Summary: Obedience and faith are essential to our Christian lives and witness before others. There is great benefit in following the Lord, and as we do, we have the potential to make an impact on the lives of others.
The Obedience of Obed-edom
2 Samuel 6: 10-12
Our text today records an event that transpired while David sought to move the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and place it within the Tabernacle. Many years earlier the ark had been captured by the Philistines in battle, but they were unwilling to keep the ark because of the wrath they endured while it was in their presence. Once the ark was returned, it was kept at the house of Abinadab in Gibeah. The ark had been in Gibeah for over sixty years, and Saul had not sought or inquired of the Lord at the ark during all of his reign. While David had noble and right ambitions, the moving of the ark met great tragedy and experienced delay.
As we consider the passage before us, it is important to remember that the ark of God represented His power and presence to the nation of Israel. While it was found within its place, behind the veil in the Tabernacle, God’s presence dwelt there and the sacrifices were offered on the Day of Atonement. The ark was the most precious possession Israel had.
As Jesus died on the cross of Calvary, the veil of the Temple was rent in two. We are no longer separated from God, and every believer has equal access to the throne of grace. The ark is no longer needed to experience the presence and power of God. However, this passage reveals unchanging truth regarding our attitude before the Lord, the means by which we enter His presence, and the blessings associated with the presence of our Lord. I want to examine the lessons within the text as we consider: The Obedience of Obed-edom.
I. An Attitude of Fear (10) – So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. Here we discover the attitude of fear that gripped David as they moved the ark to Jerusalem. Consider:
A. The Reason for Fear (10a) – So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David. We find that David refused to go any further with the ark at this time. His fear had come because of the great tragedy experienced while moving the ark. God had ordained that the ark was to be moved in a very specific manner. The sons of Kohath had been set aside to carry the ark with poles upon their shoulders. Under no circumstance was the ark to be placed on a cart and moved by animals. Apparently David was either unaware of God’s command or felt as if he could get by moving it as he pleased. While moving the ark, the oxen who carried it stumbled, and a servant named Uzzah must have feared the ark would fall. He put forth his hand to steady the ark, and God smote Uzzah, and he died. This created great fear in the heart of David and all who were involved in moving the ark.
While we are not dependent upon the ark for the Lord’s presence, nor are we trying to move such a sacred piece of furniture, an unchanging principle remains. In order to approach the Lord, we must come before Him according to His demands. Our means of approach is by and through the Son, Jesus Christ our Savior. John 14:6 –Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. We must come before the Lord with a pure heart, and an attitude of fear and reverence. He is not to be sought in a casual manner or without sincerity. We lack His power and presence in our midst because we have lost our fear and reverence for the Lord. He is holy and just, and we must approach Him in recognition of His holiness!
B. The Reflection of Fear (10a) – So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David. Following the death of Uzzah, David became angry with God and afraid to proceed with the ark. He decided to abandon the effort of bringing the ark to Jerusalem. While David was a man after God’s own heart, with sincere motives, he failed to seek the Lord or follow His direction. His disobedience had caused the death of an innocent man, and David was afraid to proceed. 2 Sam.6:9 – And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me? He became aware of his mistake and determined to go no further until He had time to seek the Lord.