Scripture reading for March 27: 2nd Samuel 5-7
What constitutes worship that is acceptable to God? Does God really kill people who don’t do exactly what He wants? Does God want us to do bizarre things in order to worship Him? Is God wanting us to dance in His presence? Must we do things that others don’t appreciate in order to please God? These are the kinds of questions that come to our minds when we read about King David bringing the Ark of God back to Jerusalem.
King David had a heart for God and His presence. David was a psalmist, musician, and worshiper himself. He knew God by personal experience. Deciding to bring the Ark of God back to Jerusalem, they set it on a new cart pulled by oxen and guided by Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab the priest. David and the men of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, when the oxen stumbled and Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark. God struck Uzzah down dead and the celebration ended abruptly! (2nd Samuel 6:7) David was angry and afraid of the Lord! (2nd Samuel 6:8-9) His good intentions and exuberant worship ended in tragedy. What went wrong?
After some time and careful research, David again decided to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem. This time the Ark was carried on the shoulders of the priests! David sacrificed to the Lord a bull and a fatted calf. He took off his kingly robes and put on a linen ephod and danced before the Lord with all his might. The house of Israel followed with the sounding of trumpets and loud shouting. (2nd Samuel 6:12-15) As the procession entered the city, Michal, David’s wife, saw David dancing and leaping before the Ark and despised him in her heart. She judged that he was putting on a show for the women. As a result, she became barren and was judged by the Lord for her disrespect!(2nd Samuel 6:20-23)
These stories are recorded for us today and speak about true worship and its attributes. God wants us to enjoy His presence and has made specific instructions about how sinful man may come into His presence. When we come in our own way, we disrespect God and bring judgment. Uzzah died as a result of the king and priests failing to move the Ark in the prescribed way. We must be careful today to come humbly before the Lord and treat His presence with respect. We must be covered by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We are to come wholeheartedly, offering ourselves to the Lord in spirit and truth.
Another aspect of this story concerns the heart of David to have the Presence of God in his city and the nation he ruled. David realized that God was King and that he owed Him whole-hearted worship. He disrobed and danced with all his might as an offering of himself to the Lord. This was acceptable to God because of David’s heart attitude! In Michal’s eyes, David’s worship wasn’t “dignified”! We must be more concerned with our own heart and pleasing the Lord than the opinions of others. We must also be careful not to be critical and judgmental of others’ ways of worship.
Take time today and examine your own worship of the Lord. Are you giving God “all your might”? Are you hungry to have His presence with you whereever you are? Show Him an extravagant act of worship this week!