When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.  David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might,  while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.  As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.  They brought the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the LORD.  After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD Almighty.  Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.  When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”  David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel-I will celebrate before the LORD.  I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”  And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy was David willing to risk public humiliation here?
The ark was rich in symbolism. It was the throne of God (1 Sam. 4:4; 6:2), the particular point where throughout history God met with his people (Exod. 27:21). So God gave specific instructions about how to treat the ark and who had access to it (Num. 4:15). However, David and the people didn’t keep these instructions, but moved the ark as the Philistines had done (6:7), with devastating consequences. When Uzzah touched the ark, it cost him his life.
David is shocked, angry, fearful, and guilty. He later acknowledges the failure to seek God about how to handle the ark (1 Chron. 15:12,13). Next time it is brought to Jerusalem, it’s a time of celebration, sacrifice and reverent worship.
This passage is uncomfortable in places, reminding me of how I approach God, about the times I revel in his friendship and fatherhood, forgetting his kingship and might. It challenges me about how freely I worship God, whether I’m too conscious of what onlookers think. Yet something else disquiets me more: how easily David went ahead of God when life was going well. That’s all too familiar!
Meditate on how you approach God every day and how you prepare to worship. Are any changes necessary?
Holy, Eternal God, I confess I sometimes take You too lightly and don’t accord You the respect and awe You deserve.
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