Summary: Sixth in a series on the life of David. This message focuses on worship.
I’m going to put the pictures of several people up on the screen and I’d like you to respond with the first word that pops into your mind.
• Mugshots of Bill Gates when he was arrested in Albuquerque in 1977 for reckless driving
• Childhood photo of Jean Claude Van Damme with glasses
• Childhood photo of Saddam Hussein
• Picture of a muscular Arnold Schwarzenegger taken from the back – now the Governor of California
My purpose in doing that this morning was for us to see how easy it is for us to put people in a “box”. We take one look at them and it’s easy to categorize people based on their appearance or something we know about them. Over the years this has been especially true with blondes and lawyers, for instance.
A blonde was tired of everyone thinking that blondes were stupid, and she didn’t like all these jokes. To end the injustice, she decided to prove to the world that she was smart. In order to prove herself, she chose to memorize the capital of every American state. It wasn’t an easy task, but she was determined and eventually managed to do it.
A few days later she was in a bar, and heard a couple of men laughing at a blonde joke. This was the perfect opportunity to start righting all the wrongs that had been done to blondes in the past - she would set these men straight! Marching over at a rapid pace she announced, "It isn’t true that all blondes are stupid, and I will prove it. Just ask me the capital of any American state, and I will tell you what it is." Although a little surprised, the men did challenge her and asked, "Ok, how about Arizona?"
The Blonde, after pausing for a moment’s thought, proudly gave the answer, "A."
Or then there was this article from a January 2005 AP news story:
Did you hear the one about the two guys arrested for telling lawyer jokes? It happened this week to the founders of a group called Americans for Legal Reform, who were waiting in line to get into a Long Island courthouse.
"How do you tell when a lawyer is lying?" Harvey Kash reportedly asked Carl Lanzisera. "His lips are moving," they said in unison.
While some waiting to get into the courthouse giggled, a lawyer farther up the line Monday was not laughing. In fact he was not laughing so hard that he complained to court officials. Kash and Lanzisera were charged with disorderly conduct for "being abusive and … causing a disturbance."
Putting people in a box can be very hurtful and lead to some undesirable consequences. But putting God in a box is an even bigger danger. I think one of the reasons that David was a man after God’s heart was that David refused to put God in a box. But that wasn’t always true of those around him. This morning we’re going to look at 2 Samuel 6. As we read that passage, I want you focus on the three main characters in this account:
• Michal, David’s wife
Think about how each of them either did or didn’t put God in a box, and what the consequences of their actions were.
Read 2 Samuel 6
HOW TO MAKE SURE I DON’T PUT GOD IN A BOX:
Each of the three main characters in this account provide us with a principle. Obviously, two of them, Uzzah and Michal, give us an example of what not to do. David, on the other hand provides us with a more positive approach. Let’s look at the two “don’ts” first and then we’ll finish with the “do”.
1. DON’T let familiarity hinder my sense of awe and reverence
We’ve all heard the saying that familiarity breeds contempt. Or as Mark Twain put it:
Familiarity breeds contempt…and children.
In a sense, that is what seems to have happened here with Uzzah. The Ark of the Covenant had been captured about 20 years earlier by the Philistines. But when God destroyed the Philistine idol of their god Dagon and inflicted the Philistines with tumors, the Ark was returned to Israel and placed in Abinadab’s house.
When David became king, one of the first things he set out to do was to bring the Ark about 20 miles or so into Jerusalem, where it could be the center of worship. The Ark was important to the worship of Israel because it represented the presence of God. Therefore the Ark was holy and God had given some specific instructions about how the Ark was to be handled and in particular, how it was to be moved from place to place.
Uzzah was one of Abinadab’s sons and he had apparently lived in the same house with the Ark for about 20 years. And over that 20 year period it seems that Uzzah had lost his sense of reverence and awe for God. In a sense, he had literally reduced God to a box – a 4’ x 2’ x 2’ box called the Ark of the Covenant. And even worse, Uzzah had also assumed, at least in his mind, the responsibility of taking care of this God and keeping Him safe from the world.