- Sermon Notes
God’s Way is Better
2 Samuel 6:1-23
July 24-25, 2021
The prophet Samuel was instructed by God to go to the house of Jesse to anoint the future king of Israel. David was youngest of eight brothers. When he was called and stood before Samuel, he knew immediately that this was the one whom God had chosen. David was God’s anointed.
Samuel poured oil on his head, representing, and picturing the anointing of the Holy Spirit on his life. From that moment forward the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David.
David, however, had to wait more than 12 years for that promise to be fulfilled. It was 12 years filled with trouble as Saul was relentless in the pursuit of David. He knew full well that God was giving the kingdom to David, but out of insecurity and fear he sought David’s life.
But King Saul and his son Jonathan were killed in a fierce battle with the Philistines. When David heard that Saul and Jonathan had died, he tore his clothes and wept and wrote a lament to honor them both. “Oh, how the mighty have fallen. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,” he wrote.
David then went up to Hebron and was anointed king over the house of Judah. Seven and a half years later, when he was 30 years old, he was anointed king over all Israel.
One of the first things David did as king of Israel was to take the city of Jerusalem to establish the kingdom there. It would become the city where God would place his name, a city of His own possession. It would become the most important city on the face of the earth.
The center of the fulfilling of biblical prophecy in the latter days will take place in the city of Jerusalem. The epicenter of biblical prophecy will be the Temple Mount.
David wanted to honor the Lord who had chosen him to be king of Israel. He established a tabernacle, a tent, in Jerusalem, in the city of David for the ark of God to reside.
The ark of God had resided at the house of Abinadab for many years. David wanted it to be brought from the house of Abinadab to the city of Jerusalem, a distance of 14 miles. David’s heart and desire to honor God was beautiful.
But when they brought the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, they didn’t move it according to the way prescribed in the law of Moses. That’s when tragedy struck.
The ark of God represented the very presence and power of God in Israel. God is holy and his presence is powerful. Respect God as holy and understand the power that comes from the nearness of God.
I. The Presence of God is Holy
- David was excited to have the ark of God in Jerusalem. It represented the glory and presence of God in Israel.
- What better way to bring the ark of God into Jerusalem than with a glorious parade, David thought.
- He gathered 30,000 chosen men of Israel. He brought instruments made of fir.
- This was going to be a celebration. The ark of God was finally coming to Jerusalem after all these years. It represented the presence of God.
- The ark of God had been out of place with no tabernacle because many years prior when Eli was priest, the people brought the ark of God into a battle with the Philistines. They thought the ark of God would assure their victory as if it were something to bring good luck.
Illus – Things don’t bring good luck. There’s no such thing. Some people have a rabbit’s foot for good luck. Where did that come from? How can a rabbit’s foot bring good luck? It certainly didn’t help the rabbit.
- The ark of God represented the very presence and power of God and God’s presence and power mustn’t be trifled with. God must be honored as holy.
- Instead of bringing victory to Israel, the ark was captured by the Philistines.
- The ark of God, the presence of God, brought great trouble to the Philistines, plagues of tumors and mice fell upon them, so they sent it back to Israel. They sent it back on a cart led by two milch cows.
- Where did David get the idea of moving the ark of God on a new cart? He got the idea from the Philistines. That’s a problem.
- That wasn’t the way God wanted it moved. It represented the glory and presence of God. The Law God was clear, it must be carried by poles through the rings of the ark, setting it on the shoulders of priests.
A. Desire God’s presence — God’s way
- David had the right desire. His heart was in the right place. He wanted to honor God; he knew the ark should be in Jerusalem. He wanted the presence of the Lord in the center of the nation. David’s heart was right.
- But he did it the wrong way.
- David also understood the importance of Jerusalem, of Zion, in the heart of God.
Psalm 132:13-14, For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”
- God has always desired to be “Immanuel” God with us, but sin has separated men from God.
Isaiah 59:1-2, Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God.
- In other words, how can sinners draw near to the holy and righteous God of heaven?
- God set His tabernacle, and later, His temple at the center of His chosen city with His chosen people to be “God with us.”
- At the center of the tabernacle, behind a veil as thick as a man’s hand, was the ark of God. On it was the mercy seat, made of pure gold, with angels also made of gold extending their wings in a posture of giving glory to God. Above it was the shekinah glory of God’s presence visible by men.
- God was Immanuel, God with them in the midst of Israel with glory and power.
- But no one could draw near to the presence of God without the shedding of blood. Why? Because sinners are made righteous not by their own doing, but by the blood of the Son of David.
Hebrews 9:19-22, When every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people… And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
- According to the Law of Moses, the high priest, and only the high priest, could draw near to the ark of God once a year on the Day of Atonement to sprinkle the blood of a bull offered as atonement for the people.
- All of this was disregarded. They set the ark of God on a new cart and when the cart was almost toppled, Uzzah reached out and touched that which represented the very presence of God with his bare hand. Immediately the parade was over.
B. God’s presence will bless your life
- David became greatly afraid of the Lord that day and he was unwilling to bring the ark into the city, so he took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom where it remained for three months.
- Verse 12 – Then it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all his household and all that belongs to him on account of the ark of God.”
- David knew that God’s heart was to bless. He immediately decided he wanted that blessing for all Israel. The ark of God must reside in Jerusalem at the tabernacle, but it will be God’s presence, God’s way.
- During those three months, David discovered that God’s way was to have the ark of God carried on the shoulders of the Levitical priests.
1 Chronicles 15:15, The sons of the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles thereon, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.
C. Jesus is the way to the Father
- From the beginning of creation God had a plan, a way to reconcile sinners to Himself. His Son, His only begotten Son, would die in your place. Your sins would be removed from you and placed on His Son. Your sins were transferred to Jesus on the cross; the cross on which He paid for them in full by the shedding of His own blood.
