Summary: In a tale of two families, we see one blessed and the other cursed. Here are the reasons why.

INTRO: Did you guys hear about the eleven kids found in cages in their home? It was a few weeks ago. Let me read to you the press release in case you’re not familiar with it.

Wakeman, Ohio – Sheriff’s deputies found 11 children locked in cages less than 3 ’/2 feet high inside a home, but a couple denied they had abused or neglected the children.

A judge on Monday put the children – who range in age from 1 to 14 and who have various disabilities, including autism – in foster homes.

The children were found in nine cages built into the walls of the house near this small city in northern Ohio, according to the Huron County Sheriff’s Office. They had no blankets or pillows, and the cages were rigged with alarms that sounded if opened, Lt. Randy Sommers said.

The children told authorities they slept in the cages – 40 inches high and 40 inches deep – at night. Doors to some of the cages were blocked with heavy furniture.

Sharen and Mike Gravelle are adoptive or foster parents for all 11 children, officials said. Prosecutors were reviewing the case, but no charges had been filed as of Monday night.

A children’s services investigator saw one of the children in a cage Friday, Sommers said. The sheriff’s office obtained a warrant and returned to the house that evening and removed the children.

Investigators believe nine of the children slept in the cages that were stacked two-high on the house’s second story. Two mattresses on a bedroom floor also showed signs of recent use, Sommers said.

One of the boys said he’s slept in the cage for three years, Sommers said.

-To top it off, these foster parents believed they did nothing wrong.

-C. Everett Koop: Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.

TITLE: The Tale of Two Families TEXT: 2 Samuel 6:11

I. Background. David has become king, and one of his desires was to move the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem so he could honor the Lord.

A. The Ark of the Covenant symbolized the glorious throne of God (Psalm 80:1, 99:1).

1. Remember David had a desire to build a sanctuary for the Lord. But the first step was to get the ark to Jerusalem.

2. So David involved all the key leaders in the event and issued a general invitation to the priest and Levites. As this great event was taking place

-Something went terribly wrong. It went from a great celebration to an earth-shattering experience.

B. Transporting the ark man’s way and not God’s way.

1. They were transporting the ark in a cart pulled by oxen; they were following the pattern of the pagan Philistines (1 Samuel 6).

2. God had given specific instructions through Moses how it was to be transported (Numbers 4). -That was to carry the ark on the shoulders of Levites.

Point: God’s work must be done in God’s way if it is to have God’s blessing!

3. David was afraid because the Lord struck down Uzzah for touching the ark so he decided to drop the ark off at Obed-Edom’s house.

Question: What happened? The Lord blessed him and his entire family.

C. How did the Lord bless?

-1 Chronicles 13:14b, "And the Lord blessed his household and everything he had."

1. The Lord blessed everything he had, whatever he touched prospered like the Midas touch.

-Can you imagine—whatever you do is blessed by the hand of God (workplace, all the problems that arise, in relationships, but most importantly having the blessing of God at home to touch your family).

2. Obed-Edom was made a special guardian (1 Chronicles 15:24, gatekeepers).

a. Gatekeepers were appointed to protect, to serve, to watch over. Used in a figurative sense, a gate represents power and dominion.

Example. God promised Abraham that he would possess the gate of his enemies.

-A gatekeeper is one who watches and determines what comes in and what goes out.

Thought: Just like parents who are gatekeepers in their homes guarding what comes in and what goes out.

3. Obed-Edom was a blessed man because, as you read through the Bible, you see his children were blessed. "They were very capable men," 1 Chronicles 26:8.

-Not only were his children blessed, but his relatives were because they went on to be gatekeepers (very important positions).

Summary: We have a man, who some scholars suggest was a Philistine (pagan), who was open to the ways of God, in fact he embraced them and had the presence of God in his midst. And it not only changed him and his family, but his relatives.

TS: Let’s turn to another family. II. Ahab and Jezebel.

A. Ahab was the king of Israel. Listen to what the Bible says about him. "He did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him," 1 Kings 16:30.

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