This is such an important chapter, I seemed to have slowed down and am hovering over it. Today I'll be reading the Wiersbe commentary for the chapter.
The Ark was God's Throne in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. Now it has been 75 years since it was in Shiloh during the season of the judges.
Wiersbe gives two reasons he believed David wanted to bring the Ark. He wanted the real King of the nation to have His throne in the capital, a central place for God's sanctuary. He also wanted to build a temple for the Lord. And having the Ark in Jerusalem was step one. Then Wiresbe adds what he calls a political reason, which I think could be labeled something else. The description of the same event in I Chronicles says he gathered all key people from every expanse of the kingdom to come and make the decision and participate. I see how Wiersbe could label that political; as it is nation-building. But it can also simply be see as restoring a fractured people who used to be one. For cultural and spiritual motivations. restoration of the nation as a people.
There's no evidence David sought the Lord in this endeavor or that God asked this of him. This was David's idea and it shows in the results. I'd be wise to remember that--doing something for the Lord, without the Lord in it- might not turn out to be what I think it will. If I'm doing it for Him, without His guidance, maybe there is more to motivation than I think- which may have been David's situation as well.
Evidence of his mixed priorities was:
- Using the oxen-drawn cart. As King he made a covenant to know and uphold God's Word. I think he was even supposed to have a copy of his own that he wrote? So he would have know how the Ark was supposed to be transported. And he had brought 30,000 men and an entourage, so I'm sure he had what he needed; but instead he used the same means the Philistines had used to transport it.
- The men were attending to the Ark and cart while David played music and worshiped. Which is great. But as Saul learned the hard way, the Lord God prefers obedience to sacrifice. And now David had the same mixed priorities, albeit much less obvious and shocking degree. If David was going to do it this way, he should have been completely attending to the Ark.
- Wiersbe frames it this way: "No amount of unity or enthusiasm can compensate for disobedience."Imitating the world, instead of God's Word will never lead to blessing."
And even in the second attempt, David doesn't start off looking so great. When the man was killed for touching the Ark, David freaked out and stashed it at the home of a Levite. It wasn't until he heard that the household was being blessed that he came back to finish what he started. Again, he didn't stay there himself to tend to the sacred piece, he let another man be his canary in the mine shaft. I sound like I'm judging and I don't mean to, because I'm sure if David did it once, I've done the same type of thing many more times, as David was a man after God's own heart. Still a man, so not perfect, but God's anointed leader. It's just so glaring that he brought everyone together for this endeavor and then just freaked and ran away to let another man hold the line.
However, when it came to the actual move, he was more careful offering sacrifice after only 6 steps and bringing the right men for the job. Wiersbe doesn't think they offered sacrifice after ever six steps, and Alex taught us in church. He think's it was a test of God's approval and then they marched on with confidence.
Now when he arrived he was wearing the priestly ephod (over his royal robe, according to Wiersbe), So his wife's complaint was hollow. **I think I was taught somewhere along the way he danced naked. Maybe that's a different scene or maybe someone read the wife's word's and assumed the worst?
Now David was acting as king and priest. We're starting to see the Christ figuring forming in him. He took the chasten of his Father and it made him more Christ-like. That's our hope. The renewing of our mind and heart in Christ Jesus. David giving the cake and wine was a shadow of the priest-king Melchizedek who gave bread and wine to Abraham and who some say WAS Jesus. And it foreshadows the bread and wine that Jesus gives to us.
Michal- ugggh. what can you say about Michal. On one hand, you can see that David should have expected a rough go with Michal. He was the enemy of her father, from their family's perspective. He was a rival to the throne. He tore her away from her (apparently) happy new family to bring her back. But on the other hand. What a shrew. His day of celebrating and she rains on his parade with sarcasm and malice. Tearing him down from his mountain top experience. God was not happy with her. Whatever she thought she gained by verbally assaulting David, she paid for in shame.