2 Samuel 6

The Return Of The Ark

King David gathered the people of Israel to establish something far greater than a capital for the united kingdom. Israel needed to be reminded of who they were and that their identity is found in whose they were for Israel was God's chosen people. Seventy years had passed since the ark of God, the symbol of God's presence had taken its rightful place among the people. David gathers all the chosen men of Israel to bring the ark of God to the capital and reestablish worship as prescribed by God. David was joined by thirty thousand to retrieve the ark from the house of Abinadab. They placed the ark on a new cart and began the trip back to Jerusalem. The people celebrated as they made their way to the new capital because this was a new day for Israel and it was unlike any other. God gave Israel a shepherd king that loved the Lord. Music fills the air as songs and instruments were raised in a symphony of praise. The mirth of this crowd shifted to mourning because God is holy and he cannot allow any violation of his holiness. The people came to the threshing floor of Nacon, and the oxen stumbled. The cart lurched, and Uzzah reached out to steady the ark lest it fall but when his hand touched it, the struck him, and he died immediately. Imagine the silence pouring over the crowd as those in the front witness in stunned disbelief and word travels until the edges of the throng learn of God's judgment and are left without song or words. David was angry for this day would be remembered for the wrong reasons. David was also afraid, and he decided not to continue to Jerusalem with the Ark. He placed it in the home of Obed-edom who received great blessings from the Lord. David had good intentions, but good intentions are no substitute for obedience. The ark was only to be carried on poles by Levites. David's method was the same as the pagan Philistines who sent it back on a cart drawn by cows.

Obedience Matters

David decided to gather the ark of God again, but this time he carefully observed the Divine instructions concerning the ark. The procession set out and this time sacrifices were offered. The Ark made its way to Jerusalem, and the people rejoiced. King David was in an ephod, dressed like the priests and he danced with all his might. David and the people brought the ark of God to the new capital with shouts, singing, and the sound of the horn. The ark of God was in the capital, and the people were united. The Ark was set in its place inside the tent, and David presided over the public worship where he offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. The service was followed by a feast of dedication, and when David dismissed the people, he blessed them and gave them provisions for their journey home.

All Is Not Well

David is joyful as he makes his way home. The goodness of God was fresh in his mind and heart. David must have entered his house ready to speak of the goodness of God and enjoy his family, but this would not be the case. David's wife Michal, who was the daughter of Saul, had observed the behavior of David and she despised what he had done. To her, this was a foolish act that diminished his royal dignity. The joyous occasion is interrupted by an angry wife who scolded David for his vulgarity. David rebukes Michal harshly and not only does he not offer any apology, but he also declares that he will be even more contemptible in her eyes if the occasion calls for it. David was not the only one to rebuke Michal; God gave her no more children.

Things To Consider:

  • What does this passage teach us about our approach to God?
  • Are there ways that we violate God's holiness in worship today? If so, how?
  • Why do you think David was angry?
  • What did David consult to correct the errors?
  • What are the implications of that today?
  • What sacrifices to we offer today?
  • How is pride dangerous in worship?
  • Why is faith difficult to live out at home?