God’s Way to a Blessing – 2 Samuel 6

Now that the kingdom was unified under his rule in Jerusalem, King David wanted to bring up the ark of the Covenant, God’s prescribed meeting place, to be in His presence there.

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 wooden box which contained the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, which were carved by God for Moses on Mt. Sinai.  Prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God resided at the ark within a tabernacle tent which contained various articles of worship prescribed by God, each symbolically-based upon heavenly designs. The holiest location, in God’s Presence, was within the tabernacle at the mercy seat, set above the ark between two golden statues of winged cherubim. This Most Holy Place was located behind a curtain and separated from the rest of the tabernacle.  It was to be approached only by the High Priest or Levites who had been assigned the sacred duty to worship, to maintain it, or to move it, and only then, under God’s specified conditions.

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 away in battle back when the prophet Samuel was still a young boy.  But while in unlawful possession of the ark, the Philistines suffered many punishments as a result, such as epidemics of painful tumors and hemorrhoids and severe rodent infestations.  Initially, they passed the ark around amongst themselves like a hot potato.  But God’s curses upon the unapproved holders always followed along. Finally, the Philistines gave up and put the ark upon an ox cart, allowing two milk cattle to pull it back into Israel, where it rested for decades on the property of Aminadab in Obed-Edom. Aminadab thereafter was the beneficiary of many divine blessings.

Faithful and wise King David became aware of this and over time wanted once again to bring the ark into Jerusalem to share God’s blessings with all Israel.  But God’s Presence is perfectly holy. In our sinful state, no human was able to approach the ark without the proper, God-given authority as well as a ritual blood sacrifice as an atonement for sin. Today, believers are free to approach the holy Lord because we are purified by the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who tore down the curtain separating people from a holy God.  But in David’s time, only those who followed the appropriate sacrificial procedures, as outlined by God through Moses, could approach, move, or even touch the Ark at the risk of death.

David learned this lesson the hard way because this was not his first attempt to bring 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 to move it – hand-carried by purified Levites on poles, as God had instructed Moses in the desert. The result was a catastrophic disaster.  One well-intentioned person saw the oxen stumble, and reached out to steady the ark, and was instantly struck dead by God. Even the very best person is unholy in the presence of God without a purifying righteous covering for sin, and the unholy may not approach the holy without first being made righteous through an acceptable sacrifice. Angry at the Lord, David abandoned his first initiative to bring up the ark, and also become afraid of God. He therefore left the ark at the house of Obed-Edom and returned to Jerusalem.

But David saw the continued blessings of God towards Obed-Edom because of the Ark’s presence there, so he determined in his heart to try it once again, this time carefully following God’s approved way to handle it. David respected the Lord’s rules and followed them to the letter while moving the ark. Ox carts might have been fine for the unschooled Philistines to use, but God had provided a heavenly template for Old Testament believers to follow: hand-carried by authorized and sin-cleansed Levites. 

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 provides a valuable lesson for us today – God offers each of one us His abundant grace and peace, and surrounds us with His love, care, and forgiveness.  But He has done this through the method of His choosing – the death and resurrection of His sinless, only-begotten Son, Jesus. Like David, we, too, must be careful to follow God’s prescribed heavenly ways and not just make up our own. 

When we seek to do holy things our own way, such as choosing to follow after other gods or created beings, and relying on them, rather than Jesus, to make us righteous, we run the same risks as that good person who reached out to steady the ark when the oxen stumbled – it seemed like a logical thing to do, but we can only approach a Holy God on His terms, cloaked in a righteousness that only He can provide.

In our times, this cloak of holiness is provided through the loving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb of God. He is right there for us, deeply loving and caring for us, and wanting us to reach out to Him in faith today. As He stated in the gospel of John:

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


Have I been substituting God’s provision of sin sacrifice with one of my own design?

Father God, we enjoy Your bounty and blessing whenever we seek You on Your terms.  Lead us and guide us to turn away from any erroneous or harmful approaches and grant us Your covering of righteousness so that we may fellowship directly in Your presence. We lean on Your provision of grace through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Bless each of us every step of the way as we seek to journey through our life with You. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Have a blessed day today!

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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