*Good Thursday morning (or whenever you are reading this). I'm glad you have joined me for another installment of our daily look into the scriptures. We are truly on a journey through the Bible. We have discovered how the monarchy of Israel came into being, and how the first king met his demise. Now, David is king and he has established Jerusalem to be the capital of his kingdom, which is for the first time a united kingdom. Yesterday we discovered that God promised to always support the kingdom of David. (Known as the Davidic Covenant) Today, we will backtrack just a little to further understand what led to this promise.
"He (David) and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark." (II Samuel 6:2)
David has established Jerusalem (The City of David) as the capital and now decides that the chief symbol of the religion of Israel must reside in the city. He and his men go to fetch it. They will soon realize that bringing the ark to Jerusalem is no easy task. Keep in mind that the people believed that God resided over the mercy seat between the cherubim. Wherever the ark is, so is the presence of the Lord. Moving the ark proves to be dangerous. Uzzah (one of David's men) reached out and touched the ark simply because the oxen stumbled. We are told; "The Lord's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act." (II Samuel 6:7) Uzzah meant to only steady the ark, but apparently he had not been ritually prepared to touch it.
Eventually the ark reaches the City of David. "When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he (David) sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf." (II Samuel 6:13) Upon entrance to the city a ritual is performed introducing the god (in this case Yahweh) to the city. This ritual prepares the city ritualistically. This is symbolic of the god being born into the city. Now the city of Jerusalem is ritually suitable to house the ark.
"David wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might...As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched him from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart." (II Samuel 6:14,16)
Hmm...All kinds of thoughts come to mind here. Oh how I want to share them, but I can hear my wife whispering in my ear; "Be nice." O.K., I will. Did Michal not approve of dancing? Or was her displeasure due to him wearing only a linen ephod? We will answer that in a moment. First of all, David wearing a linen ephod must have meant that David was performing some sort of sacred ritual. When Samuel ministered before the Lord he wore a linen ephod. (I Samuel 2:18) David is also clearly rejoicing in the fact that the ark mow resides in Jerusalem. He has his city, his capital, and now he has the very presence of Yahweh there as well. But, then...Have you ever heard the saying: "Just wait until you get home?" Yep...
"When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, 'How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!'" (II Samuel 6:20)
Apparently Michal's anger was due to a bit of jealousy. She didn't want her man showing his (well you know) to the other women. Her anger had nothing to do with his dancing, nor his emotions before the Lord. Michal viewed David's behavior as vulgar. Hmm...I bet she wouldn't like "Dancing With The Stars." One night I was forced to watch "Dancing With The Stars" with my mother in law. At one point I had to ask; "Maxine Perry! What are you making me watch?" I've been scarred ever since. *Note: My Mother in Law denies that this ever happened and that she never watches "Dancing With The Stars," but I swear that she does. I write this knowing that my mother in law does not have the internet, therefore she is not reading this. LOL
Michal sees David's actions as vulgar, but he sees his actions as pious self-humiliation. Michal is just like her father before her. "And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death." (II Samuel 6:23) This is a sad statement. Remember all those wives who were barren, but then the Lord opened their womb? Poor Michal's womb had been open, but now it is shut. Here's the thing about this passage. Remember, Michal is Saul's daughter. This passage wants us to realize that the blood of the house of Saul was never mixed with the blood of the house of David.
"After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, 'Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent." (II Samuel 7:1-2)
Remember, ever since the people of Israel wondered in the dessert God resided with them in a tent. (The Tabernacle) Wherever they went, God went before them. Much time has elapsed, but God is still in a tent. The people are no longer wondering around in the dessert. They are now a people of a place. David realizes that it is time to "get with the times" and decides that God must have a permanent dwelling. Now, David does not specifically say that he is wanting to build a temple, but it is implied. What is the problem? David is not the one that is to build the dwelling. We will discover more about this later on. This all leads up to God promising that Yahweh will establish the throne of David forever. (verse 13)
Wow, all is well in Jerusalem and in the house of David. He is at the peak of his career. He has been endorsed by Yahweh, loved by his people, and is victorious over the enemies of Israel. (chapters 8-10) This is the golden age of Israel. How much better can it get than that? Ahhh..,David just sit back and relax. Take it easy, David, but just don't go out on the rooftop...David....don't go...David....Listen to me David...*Join me tomorrow. You won't want to miss tomorrow's "look" (yes the word is in parentheses for a reason) at the next chapter in the saga of David. Have a great day! -Pastor Rick