Summary: Second Samuel 6:16-23 shows us different responses to the Lord's will.
Second Samuel 6 is about David bringing the ark of the Lord (also known as the ark of the covenant) to Jerusalem.
The ark was the visible symbol of God’s presence in the midst of his covenant people. Seventy years earlier the Philistines had captured the ark from the people of God. However, they did not keep it for long because it turned out to be a dangerous trophy. For about 50 years the ark had been stored in Abinadab’s home.
David’s first attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem was disastrous. He did not follow God’s clear instructions (in Numbers 4:5–15) about how the ark was to carried. One of Abinadab’s sons, Uzzah, lost his life when he touched the ark to prevent it from falling, which was a direct violation of God’s written word.
David became fearful and left the ark at Obed-edom’s house. God blessed Obed-edom and all his household. Three months later David heard about God’s blessing on Obed-edom and all his household. So David decided to try again and bring the ark to Jerusalem. This time he obeyed all of God’s instructions about how the ark was to be transported. God blessed David for his obedience, as well as for his desire to restore the ark to its central place of worship for the people of God.
But not everyone rejoiced with David. David’s first wife, Michal, saw what David did and reacted with scorn and contempt.
Let’s read about David and Michal in 2 Samuel 6:16-23:
16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. 17 And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts 19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.
20 And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death. (2 Samuel 6:16-23)
The book of Genesis tells us that God created Adam and Eve. Immediately after God created them we read in Genesis 1:28a, “And God blessed them.” He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where they were to exercise dominion over God’s creation. God said that they could of the fruit of all the trees except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Our first parents enjoyed a wonderful, personal, face-to-face relationship with God. It was paradise on earth. It was a time of blessing.
But one day, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s explicit command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were banished from the Garden of Eden and cut off from the presence of God. Their former life of blessing now become a life of misery. Question 19 of The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?” And the answer is: “All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.”
In the narrative of David bringing the ark of the Lord to Jerusalem, we see different responses to the Lord’s will. One response brings blessing and the other response brings misery.
Second Samuel 6:16-23 shows us different responses to the Lord’s will.
There are two responses to the Lord’s will:
1. Obeying the Lord’s Will Brings Blessing (6:16-19)