We continue our series, The Construction of a Kingdom. We have looked into the life of David, a shepherd boy, a king's servant, a giant slayer, a cave dweller, a leader - but ultimately, God's man chosen to occupy the throne. We have observed his character, his faith, his obedience, his teachability, yet, we have not looked in depth to the most telling virtue of this man after God's own heart; his worship. The most telling desire of David for worship is found in verse 9, How can the ark of the Lord come up to me?
Worship is an essential to kingdom construction - and most fail to conceive it's importance.
A rather large family living out in the country had never been a very religious sort; however the father and mother had recently trusted Christ and had become Christians. They were very excited to take their children to church and were just thrilled to get to know the congregation and the pastor of the local country church. The father had invited the pastor and his wife over for dinner, but prior to their coming, he warned his five kids to be on their best behavior. The large dinner table was set with turkey and dressing, green beans, rolls, gravy, corn, carrots, turnips, and pecan pie. The father directed everyone to sit at the table and before he could ask the pastor to pray and bless the meal, the 6 year old son, Billy, had stuffed a roll in his mouth and was reaching for the gravy. The oldest child, a 9 year old daughter, leaned to her brother and whispered, Billy, the preacher's here. We haven't bowed our heads and talked to the plates yet.
We laugh, but to some, worship is only a function and it's significance we fail comprehend. To some worship is merely being in the right place and saying the right words on a Sunday morning. Everyone here has been created to know the Lord's design and purpose for their lives; a purpose to worship and glorify God. Ephesians 1:11-12, In Christ we were chosen to be God's people. God had already chosen us to be his people, because that is what he wanted. And God is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants. We are the first people who hoped in Christ. And we were chosen so that we would bring praise to God's glory (NCV).
Some here this morning may have been led to that they have no redeeming qualities and lack any reason to be accepted by anyone. But the truth declares, He has chosen us! We are created to glorify, to praise, to worship God! The events in 2 Samuel are carefully comprised to teach us very important truths about worship, namely that worship must be acceptable. It is a grand picture of acceptable worship.
We can answer David's question, How can the Ark of the Lord come to me? by answering, What is acceptable worship?
Theme: Acceptable worship transports the Lord's presence and power into our lives.
There are four issues for us to regard concerning acceptable worship...
1 The Heart of Acceptable Worship. Vv. 1-5
The events of 2 Samuel 6 describe an historic era for Israel. David the shepherd boy is now David the King of Israel. God has been with David from the time of his anointing by the prophet Samuel, in the valley fighting Goliath, on the run from the evil King Saul and his army, in the caves with other disenfranchised men. God has been preparing David for this moment - to inaugurate the kingdom with a call to the whole nation to worship God.
King Saul's leadership had been poor and he relaxed in spiritual conviction. Because of this failure in leadership, the spiritual convictions of the people became mediocre. Emphasis on worship in the tabernacle had drifted and a very sacred furnishing for the temple had been carted away by the Philistines. Verses 1 and 2 indicate that David planned to bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. There are some things we must understand about the Ark of the Covenant.
1.1 In the time of David, worship could only be performed in the tabernacle, a designated place of God's design and instruction. Worship involved incense, perfumes, sacrifices, altars and most importantly - the Ark of the Covenant. Nothing was more intimately connected with the presence and power of God than the Ark of the Covenant.
1.2 What did it look like? Ark means box or chest. It's exterior and interior were gold plated. Inside it contained articles from the time of Moses, most notably, the tablets on which the law was inscribed. On opposited ends of the lid weret two golden angels were mounted in a bowed position of worship. Between them was perhaps the most significant part - the "mercy seat" - a golden, grated, see-through covering.