Moving right along with our Blogging Through the Bible Series, we read now about the Ark of God. David even decides God should have His own house. Let’s see how that turns out!
You can read the previous blog posts here:
Tammy wrote about 2 Samuel Chapters 4 & 5 HERE.
Angela covers all of her Blogging Through the Bible Chapters on THIS PAGE.
My own latest writing for the series can be found HERE.
2 Samuel Chapter 6
The ark was set to return to Israel, and David took 30,000 men to go get it. During the transfer from the house of Abinadab to Israel, something happened that changed things.
Uzzah, Abinadab’s son, was chosen to drive the new cart with the Ark on it. As they went along their way, playing music on every instrument available, the oxen moved in such a way that the Ark shook. It looks like Uzzah might have thought it was going to fall off. That prompted him to grab it to keep it from doing so.
This single act sealed Uzzah’s fate, and as the anger of God was kindled, He killed Uzzah right on the spot! David was so displeased about this that he called the place Perezuzzah. This literally means “to breach Uzzah.”
Stopping here, it’s almost hard to read these words, seeing God move so quickly and without any thought to why Uzzah touched the Ark in the first place. It seems harsh, doesn’t it? That a man would be killed for simply trying to keep this Ark, this thing that is SO very important, from falling off the cart?
I thought so too! But… we have to remember that under the law, there were many things that often didn’t seem “fair” as we might think it. Sometimes I think stories like these were just put in place to remind us how fortunate we are that we are no longer under the law. However, that is a topic for another day!
Leaving the Ark Along the Way
After Uzzah was killed, David wondered how in the world the Ark could possibly go with him. He likely feared for his own life. He might even have thought that he would be just as likely to throw his hand out if the Ark were to fall. And then what? Would he be killed as well?
Instead of going on to take the Ark with him into the city of David, he turned off the beaten path and left it at the home of Obededom the Gittite. For three months, the Ark stayed there, and great blessings came to Obededom and his whole household.
Of course, this was reported to David at once. When it was, David went and retrieved the Ark, and brought it back with him this time to the city of David. Great fanfare was made, with shouting, trumpet playing, and dancing. David only wore a linen ephod while all this was going on, nothing else.
The Linen Ephod:
According to the Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, as used on the Blue Letter Bible website, and ephod was, “…a garment of the high priest, worn over the tunic and robe…without sleeves, divided below the armpits into two parts, the anterior of which covered the breast and belly, and hinder covered the back; these were joined on the shoulders with clasps of gold, set with precious stones. This garment reached down to the middle of the thighs, and was bound to the body by a girdle…”
The Ephod was to be worn over a robe or tunic of some kind, that covered more flesh. But David wore it all by itself. Add in the festive dancing and shouting that was going on, and we’ve just set the scene for what happens next.
Michal Isn’t Happy
David’s wife, Michal, who was also Saul’s daughter, saw all the commotion. Through a window, she caught sight of his dancing and the Bible says she despised him in her heart.
It had to be jealousy she was feeling as she began to harass him about it when he came inside. She chided him for uncovering himself before the girls, calling him vain and shameless.
David spat right back at her that the LORD Himself chose him, over her own father and his entire household, to be King of Israel and that he would play before the Lord anytime he pleased. He took it a step further, however, and let her know that he would act as vile as he wanted, and certainly much viler than she had seen. Even viler than that if he wanted. And when he did, he said, those girls she spoke of would see him in honor instead of vileness.
The very last verse of Chapter 6 states: Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
I have heard this preached that God struck Michal barren for speaking out against David and the way he danced for God. But when I read it, I just don’t see that. Yes, God had just killed Uzzah without even taking the time to question Uzzah’s motive. The Bible doesn’t speak of this barrenness as a punishment. There are no words connecting God’s hand to the lack of children for her at all.
No, I believe it went one of two ways. For one thing, David might have refused her the marriage bed. On the other hand, she could have refused him. Of course, it could have been that they both agreed on the same scenario. They would have nothing more to do with one another. At any rate, it does not seem to be a punishment in this language.
2 Samuel Chapter 7
The seventh chapter of 2 Samuel opens up with David finally gaining rest from his enemies at the hand of the Lord. While sitting in his house one day, the thought came to him that there was no house for the Ark of God. He mentioned it to Nathan the Prophet, and Nathan basically told him to go and do whatever he thought right. He reminded David that the Lord was surely with him.
That night, however, the Lord spoke to Nathan. He told him to tell David that he would not be the one to build His house. He said that He hadn’t ever had one, even since bringing the children out of Egypt. But, He did go on to tell him that God would establish David’s son. He would take on the attribute of well-loved, and he would be the one to build a house for the Ark of God.
After Nathan tells David all that God had told him to say, David went himself and sat down with God. He praised and prayed for a while before finally finishing his visit by asking God to let his house be blessed forever.
Time Marches On
By these two chapters, David has come a long way from those fields as a shepherd boy. It’s been a long time since he went to bring his brothers food and found out about the one called Goliath. And it’s been a long time since Saul’s attempt on his life.
Now, we see him finally free of his enemies for a while, wanting to provide a safe, stable place for the Ark of God to rest. It was an awesome gesture, well-intended, and to a specific end. In thinking about it, David didn’t quite think it was fair that he lived in a house made of wood, but the Ark was in a tent with curtain doors. He thought that God should surely have a nicer home than him.
Aren’t we like that sometimes? Thinking we’re doing something that pleases God because we are humble in His sight. When really, we aren’t in His will at all!
Oh, it seems like we should be. The intentions are right, and the thought processes seem, by all rights, to be in line with Scripture. But… it’s still not always what He wants.
We have to learn to listen when God speaks. In this instance, God used Nathan to speak to David. Later, David went in to speak with God himself. If we could just learn to separate our own voices from that of God’s, then perhaps we would fair better sometimes.
What matters is not that we are as humble and ready to do what “we think” has to be done. No, it’s far more important to listen, to hear His voice clearly, then pray and make sure we’re hearing the same thing.
Lord Jesus, I ask that you open my spiritual eyes on a daily basis, that I might be able to walk more in tune with Your Spirit. I know that, more often than I want it to, my flesh gets in the way. I do things “my way” sometimes instead of waiting to go about them the way I know You want me to. You know my heart Lord, and you know that all I want is to walk along your side. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Thank you for reading!