David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. 2 He and all his men went to Baalah in 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 on the ark. 2nd Samuel 6:1-2niv 2011
1st Chronicles, chapter 13 gives us a little more insight as to how this whole event goes down. Please read this account carefully:
David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2 He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our people throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. 3 Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.” 4 The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people.
5 So David assembled all Israel, from the Shihor River in Egypt to Lebo Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim. 6 David and all Israel went to Baalah of Judah (Kiriath Jearim) to bring up from there the ark of God the Lord, who is enthroned between the cherubim—the ark that is called by the Name. 1st Chronicles 13:1-6 niv 2011
Please note these specifics in the above verses:
David brought them together – and David conferred with each of his officers – and if it’s the will of the Lord – and it seemed right to all the people.
Okay, if it’s the will of the Lord…? Well, it seemed right to all of the people….
What happened to the part where David inquired of the Lord? I double checked this in several translations and they are all the same – David took this action himself, seeking the advice of men, instead of the Lord. It was just more disobedience.
Here is what I want to illustrate for us: How many times do we realize that we’ve allowed something or a situation to bog us down in some sin. For instance, David knew that Israel hadn’t inquired of the Ark of God during the reign of Saul. His intention was to repair the communion that had been lost between God and Israel – his intentions, at the outset, are righteous. However, what isn’t righteous is that he begins to repair the situation without consulting with the Lord.
Here’s an example from my illustrious past:
I started dabbling in some new sin in early spring about twenty some years ago, and by Christmas of that year I knew my communion with God was all screwed up. Did I ask Him how to handle the situation? Did I ever once ask Him how I should go about positioning myself closer to the Ark? Did I ever once consult His Word on instruction with regard to my distance?
The answer to all of those questions is “no.” I thought I could just get a new cart (or in my case, a new life), throw God’s Presence onboard, and move on.
David had a similar solution:
3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4 with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.
6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7 The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.
8 Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah… 2nd Samuel 6:3-8 niv 2011
Every time I set out with that new life, the Ark (God’s Presence) would literally fall on me, crushing me to death in my own ignorance. Believe me, those were some painful and embarrassing falls – and in my stupidity I was mad at God.
Just like David, I wasn’t willing to try it God’s way, so I tried it my way – which I considered to be better, you know, more up-to-date and less archaic than the old Word of the Lord. I was modern and hip, and I put the Grace of Jesus Christ on the end of a butter knife and slathered it all over my new life.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Romans 6:1 niv 1984
It doesn’t work that way. God cannot bless our wickedness for He is holy.
Here’s what I learned, and David learned the same lesson as well.
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2nd Corinthians 7:1 nknv
This filthiness of flesh and spirit is our personal beliefs – beliefs apart from what is holy to God. We have to perfect our holiness (our own identity, that is, as what’s holy to God). In other words, our identity and what other’s see should be holy. Jesus said, Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 niv 1984
How do we do that…exactly. Well, we have to do a lot of learning when it comes to God and His ways. For instance, John wrote, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 nkjv
I love to use that verse when I’m teaching because when John wrote that portion of the Gospel he used what I consider to be a significant word. The Greek word for beheld is theaomai and it is:
a prolonged form of a primary verb; to look closely at
—Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible gives a more in-depth definition:
“to behold, view attentively, contemplate,” had, in earlier Greek usage, the sense of wondering regard. This idea was gradually lost. It signifies a more earnest contemplation than the ordinary verbs for “to see,” “a careful and deliberate vision which interprets its object,” … more than merely seeing.
John and the disciples took an attentive, earnest, contemplative look at the Word that became flesh, which was Jesus the Christ, the Savior of the world. They didn’t merely see Him there – they had a wondering regard.
Just like David, I had to take a good, close look at the Word – not just merely read it and set it aside (please see James 1:22-25) – but I had to look closely into that Word, contemplate it, wonder about it with careful and deliberate vision, and then do things God’s way in order to get closer to that Ark.
Please join us next week for the rest of this story in It Seemed Right to All of the People – Part 2 in our series: The Lion of Judah.
If you’re interested in my fiction, please visit www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com for a free download of the first 4 chapters of The Pretender.
© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom