There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven… A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4)
In the initial chapters of 2 Samuel David lives out these verses from Ecclesiastes. We began with passionate mourning of Saul’s death, and now, we see David celebrate enthusiastically. In 2 Samuel 6 David leaps and whirls before the Lord because the Lord God above has been good to them. It is the perfect time for such a response.
I pray that we can celebrate like David when God provides miraculous gifts. When you see God work don’t hold back. Shout for joy, blast trumpets in celebration, dance with excitement, and bless the Lord with your praise. It is the perfect time for such a response.
And David danced before the Lord with all his might. 2 Samuel 6:14
I imagine we would have felt a little uncomfortable with David’s dance, but consider something with me for a moment. What if dancing is the most whole expression of worship. The Lord commanded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Dt. 6:4) As westerners we tend to emphasize our mind (we pride ourselves in our theologically rich hymns) and affections in worship, but we fall short of the whole self. Not so with dancing; dancing can express heart, soul, and might.
So, maybe dignified worship is not worship’s fullest form, maybe dancing (while singing of course) is. This week when Kenyan women (in greet need) received buckets of non-perishable food, they sang…and danced unto the Lord. It’s easy to chalk that up as cultural, and maybe so, but what if dancing is more than cultural.
It’s just a thought, a consideration.
So, when’s the last time you worshipped with all your might? If you had, you probably could not have helped yourself; you probably would have danced…a little; maybe just the slightest shuffle. 🙂
vs 20 Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!”
A strong word/warning to parents and grandparents in this passage- our children are watching and learning from our actions and attitudes. We don’t have to wonder where this perspective from Michal comes from. She saw it with her father, king Saul. Many times Saul chose his own reputation and image ahead of obedience and devotion to God. Michal basically is calling out David for “conduct unbecoming of a king”. She is more concerned about the image of the king than bringing glory to God. David was not. We have opportunities to communicate those same values and priorities many times a day, not just in worship services. I pray our children (and others) see in us and begin to learn for themselves that devotion and obedience to God are greater than anything else.
For 20 years, the Ark of God had been at Kiriath-jearim. It had been captured by the Philistines in battle and then returned when calamity overcame them. A similar experience occurred with the transport of the Ark and it was diverted to obscurity. Abinadab was set apart and consecrated to take care of the Ark and the symbol of God’s presence among His people disappeared from public life.
Israel had sought their own way rather than God’s and lost the Ark in battle. Then, rather than follow God, they demanded a king. Saul was crowned king as a result of their rejection of God. The Ark was forgotten until David became king.
Now, in chapter 6, David and Israel are soundly reminded that reverence for God means complete obedience to His instructions. The extended absence of the Ark had not reset the rules regarding its handling. God expects complete obedience.
Have you ever ‘re-written the commands’ of God’s Word? It is easy to adjust God’s ways to be convenient for us…but not without consequence. Remember…to love God is to obey Him!
“The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.”
There is compelling scholarship suggesting that Obed-Edom was actually a Philistine—his byname “the Gittite” perhaps deriving from the name of the Philistine town of Gath. What if God is close to and has quite a vibrant life with the people you have concluded don’t know about, think about, or care about God the way you do? The old joke is that Baptists and Church of Christ folks will be surprised to find each other in heaven. If anything, God’s astonishing accessibility to people can, if we will let it, lead us to preach repentance like Jesus did when he proclaimed that the kingdom of God is near.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 6 (day two) Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. Vs. 5
Make no mistake, genuine worship is a response to God’s presence. No amount of presentation or polish will usher in the Holy Spirit. We are foolish to think that we do anything to invite the Lord into his house. We are the ones that need reminding of his majesty. When the blinders of sin, doubt, the past, our weariness are finally removed our natural response is to praise. It is what we are made to do. What is your expectation when you enter worship? For that matter what is your expectation every time you seek the Father in prayer. Make no mistake we don’t need to get his attention, he is trying to get ours. What would our worship be like if we came with hearts ready to praise? Not perfected or even always happy hearts, but hearts calibrated to truly encounter Jesus. Who knows, we might even dance…
David seems to hear God’s voice clearer and quicker than we do.
And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” (v.19)
When David inquired of the Lord, He said, “You shall not go directly up; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees. It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then the Lord will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.” (v.23-24)
David not only hears God, but God gives him step by step instructions on what to do and where to go. How do we find that level of clarity? Is that level of clarity even possible?
Thankfully we have the gift of the Holy Spirit to fill in the blanks. In Experiencing God Henry Blackaby notes that the Holy Spirit uses 4 methods to speak clearly into our lives: Scripture, Prayer, Circumstance, and Church. He argues that through those four God is speaking loud and clear today, if only we would listen.
vs 19- so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?” The Lord answered him, vs 23 so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered,
Does it seem interesting that David the warrior king would pray and ask God for direction about a battle with the Philistines? When the heart’s focus is walking with God and pleasing Him at every turn, it is no surprise at all when David asks the Lord for guidance (and then patiently listens for His response- where I often drop the ball). David didn’t rely on his own skill set to accomplish something for God. He trusted God to guide him even when he could have been quite capable. Then, when a very similar circumstance arises, David asks again for guidance rather than just continue on with God’s previous instruction.
Every occasion (even if familiar or repeated) is an opportunity to pray and seek the Lord’s guidance and direction.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
All through the Old Testament, Israel had a long line of kings. There were both good kings and bad kings…more bad than good it seems. David was known as a man after God’s own heart. He was not perfect, but he remained faithful throughout his reign. David’s commitment to serve only God was the key to his success.
Verse 21 tells us about one of the battles that David fought. His armies defeated the Philistines and in their haste to escape, the Philistines abandoned their idols and Israel captured them. If we look at the parallel passage of 1 Chronicles 14, it says David ordered the idols to be burned. Many of the later kings of Israel, both good and bad, failed to cleanse the land by destroying the high places and idols of their enemies. David’s focus was on God and he did not allow other gods to be a pitfall for his nation.
Today, we are surrounded by the idols and high places of the enemy. Our society would have us embrace and follow them freely. Be like David and keep a singular focus on the Lord.