- Based on the blood Jesus shed on the cross which God accepted in your behalf, you yourself are accepted by God and are given the right to be called a child of God with the full rights of citizenship in heaven.
- That’s God’s way and there is no other way for sinners to draw near and have relationship to the holy and righteous God of heaven.
John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
- Somebody might say, “Well that’s not very nice. That’s not even politically correct; I’ve got my own ideas about eternity. It seems to me that a person ought to be able to figure out their own way to God and God should accept it; that’s much more inclusive.”
- No, it’s God’s presence, God’s way. The fire of His condemnation and judgment fell on His Son on the cross; you come to God through His Son, or you don’t come at all.
- No one can lay their bare hand on God’s glory.
II. The Presence of God is the Joy of Life
- When David discovered God’s way of bringing the ark of God into Jerusalem, carried on the shoulders of the priests of God, he determined to do it God’s way and with all the honor he could bring.
- Verse 12 – He brought the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom into the city of David with gladness.
- And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.
- The thought of the presence of God in Jerusalem, in the city of David brought David such joy, such delight, that he danced – with all his might.
A. The joy of the Lord is your strength
- When sinners are made right with God, that’s a reason to rejoice. But don’t just rejoice when you first come to the Lord, keep on rejoicing, because the joy of the Lord is your strength.
- Many years later in the history of Israel, when they turned away from God, it brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and Israel being exiled in Babylon for 70 years.
- When they returned, someone found a copy of the word of God. They assembled all Israel. They opened the book in the sight of all the people and they read from the book, from the word of God, translating to give the sense so they understood the reading.
- When they heard the word of God, they began to weep. All those years were wasted; they had not lived according to the way of God or the heart of God all those years and look at the trouble. Look at the disaster it brought. It made them weep.
Nehemiah 8:10, Then the priest said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
- When you discover that the way of God is good and right and that His desire is to bless your life by the relationship that He would bring to you, rejoice in it. That is where your strength comes from. Don’t walk in your own strength; the joy of the Lord is your strength. He is your help.
- The name Uzzah means “strength,” And it seems obvious that it has significance here. Uzzah reached out in his own strength to give God a hand. But God didn’t need Uzzah’s help.
Illus – I understand because I can be way too helpful myself. When we were in Africa and loading a small plane, I was too helpful to the pilot. When the men of the church were on our way to a Promise Keepers event and the bus broke down, I was way too helpful to the mechanic.
- We can also be too helpful to God and think He needs our help when He doesn’t. We’re the ones who need God’s help.
Psalm 127:1-2, Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for it is He who gives to His beloved even while he sleeps.
John 6:28-29, Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
B. There is pure joy in humility
- Now that the presence of God is being rightly ushered into Jerusalem, David is rejoicing and dancing before the Lord with all his might… And David was wearing a linen ephod.
- The high priest wore a grand and glorious ephod of blue, scarlet, and purple, interwoven with gold. On it were fixed 12 stones for each tribe of Israel. On the shoulders were to onyx stones set in gold each engraved with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel.
- A linen ephod, however, was a simple garment worn by priests as they did the humble and mundane tasks of the temple. David wore a linen ephod out of humility and a desire to be in a place of serving and ministering to the Lord.
- David was the king but wanted no glory for himself. He did it all for the glory of God.
- When David’s wife, Michal, daughter of Saul, looked out the window and saw David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.
- She was the wife of the king and she’s angry because David has abased himself. It seems clear that she wanted glory, she was the wife of the king and she’s angry because David was dancing before the Lord and wearing a linen ephod.
- Verse20 – When David returned to bless his house. Michael, daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!”
- David responded, “It was before the Lord. I will celebrate before the Lord, and I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes.”
- And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death. It doesn’t take a marriage counselor to figure out what that means.
- Such a heart is barren. It’s empty. There’s no fruit in it. In the one whose heart is full of self, there is no joy.
- The joy of the Lord is your strength. Worship and honor Him and celebrate the relationship that He has given you because He made a point of seeking sinners like you and me to draw us into a relationship to Him!
2 Samuel 6 NASB
1 Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David [a]departed from [b]Baale-judah, with all the people who were with him, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of armies who is [c]enthroned above the cherubim. 3 They had mounted the ark of God on a new cart and moved it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. 4 So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark. 5 Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all kinds of instruments made of juniper wood, and with [d]lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.
6 But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, because the oxen nearly overturned it. 7 And the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for [e]his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God. 8 Then David became angry because [f]of the Lord’s outburst against Uzzah; and that place has been called [g]Perez-uzzah to this day. 9 So David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” 10 And David was unwilling to move the ark of the Lord into the city of David with him; but David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom, the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
12 Now it was reported to King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God.” So David went and brought the ark of God up from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with joy. 13 And so it was, that [h]when those carrying the ark of the Lord marched six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened steer. 14 And David was dancing before the Lord with all his strength, and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with joyful shouting and the sound of the trumpet.
16 Then it happened, as the ark of the Lord was coming into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked down through the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she was contemptuous of him in her heart.
17 Now they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of armies. 19 Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the multitude of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread, one of dates, and one of raisins to each one. Then all the people left, each to his house.
20 But when David returned to bless his own household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel dignified himself today! For he exposed himself today in the sight of his servants’ female slaves, as one of the rabble shamelessly exposes himself!” 21 But David said to Michal, “I was before the Lord, who preferred me to your father and to all his house, to appoint me as ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. So I will [i]celebrate before the Lord! 22 And I might demean myself even more than this and be lowly in my own sight, but with the female slaves of whom you have spoken, with them I am to be held in honor!” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.