- David wanted God at the center of the nation as he led it.
- David said: 1 Chronicles 13:3 (ESV) — 3 Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.”
- By David’s day, Israel knew exactly where the ark had been, for decades, but had neglected to search for it.
- The Philistines had captured it (1 Samuel 4:11), then returned it after seven months, but it had never regained its place at the center of Israel.
- David’s first move was to bring the ark back to the center.
- At the start of his reign — moving the ark.
- During his reign — writing the prayer book.
- At the end of his reign — preparing for the temple.
- For all his faults, David always stayed true to the Living God, which made him rare.
1 David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. 3 And 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, 4 with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.
- 1-4 The central object of this passage is the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.
- Exodus 25:22 (ESV) — 22 There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.
5 And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. 6 And 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. 7 And 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. 8 And David was angry because the LORD had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah [break out against Uzzah] to this day. 9 And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and he said, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?” 10 So 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 [cooling off period].
- 7 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. This is a stunning development.
- What was Uzzah’s error?
- 1 He was not Kohathite Levite.
- Levi had three sons (Gershon, Merari, and Kohath). Their descendants had different duties. The Kohathites were to move the ark.
- 2 Like the Philistines, he moved the ark with a cart, rather than with the poles that were to permanently sit in the rings on the side of the ark.
- 3 He touched the ark, which is holy.
- 1 Chronicles 13:10 (ESV) — 10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.
1 God is holy.
- Why would that anger God so deeply? Wasn’t his reaction excessive and disproportionate to the crime?
- 1 The Kohathites had been sufficiently warned.
- Numbers 4:15 (ESV) — 15 …the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die…
- 2 The pattern of Scripture is that when a new work of God is happening, he sets a high standard so that future generations will know what he desires.
- Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, after the initial tabernacle was built.
- Achan’s family after the defeat of Jericho.
- Ananias and Saphira after the church was founded.
- 3 If we are naturalists, then this claim has more merit, but we aren’t, and Uzzah, quite possibly in heaven himself, has led many to God through his example.
- 4 God’s holiness must be respected.
- A low view of God would endanger Israel, the nation to birth the Messiah, thus endangering humanity.
- This is similar to what happens when the church has a low view of God. Our unholy lives get in the way of God’s message.
- 5 Our fullest revelation of God is found at the cross of Christ, so we should not think of him as one who waits to strike everyone and every sin, but who struck his own Son.
- This helps us learn of the horror of sin.
11 And 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. 12a And 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.”
- 11-12 Obed-edom / the LORD blessed:
- How was Obed-edom blessed during this time?
- Hints: all his household, all that belongs to him.
- We don’t know (but might have fun imagining).
2 God is a blessing God.
- But David heard of that blessing and knew he wanted it for his leadership and for all the people of Israel.
12b So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. 13 And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. 14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod [he took off all outward facade before the Lord]. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
- 13 Bore the ark / six steps / sacrificed:
- What is different here?
- 1 Chronicles 15:11–15 (ESV) — 11 Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, 12 and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. 13 Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.” 14 So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel. 15 And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD.
- David had searched the word!
- David had wanted God at the center of Israel, but went about it the wrong way. Now, he behaves biblically.
3 God wants us to search the Scripture.
- 1 Corinthians 10:6 (ESV) — 6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
16 As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart.
- 16 Michal / despised him in her heart: She was likely already angry at David for her station in life, including her removal from Paltiel (3:13-16) and David’s polygamy.
- At one time, in their younger years, Michal had helped David escape through a window, but now she despises him from one (1 Samuel 19:12).
17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
- 1 Chronicles 15-16 account:
- 15:16-24 Tons of Levites played music and sang the entire time.
- 15:25-29 David was accompanied by the elders and commanders of thousands. They sacrificed all along the way.
- 16:1-3 After placing the ark in a tent David had set up, they offered sacrifices to God.
- 16:4-7, 37-43 He appointed some Levites to serve in the tabernacle, including Asaph and his brothers, from that day forward.
- 16:8-36 David penned Psalm 105.
- 1 Chronicles 16:11 & Psalm 105:4 (ESV) — Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
4 God is worthy of sacrifice.
- Sometimes you’ve just got to go for it!
- There was gap between their name (Israel — God prevails) and their reality (God is neglected).
- Act as you are!
- We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15, Ephesians 2:10).
- We are born again (John 3:3).
18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts 19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.
- 18 David / blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts: Like an Aaronic priest.
- Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV) — 24 The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
- 19 To top it all off, David distributed food for everyone, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one.
- The feasts will happen once again! The long neglected walk with God is revived!
5 It is a joy to give to God.
- Burnt: everything.
- Peace: partial.
- Distribution: go home with.
20 And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 And David said to Michal, “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 celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.
- 20 David returned to bless his household: He was clearly expecting a different response than the one Michal gave him (“good job, honey!”).
- 21 It was before the LORD: Not before the female servants. It wasn’t for them. It was for God.
- 23 No child: They became estranged from one another. Note: Saul would have no grandchildren.
- 22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes: David would not be stopped.
6 Some people will despise a worshipful life.
- Get ready to be despised!
- There will always be those who look contemptibly at fervor for Christ.
- Jesus’ word on Judas’ critique of Mary, after she anointed his head and feet with the pure nard:
- John 12:7–8 (ESV) — 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
- Jesus’ word to Simon regarding the sinful woman’s worship, when she broke the alabaster flask of ointment on his feet and wiping them with her hair:
- Luke 7:44–47 (ESV) — 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
7 It takes work to get God at the center.
- Psalm 132:1–5 (ESV) — 1 Remember, O LORD, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured, 2 how he swore to the LORD and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob, 3 “I will not enter my house or get into my bed, 4 I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, 5 until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
- David had many difficulties in life, but the hardships this psalm talks about aren’t the ones we normally think of.
- This isn’t a reference to family issues (Saul, Jesse, Michal), military issues (Goliath, Philistines, Edomites), or leadership issues (Joab, Absalom).
- But the hardships of maintaining the worship of the LORD in Israel.
- The worship of the LORD was always under attack in Israel, just as it will be in your life.