2 Samuel 6

2 Samuel 6

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The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.

Uzzah and the Ark

And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. And David was angry because the LORD had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day. And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and he said, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?” So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.

And it was told King David, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

David and Michal

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. 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. 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 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.

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!” 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. 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.” And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

(ESV)


2 Samuel 6 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Sometimes we become too familiar with God or Jesus. Meaning sometimes we forget how He is the Creator of the World. He is the King of kings. He is Holy. He/They must be respected.

The Ark of the Covenant had been captured sometime back by the Philistines. After they had their own encounter with the magnificent power of God due to their taking it, they returned it back to Israel. As the nation was in turmoil under Saul’s insanity, and the Ark stayed in man’s home for 20 years. This household was blessed beyond imagination. As new king of Israel, David wanted the Ark back in Jerusalem to ensure God’s blessing would follow and be part of the Israelite’s future.

Plans were made, a celebration prepared for its return. Transporting it on a new cart and pulled by oxen it was en route when everything came to a screaming halt. The oxen stumbled, the cart shifted and Uzzah, a man walking alongside reached out his hand to stop the Ark from crashing to the ground. He was struck dead immediately.

What in the world? Weren’t they doing the right thing? Weren’t David’s intentions good? Well, yes and no. Yes, his wanting the presence of God, which the Ark represented, back in Jerusalem was right. It was about time. But he neglected many laws concerning the moving of this national treasure God had established. The Ark was to be moved only by Levite’s. It was to be carried using poles. No one was to ever touch the Ark.

Although David and Uzzah had noble intentions, they both failed. Possibly the familiarity of God Himself played a part in it.

God was reestablishing His relationship with the people by the presence of His Ark being brought. This dramatic consequence reminded all the people that enthusiasm must be hand in hand with obedience.

The same is true for us.


2 Samuel 6 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Familiarity can often produce deadly results. It was Jesus who proclaimed he could do no miracles in his hometown because of their familiarity. It was familiarity that caused Jesus’ brothers to initially discard His Messianic power. Here in 2 Samuel 6, it is familiarity that causes a tragic and untimely death.

On the surface, it seems unfair. Why would God strike down Uzzah when he is just trying to stabilize the ark? If that were actually the question, I would agree. It seems a bit unfair and unloving. However, that type of response assumes a lot. Why did Uzzah have to try and grab the ark? Why was the ark being transported on a cart instead of being carried like God had originally commanded? What was the heart of Uzzah and the others who were helping David?

This happened just years before (1 Samuel 16) when the Lord said to Samuel, “I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.” So, we must first come to terms with the fact that we do not always see things the way God sees them. In fact, we are often wrong in our initial judgment of a situation or person. You might think you are right most of the time, but just consider, God gently rebuked the prophet Samuel for his lapse in judgment. If the mouthpiece of God was prone to an incorrect assessment, I would say we are too.

I don’t know exactly why Uzzah was struck dead. Was it because he was irreverent? Probably. Was it because the entire plan was not done with the type of detail that the Lord commanded? Possibly. Was it done to show that God cares just as much about our reflexes and reactions as He does our planned out decisions? Maybe.

Overall, I tend to agree with Alexander MacLaren that this was an issue of familiarity.

“All his life Uzzah had been accustomed to its presence. It had been one of the familiar pieces of furniture in Abinadab’s house, and, no doubt, familiarity had had its usual effect. Do none of us ministers, teachers, and others, to whom the gospel and the worship and ordinances of the Church have been familiar from infancy, treat them in the same fashion?” -Alexander MacLaren

Familiarity leads to compromise which leads to sin. Eventually, we are down the road with a cart that God never asked for and a problem that should never have happened. And as we reach out to correct the holy aspects which are beginning to fall, the Lord strikes us with the big picture. God sees all. He knows the heart. He understands the process.

Do not let familiarity derail your reverence and awe of God the Father. The results are deadly.

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