Summary: This sermon examines the account of David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. It considers the right way to approach God in contrast to the wrong way.
King David is one of the key Old Testament figures from the Bible. How do we remember David? – The shepherd boy who slew Goliath? The might military general? The man after God’s heart? The adulterer and murder? The great king of Israel? . . . Yes, he is all that and more – David is the worshipper of God and in 2 Samuel chapter 6 we will learn the positives and the negatives of how to approach God in worship. These lessons we will learn when we consider the role of the Ark of the Covenant and David’s act of bringing the Ark to Jerusalem.
We shall observe:
1. Visual Praise – 2 Samuel 6:13
2. Vital Praise – 2 Samuel 6:14
3. Vocal Praise – 2 Samuel 6:15
4. Volitional Praise – 2 Samuel 6:20-22
Background and Context
Once David was established as the King of Israel he determined to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the newly captured and appointed capital of Israel – Jerusalem. The Ark had been largely neglected by Israel from Samuel time up until this point. David knew that the Ark was extremely significant because it represented:
a God’s Rule - 1 Chronicles 28:2 - David called it ‘the footstool of our God’.
b God’s Reconciliation – Leviticus 16: 14-15 – the Day of Atonement required the sprinkling of sacrificial blood on the Ark.
c God’s Revelation – Exodus 25:22 – The Ten Commandments were inside the Ark. It was from there that God instructed Moses on behalf of the Israelites in the Wilderness. It was from there that the Direct Word was given.
David, realizing the importance of the Ark, at first attempted to have it transported in a new cart pulled by oxen.
i) This was following the World’s Way - as in the time of the Judge Eli when the Philistines returned in in a new cart pulled by two cows –1 Samuel 6:7. David tried to bring it to Jerusalem in a new cart pulled by oxen. In the process Uzzah dies when he tries to stop the Ark from falling off the cart, 2 Samuel 6: 3-4,6.
ii) By contrast the Lord’s Way had been clearly prescribed – it needed to be carried by Levites on the poles that went through the rings of the Ark, 1 Chronicles 15: 13, 14. David needed to go back to the Word of God and follow God’s Way. It is ONLY in following in God’s revealed way that we can experience true and deep blessing.
Once David aligned himself with God will and way, he was able to proceed with bring the Ark to Jerusalem and in the midst of the people of God where it rightly belonged.
This event was a Great and Grand event! David made it an act of absolute worship and above all Praise. Here we find the model of how to Praise God in His presence.
1. Visual Praise - 2 Samuel 6: 13
This was a spectacle. After every six steps there was a sacrifice – it was a sight to behold – priests, musicians, and a massive crowd. It was done in broad daylight! Our praise of God today should be visible and unashamedly so.
2. Vital Praise - 2 Samuel 6: 14
‘With all his might’ that how it describes David’s praise on the day. It was marked by Energy and Vitality – it was a praise that consumed his whole being. The Hebrew actually refers to David’s ‘heart’. He was totally committed and totally consumed by his act of praise.
3. Vocal Praise – 2 Samuel 6: 15
‘With shouts and the sound of trumpets’ 2 Samuel 6: 15. A dfferent account of the same event in 1 Chronicles 15: 16 says, ‘singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments, lyres, harps and cymbals – choirs, rams horns and trumpets and shouts.’ Praise is a positive declaration of God and His goodness.
4. Volitional Praise – 2 Samuel 6: 20-22
While David was in being consumed with praising God his wife Michal was full of criticism. David was definite in his response. This response is his testimony that his praise to the Lord was an act of his will and his whole heart. His response to the criticisms was:
i) It was Before the Lord v.21 – celebrate
ii) even more undignified – abased
iii) humiliated in my own eyes – humility
iv) an example – lead the people
Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, ‘Wash your face every morning in a bath of praise’.
Worship changes people – we become like what we worship
‘Our worshipping God through Christ in front of the world may well be making the most important statement to culture that can possibly be made.’ Jay Kesler