“David and the Ark”

Pastor David Moore

New Testament reading: Hebrews 9:1-15 (NRSV)  

Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tent was constructed, the first one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence; this is called the holy place.  Behind the second curtain was a tent called the holy of holies.  In it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot speak now in detail.  

These preparations having thus been made, the priests go continually into the first tent to carry out their ritual duties, but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the people.  By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent is still standing. This is a symbol of the present time, indicating that gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper but deal only with food and drink and various baptisms, regulations for the body imposed until the time comes to set things right.  

But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the holy place, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!  

For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.  

God has two main character traits; God is holy and God is love. The cross is where God’s holiness, the need for sacrifice to cover sin is met by God’s love, because God was willing to die for us to be holy. ~D.  Moore  

Theme today: today’s passage is a reminder that God is holy, and calls for humans to be holy. He has created a way for that to happen, but we ignore God’s holiness at our own peril. ~D. Moore  

Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 6:1-23 (NIV)  

David again brought together out of Israel chosen men, thirty thousand in all. He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio,  sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of  it. David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.  

When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God,  because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.  

Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. 

David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.  

Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has,  because of the ark of God.” So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the House of Obed Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and  the sound of trumpets.  

As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal, daughter of Saul, watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.  

They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went into their homes.  

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal, daughter of Saul, came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”  

David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel – I will celebrate before the Lord.  I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.  But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”  

And Michal, daughter of Saul, had no children to the day of her death.  

The ark was the place where God’s presence dwelled, amazing for the holy God’s Spirit dwelled in David time with the (sinful humans). ~D. Moore  

The location of the ark on the border of Israel is symbolic of the relationship of Saul and God.  David restores the place of the ark nearer to the people of Israel. ~D. Moore  

People’s sins separate them from God. My friend summarized it like this: from God’s point of view, “Your sin, God says, separates you from me. I am holy; you are sinful. Just as water and fire cannot exist together, but one has to consume the other, your sin and my holiness cannot be together. One has to consume the other.” Going to church occasionally bridges the gap between sinful humans and a holy God. Having good intentions, being apologetic isn’t enough to build a bridge between God and us.  And it isn’t about appeasing an angry God either, like other world religions, with our own efforts. ~D. Moore  

The sin of Uzzah was to refuse to take God as He says He is, the refusal to treat God as He is. Holy. 

Think about this:
If you think God is not trustworthy, you will be destroyed by worry.
If you think God is unmerciful, you will be destroyed by guilt.
If you don’t see God as holy, you will be destroyed by pride.  

Do not be afraid of the judgment of God. Accept it, and see the amazing things that turn out to be God’s grace. From the ark, I say we learn not of God’s wrath, but of God’s grace, for David, and for us. Let’s live in that grace this week, in fact let it prompt us to offer up everything in confession. ~D. Moore  

God bless, have a good week