2 Samuel 6 Honoring God
As we pick up this part of our story there are many things that have happened since we found David running from Saul. 1 Samuel 25 tells us that the Prophet Samuel dies. Samuel was the one who first anointed Saul and then later anointed David. This was a huge loss for the nation. In 1 Samuel 26 Saul tries to kill David again which is why he did not trust him when he apologized before. In fact David did not trust Saul to the point that he went and lived among the Philistines which was David’s enemy. When you trust your enemies more than your King things are really bad.
Then in 1 Samuel 31 Saul and Jonathan die in battle which would seem to make the path for David to become King easy but instead some of Saul’s family thought they should be King. So fighting between David and Saul’s family took place and you can read in 2 Samuel 5 that David became the King over all of Israel. David was 30 years old when he became King of Israel and he ruled for 40 years.
Read 1 Samuel 6:1-11
1) Honoring God must be done correctly
The Ark had not been in the capital city since the Philistines sent it back to the Israelites because God brought sickness upon them. (see 1 Samuel 7) The Ark had the Ten Commandments (Exodus 25:16; 40:20; Deuteronomy 10:5 and 1 Kings 8:9), Aarons Rod (Numbers 17:10) , Golden Jar of Manna (Exodus 16:33) and was a place of divine revelation (Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89). It was known as the Lords Throne (1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalm 80:1; 99:1; Isaiah 37:16)
David was doing the right thing by bringing the Ark to the capital of Israel but he was doing it the wrong way. David was treating the Ark of the Covenant the same way the Philistines did. (1 Samuel 6:7,10) A new cart was a sign of respect but it still violated the guidelines recorded in Numbers 4:15 and 7:9.
Even though they were transporting the Ark incorrectly they began their journey back to the capital. Uzzah, who was a Levitical Priest, saw that the Ark was going to fall so he reached up and stabled it but he died because he was not supposed to touch the Ark. Only Aaronic Priest were allowed to touch the Ark (Number 4:15) so Uzzah was defying a command of God by touching the Ark. We like say that ignorance is bliss but ignorance cost Uzzah his life. Uzzah went by his gut reaction or feeling and he did not go by the truth of what God had previously said. We have Gods word and it is up to us to search His word and know the truth.
It may not seem fair to us because the Philistines only got sick when they had the Ark in their possession. The Philistines did not suffer because God does not hold unbelievers accountable the same way He holds His children accountable. For the third time God defended the Ark on His own because He wants us all to know He can protect His honor and His word. (1 Samuel 5:3-12; 6:9-20)
Doing the right things the wrong way does not honor God. Gods work not done Gods way will not be accepted. We may think the end justifies the means but that is not the case with God. We may think that it was close enough but with God perfection is required. God cares about every detail and how we conduct ourselves. We tend to live in the grey when God lives in the black and white. We like to live with close enough but God requires Holiness.
1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
I think we take the Holiness of God lightly. Christians used to be known as God fearing people because they understood that God was perfect and they were not. If you are to honor God then you must fear Him. It is not Fear where you are afraid to approach Him because we are to approach Him with confidence, (Hebrews 4:16) fear is a reverential awe of who He is. We have made God our buddy and have forgotten who He really is. False teaching has numbed us to His Holiness and how He will not tolerate even one sin in Heaven, which is why we have to take on the righteousness of Christ who was sinless. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Either we accept Jesus Christ or when we see the Holiness of God we will die for all eternity because God will not tolerate sin.
We will get to Heaven and see the Holiness and Perfection of God and we will be so Awe inspired that we can only worship the one who allowed us to be in His presence through His own sacrifice.
Read 2 Samuel 6: 12-15
2) Honoring God will take sacrifice
David must have learned the proper way that the Ark was to be carried because now he has the priest carry it by hand. It was easier to put the Ark on a Cart and allow the ox to do the work but that is not the way God said to do it.
It cost them energy to carry the Ark for the 10 miles. Giving of ones physical energy is important in this society. We seem to be tired all the time and to have to exert energy . Energy drinks and health aids let us know that having energy is very important to us. We do not do things that drain our energy and we guard it as if it is as precious as gold.
Another thing that is as precious to us as energy is our time. It cost them Time because it was slower process than hauling it on the cart. They also made at least one sacrifice which would make them all pause for a long period of time before moving on toward the capital. (Some say they made a sacrifice after each 6 steps some say just the initial 6 steps.) The 6 steps were symbolic of the 6 days of creation and then the day of rest.
It cost them financially because they sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf for the altar which would have been the best one they could find.
David prepared himself because the second time around it says he was wearing a linen ephod which were ritual garments made for priest. We are called to be Holy and what are we doing to assure that we are preparing ourselves for that? The Problem is we settle for good enough when God is about perfection
Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We are to observe all that Jesus commanded not just the things we want to do. It will cost us but what is more important your time or honoring God? What is more important your energy or honoring God? What is more important your finances or honoring God? What is more important you getting to do whatever you want or honoring God? In light of eternity none of these things will matter.
Read 2 Samuel 6:16-23
3) Honoring God will be met with criticism.
When you try and do things to honor God you will receive criticism and sometimes by those closest to you. David took off his outer garment but he still had on a robe like garment that would cover him from being totally naked. His wife was not accusing him of being totally naked her accusation was more that he was not acting like a King.
David was so humbled by God that his earthly title and position did not matter to him. In essence David was honoring God more by taking off the outer robe which would have symbolized himself as someone important and making himself a no one in the sight of God. It was a very humble gesture and one that was from a pure heart.
As we get closer to the end times those who do not worship God will continue their verbal if not physical threats toward those who do. The negative people will see what is wrong with your worship instead of being involved in your worship. She missed out on a joyous occasion because of the bitterness in her heart. While the rest of the people celebrated her bitterness made her miss out on the joy that everyone else was experiencing. It really does not make sense that she was mad at David because he went and defeated an army that had captured her to bring her back to him.
1 Peter 3:15-16 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
David’s wife was more concerned about appearances and David was more concerned about worship. Are you more concerned about what others will think of you or are you more concerned with honoring God?
The only way you can truly Honor God is through a relationship with Jesus Christ.(John 3:15, 14:6) If you have not given your life to Christ then all your works will be like the man who built his house on the sand, they may look good but they will be for nothing in the end.(Matthew 7)