In 2 Samuel 6 David has successfully assumed the throne over all of Israel (instead of just Judah as previously held). Much bloodshed has occurred as David was instantly challenged by the Philistines. (While just a vassal king over Judah, the Philistines had no reason to pay any attention to him – yet once he united the nation together under him then suddenly they noticed!). Once David had defeated the Philistine assault (twice), he then captured the city of Jerusalem from it’s original inhabitants and began the work of officially anointing it as the nation’s capital. Part of that process was setting up a new tabernacle in the city center from which they could worship God and perform the daily sacrifices. (Previously this was being done at Hebron – but that city was located in the north… where Jerusalem was more central in location – and easily defended – making it a good choice).

A main piece to the new tabernacle is the Ark of the Covenant (with the Presence of the Lord dwelling between the angels on it’s lid). If you recall, the Ark has been sitting at the home of Abinadab in Kirjath-jearim at the Philistine/Israelite border where it had been stored for the past 20 years, after being returned by the Philistine lords. So David gathers his main men and they immediately go up and secure the Ark to bring it to Jerusalem.

This is where we see one of David’s flaws. Although a man with great tenderness and affection for the Lord, David was also a man with a tendency to get over-zealous and act without thinking. We shall see this happen time and again throughout David’s life – and this is one example. Without consulting the instructions in the Law, David sets the Ark on a new cart to transport it to the city (just like the Philistine lords had moved it). The problem with this is that God had given implicit instructions on how to transport the Ark… it is to be carried by priests with long poles through the rings on it’s side (Ex 37; Num 4; etc). So already we see David making a grave mistake… by moving it in the improper way. The result of this is that an innocent man named Uzzah reaches out to steady the Ark after the oxen stumble and is struck dead by the holiness of the Lord. At first casual reading this seems unfair – and many of us may react like David did (with offense at God). But – the error was all David’s. In Num 4:15-20 it is clearly said that no one is to touch the Ark or else they will die. (Hence why the priests are to carry it with poles). So it was David’s failure to do things the right way that caused Uzzah’s death.

Like many of us – David reacts with offense and basically pouts after this incident. Instead of correcting his mistake and bringing the Ark into the city – he instead sends it to the home of Obed-edom. But do you notice what happened to Obed-edom?

And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.”2 Sam 6:11 AMP

Because of the presence of the Lord in his home, Obed-edom was blessed! This wasn’t simply a spiritual blessings… but it entailed wealth and influence. We will find out later that Obed-edom becomes a gatekeeper in the nation and a leader in charge of the storehouse (treasury) for all of Israel. Not only is Obed-edom blessed – but verse 12 says “all that pertains to him” was blessed as well! So – simply based on the fact that Obed-edom housed the presence of the Lord in his home – not only himself, but his entire family line was dramatically transformed from a simple farmer on the outskirts of the city into the keeper of the national treasury!

That is what happens when the Blessing comes to town!

Once David hears if what is happening to Obed-edom, he quickly brings the Ark into the city (the correct way this time!). Now, despite his errors, David is a man to be commended. First – he is repents and corrects his mistakes – but he also is completely sold out to the Lord. We see his exuberance once again on display as David leads the parade into Jerusalem with dancing and singing. This isn’t the type of dead worship seen in so many of our churches today – but it is actually described as a “Dance of Shouting”. Imagine the scene… tambourines and drums and harps and singing and dancing – all before the Ark of the Lord!

In fact – it is such a display of love and adoration that David’s wife, Michal, watching from the window, feels David is making a fool of himself before the people. (This is always the perspective of those with a distant relationship to the Lord as they watch His people worship Him!). Upon questioning him about this, David responds with his now famous line… “I will dance before the Lord – I will become even more undignified then this for my God!” – 2 Sam 6:21-22 (paraphrased).

So what can we learn from this packed chapter? For starters – the presence of the Lord brings with it the Blessing… and the Blessing causes us to prosper and increase in all areas of our lives – just like Obed-edom. Second – although a man who makes his fair share of mistakes, David is also a man who repents and corrects his actions. His true love for the Lord comes out in the end and he isn’t persuaded from that love – even in the face of persecution.

May we all have the heart of David and the blessing of Obed-edom!

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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