Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3

David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

II Samuel 6


         For further study, read Psalm 132 which is associated with the events in this chapter

         The ark arriving in Jerusalem for the first time- This is God further establishing Jerusalem/Zion as His capital. One day, Jerusalem will be the capital of the world, the capital of worship.

         Perhaps the USAís relationship with Israel is why God hasnít judged us yet

         Two great themes we see in this chapter are: rejoicing, and fear! Both have their place in Godís presence


I.                    The first attempt- v. 1-9

a.      David gathered all the choice men of Israel: David gathered so many of his best soldiers because bringing the ark to Jerusalem was an important step towards providing a central place of worship for all of Israel.

b.      The Ark of the Covenant- God commanded Moses to make more than 400 years before Davidís time. It was a wood box (the word ark means ďboxĒ or ďchestĒ) completely covered with gold and with an ornate gold lid or top known as the mercy seat.

c.       This ark was a picture of Christ- wood and gold signifies His humanity and deity

d.      In it were the tablets of the law that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai, a jar of manna, and Aaronís rod that miraculously budded as a confirmation of his leadership.

e.      The ark was also symbolic of the presence of God- See Exodus 25:17-22

f.        V. 2- The LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims- The ark of God represented the immediate presence and glory of God in Israel. David considered it a high priority to bring the ark out of obscurity and back into prominence. David wanted Israel to be alive with a sense of the near presence and glory of God.

g.      Previously, the ark was used as a good luck charm in I Samuel 4. God allowed defeat and its capture. They had a rabbit foot theology, and superstitious faith

h.      When the ungodliness of Israel and the gross iniquity of Eliís sons, the priests, was punished by suffering the Ark of God to be captured by the Philistines, this was an event of the direst significance. It was not merely that a precious and highly valued treasure had been lost, it was an absolutely irreparable loss. When the Ark was taken away, it represented the fact that Jehovah himself was gone. Ichabod- the glory is departed

i.        The last mention of the ark of God was when it came back from the land of the Philistines in 1 Samuel 7:1. It sat at the house of Abinadab for some 70 years.

j.        V. 3- And they set the ark of God upon a new cart- Transporting the ark on a cart was against Godís specific command. The ark was designed to be carried (Exodus 25:12-15) and was only to be carried by Levites of the family of Kohath (Numbers 4:15).

k.       ďWe want Godís presence very much, donít we? But we like to hitch His presence to some of our new carts. We like to add Him to our list of organizations, to load Him on top of the mechanics of a busy life, and then drive. How much of our service is really in the energy of the flesh, I wonder! So often we put forth our hands, but not our hearts.Ē (Redpath)

l.        ďIt is not new things we need, but new fire.Ē (John Wesley)

m.    Everyone today is looking for some new way to do church- how to have 21st century church- how about we go back to 1st century church?

n.      The Philistines transported the ark on a cart in 1 Samuel 6:10-11. They got away with it because they were Philistines, but God expected more from His people. Israel was to take their example from Godís Word, not from the innovations of the Philistines.

o.      The ends donít justify the means. This was a good thing done the wrong way.

p.      V. 5- Judging from the importance of the occasion and all the instruments mentioned, this was quite a production. The atmosphere was joyful, exciting, and engaging. The problem was that none of it pleased God because it was all in disobedience to His word.

q.      V. 6- As they cross Nachonís threshing floor Uzzah puts his hand on the ark to steady it, and God strikes him for his error. He made a decision in a moment to disregard Godís command and to do what seemed right to him.

r.       Numbers 4:15 This is a lesson in not heeding Godís warnings

s.       Uzzah erred in thinking that God couldnít take care of the ark of Himself.

t.        (2Sa 6:8-9) David reacts with anger and fear.

u.      Davidís anger was based in confusion. He couldnít understand why his good intentions werenít enough. God cares about both our intentions and our actions. David felt he couldnít do what God wanted him to do.

v.       Similar to I Sam. 6:19- God strikes the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord: The Ark was only to be touched and handled by specific Levites from the family of Kohath, and even they were commanded to not touch the ark itself (Numbers 4:15).Then, only the High Priest could come before the Ark, and only once a year! The men of Bethshemesh sinned by not only touching the ark, but also looking inside of it

w.     We again see an important principle that God dealt with Israel more strictly than He did with the Philistines. The Israelites, who had the Law, should have known better! So they faced a stronger punishment

x.       Luke 12:48, ďÖFor unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much

y.       requiredĒ

z.       Illustr- Jesusí proclamation against Capernaum (Matthew 11:20-24) Degrees of judgment in Hell

aa.  See v. 8-9- Compare I Samuel 6:20- Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God?

bb.  The presence of God- produces joy and fear! (Psalm 2:11)

II.                  The successful second attempt- v. 10-15

a.      The ark is left with Obed-edom- David did this in fulfillment of Godís word. Obed-Edom was a Levite of the family of Koath (1 Chronicles 26:4). This was the family within the tribe of Levi that God commanded to carry and take care of the ark (Numbers 4:15).

b.      And the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his household: When Godís Word was obeyed and His holiness was respected blessing followed. God wanted the ark to be a blessing for Israel, not a curse.

c.       See I Chronicles 15:13- Godís work, Godís way- due order

III.                Davidís exuberant worship- v. 16-21

a.      He lept and danced a traditional Jewish dance with all his might. He didnít hold anything back!

b.      Emotions should not be the center of our Christian life, but they must not be detached from our Christian life either! Itís a blessing to have the joy of the Lord!

c.       A word about this dancing:

                                                              i.      There is no New Testament reference to dancing in worship. I believe the dancing we see today is worldly and sensual, does not promote modesty, and should not be a part of public church worship

                                                            ii.      Neither David nor his priests took this as a template for how worship was to be conducted in the Tabernacle, nor was it found that way in Solomonís Temple nor was it in the synagogues. So Jews didnít take what happened as a precedent for worship. And the other references to dancing in the Old Testament arenít in the Temple. And Christians for most of the history of Christianity never took it that way, either.

                                                          iii.      This was a different culture and time- the directive for us is not to copy the exact form, but to capture its essence- glee and joy in serving the Lord

                                                           iv.      Dancing tends to be more of a performance that others watch

d.      V. 16- Michal isnít impressed. Her complaint is that this wasnít befitting for a king

                                                              i.      He took off his kingly garments

                                                            ii.      V. 21- His motive- before the Lord. Always be mindful of the audience of one!



         The main lesson from this last portion of the chapter is that David is a picture of Jesus Christ. Here he unites two offices- King and Priest (v. 14)!

         Those two offices were never mixed, but they will be in Christ one day!

         The ark represents Godís presence- thatís what we need in our daily lives, and in our church services!

         This chapter mixes two thoughts that seem like a paradox: joy and fear

         But thatís exactly what the holy presence of God does to us

         May we come before His presence with reverence- dealing with our sin- and also with joy as we serve Him!