God’s Way to a Blessing – 2 Samuel 6

12 Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house 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 gladness. 2 Samuel 6:12 NKJV

The ark of the Covenant was a small box which contained the Ten Commandment tablets, given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai.  Prior to Jesus Christ, God met with man at the ark, within a tabernacle based on God’s heavenly design. The holiest place of God’s Presence was in the tabernacle at the mercy seat, atop the ark, between two golden cherubim. This Most Holy Place was behind a curtain, separate from the rest of the tabernacle.  It was to be approached only by the High Priest or Levites who had been given the sacred duty to move it.

When David became king over all Israel and set his throne in Jerusalem, the City of David, the ark was still on the property of Obed-Edom.  The Philistines had carried it off in battle when the prophet Samuel was a young boy.  But while in possession of the ark, the Philistines suffered many things, such as tumors, severe hemorrhoids, and rat infestation.  Initially, they passed the ark around amongst themselves like a hot potato.  But God’s curses always followed with it.  Finally, they put the ark on a cart, and two cattle pulled it back into Israel, where it rested for decades on the property of Aminadab. 

David wanted to bring the ark to Jerusalem to bring blessings to Israel.  But God’s Presence is holy. In his sinful state, no man was able to approach the ark without the proper authority or blood sacrifice.  Today, believers are free to approach the Lord because of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which tore down the curtain between man and God.  But in David’s time, only those who followed the appropriate procedures outlined by God through Moses could approach or even move the ark.

David learned this the hard way – unfortunately, this was not his first attempt at bringing the ark up to Jerusalem.  The first time he tried it, he used a cart like the Philistines had used rather than following God’s specific way.  The result was disaster.  A good person saw the oxen stumble, reached out to steady the ark, and was instantly struck dead by God. Even a good person is unholy in the sight of God, and may not approach the holy without a holy sacrifice. Angry at the Lord, David abandoned his initiative to bring up the ark, and he became afraid of God. He left the ark at the house of Obed-Edom and returned to Jerusalem.

But David saw the continued blessings of God towards Obed-Edom in the ark’s presence, so he determined in his heart to try it again, this time following God’s approved way. The second time, David respected the Lord’s rules and followed them to the letter while moving the ark.  The ox carts might have been fine for the Philistines to use, but God had provided a heavenly template for Old Testament believers to follow:  No ox carts, it must be hand-carried by authorized Levites.  And these must first offer a sin sacrifice, which allowed the unholy to carry the holy.

13 And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. 14 Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.  2 Samuel 6:13-15 NKJV

This gives us a valuable lesson for today – God offers each of us abundant grace and peace, and surrounds us with His love, care, and forgiveness.  But He does this through the sacrifice of His choosing, Jesus Christ.  Like David, we, too, must be careful to do heavenly things using heavenly ways.  

When we seek to do holy things our own way or to follow other gods instead of Jesus, we run the same risk as that good person who reached out to steady the ark when the oxen stumbled – we can only approach Holy God His way, cloaked in the holiness that He provides. In our times, this cloak of holiness is provided through the loving sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you do not know Him, He is right there for you. He loves you and cares about you. Reach out to Him today.

Reflection

Where have I been substituting God’s provision of sacrifice with one of my own design?

We enjoy bounty and blessing when we seek God on God’s terms.  Lord, lead us and help us to turn away from wherever we are using error to follow You. Help us to only use Your provision of sacrifice through Christ, and bless us each step of the way on our journey with You.

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  John 14:5-6 NKJV

When I Hear the Praises Start

Keith Green

My son, My son, why are you striving
You can’t add one thing to what’s been done for you
I did it all while I was dying
Rest in your faith, my peace will come to you

For when I hear the praises start
I want to rain upon you
Blessings that will fill your heart
I see no stain upon you
Because you are my child and you know me
To Me you’re only holy
Nothing that you’ve done remains
Only what you do for Me

My child, My child, why are you weeping
You will not have to wait forever
That day and that hour is in My keeping
The day I’ll bring you into Heaven

For when I hear the praises start
My child, I want to rain upon you
Blessing that will fill your heart
I see no stain upon you
Because you are My child and you know me
To me you’re only holy
Nothing that you’ve done remains
Only what you do in Me

My precious bride, the day is nearing
When I’ll take you in My arms and hold you
I know there are so many things that you’ve been hearing
But you just hold on to what I have told you

For when I hear the praises start
My bride, I want to rain upon you
Blessings that will fill your heart
I see no stain upon you
Because you are My child, and you know Me
To me you’re only holy
Nothing that you’ve done will remain
Only what you do for me

Songwriters: Green Keith Gordon, Green Melody

For non-commercial use only.

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