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Thursday, September 28th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 6

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-23

  1. INTRO:
    1. The children of Israel still lacked something...the ark of the covenant!
      1. It wasn’t enough to have a geographical center to the nation(Jer.); David knew that God’s presence was central to Israel’s very life.
      2. David Loved God! We can marvel at his leadership abilities; delight in his poetic artistry; admire his military prowess. But David’s love for God was his quintessential attribute, the sun around which all his other qualities revolved. (Charles Swindoll, David, pg.102.)
      3. David’s about to learn a vital lesson about how to worship a holy & awesome God. Love alone was not good enough. What else is needed?
        1. 1 Jn.5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.
          1. To really love God is to obey Him!
    2. Outline: Careless Worship; Correct Worship; Critical Worship.
    1. ​​​​​​​CARELESS WORSHIP! - The Uzzah Attitude! (1-11)
    2. The Ark of the covenant: was constructed about 400 years before David. It was Israel’s holiest object. It was a gold-covered acacia wood box, about 4’(L)x 2 ½’(w) x 2 ½’ (deep). It had a golden lid(mercy seat) straddled by 2 gold cherubim on top. Carried by 2 poles.
      1. It symbolized the glorious throne of God, the very presence of God.
      2. It had been absent for about 70 years.
    3. Curious that Israel chose to use a cart/wagon to convey the ark to Jerusalem. This had been the means used by the pagans(Philistines).
      1. But God’s ways are not always the expedient ways of the world.
        1. The way the world handles religion is not how we are to handle it.
      2. As they proceeded, they played music and were no doubt exuberant.
      3. And, though Uzzah had noble intentions, he touched the ark, thus desecrating its holiness.
    4. Did God over correct here?
      1. It’s interesting at the beginning of new eras in biblical history, God sometimes manifested His power in judgment to remind the people that one thing had not changed: God’s people must obey God’s Word! (Warren Wiersbe, Be Restored, pg.42.)
        1. After the Tabernacle was erected & the priestly ministry inaugurated, Aaron’s sons Nadab & Abihu were struck dead for willfully trying to enter the sanctuary (Lev.10) [wrong people, instruments, time, authority, fire, place, motive, energy]
        2. When Israel entered the land of Canaan & began to conquer the land, God had Achan executed for disobeying & taking loot from Jericho (Joshua 6-7)
        3. During the days of the NT church, Ananias & Sapphira were killed for lying to God & His people (Acts 5).
        4. Here, at the start of David’s reign in Jerusalem, God reminded His people that they were not to imitate the other nations when they served Him, for all they needed to know was in His Word.
      2. God didn’t over correct: This was more than an ornate God-n-the-box!
        1. The ark represented God’s covenant w/Israel.
        2. It was God’s point of contact w/sinful humanity!!!
        3. The ark was the symbolic embodiment of the power & presence of God!
      3. Because it was holy, God didn’t want it hauled around like an old piece of furniture. There was no trailer hitch attached to it!
        1. It had to be handled with reverence & fear. The poles were slipped through the rings so the ark could be carried w/o being touched!
    5. Maybe Uzzah, who had lived with the ark, became too familiar with this holy thing.
      1. God’s judgment shows clearly that in our worship, we must not get too familiar with holiness, to take it casually.
        1. The danger is in seeing the ark as a mere artifact, and not respect the God it represents.
        2. So too, our viewing worship & church as mere artifact of our social lives, & not see the God for which it represents.
      2. They had forgotten to go to God’s word.
        1. Worship & excitement are important, but must be done in the order of God’s word.
        2. God’s work must be done in God’s way if it’s to have God’s blessing!
    6. (8) We usually get angry at a God who refuses to act according to our plan!
      1. Yet at least David takes 90 days to ponder his mistake. He wasn’t perfect but was sensitive to sin. He admitted his wrong humbly changed his ways.
      2. See 1 Chron.15:11-15.
    7. (11) Wow, what was it like having God as a house guest for 3 months?
    8. Q: How might we be Careless in worship?
      1. When we don’t worship in spirit & truth.
        1. Spirit - when we come in with the wrong spirit(attitude) & don’t try to fix it(pout).
        2. Truth - when we sing the words but not make them our hearts yearning.
      2. When it comes to obeying God, it’s often the details, the rings & poles, that snag us.
        1. We either don’t want to go to the trouble of getting the poles, or we don’t want to carry them on our shoulders.
        2. So we grab a cart, rewrite the rules, & do it our own way. It’s only rings & poles!
          1. And you know what, He may not strike us dead, but His grief runs just as deep​​​​​​​ & His holiness is just as desecrated!
          2. Are there some rings & poles you’ve been ignoring?
    9. ​​​​​​​CORRECT WORSHIP! - The David Attitude! (12-19)
    10. Here is the beginning of proper worship.
      1. How scary the 2nd attempt must have been. I think too many of us would have discerned God didn’t want to be moved! [I wonder if they had a # of pole bearers calling in sick for work that day?]
      2. Yah they stopped after 6 steps, 6 of the scariest steps they had ever taken!
        1. Sweat drippin, hands tremblin, knees knockin.
    11. Correct worship brings blessings & gladness.
      1. As David desired the blessings that Obed-Edom enjoyed; so others watching your life will desire God’s blessings on their own life, when they witness 1st hand, the presence of God in your life.
    12. Correct worship demands sacrifice.
      1. We cannot come into the presence of a holy God, & address that God, without understanding that it involves sacrifice.
    13. Correct worship recognizes our unworthiness.
      1. Blood flowed, life was given, sin was confessed in the presence of the Holiness of God, for David knew that they were unworthy to be in that presence.
    14. Correct worship brings about generosity.
      1. (18) He blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Hosts.
      2. (19) Everyone received a Happy Meal!
    15. Correct worship is undignified.
      1. David was free. And whenever you’re truly free, someone will envy your freedom & guaranteed, try to still your dance!
      2. For the record: David was wearing a robe of linen under his ephod 1 Chron 15:27
        1. He wasn’t nakey! But he did set aside his Kingly garments & came as just a regular man, even as a priest.
    16. Worship is about your heart: Worship - The audience of One is not about extroverted or introverted worship, both styles are appropriate. [Warriors Athletics: We play and live for an Audience of One]
      1. The purpose of worship is to come before the Lord in obedience to praise Him, to hear from Him, to confess to Him, and to commit our lives to Him.
      2. Every worship service is to be an encounter with the Lord, transcending our feelings, desires, and even our abilities to perform.
    17. To be a worshipper of one means: to be extravagant in your worship before the Lord.
      1. Give it all that you have in your worship. (might be 100% focused attention)
      2. Do as David...worship the Lord with all your might.
        1. It is obvious that David’s “dancing” before the Lord was a spontaneous expression of his joy that the ark of God was restored to the people.
        2. We may never feel comfortable to dance before the Lord like David, corporately or privately, but we dare not go to the other extreme and rule out all outward expressions of joy and praise in our worship of God!
          1. While some believers may carry such activities to extremes, others may be guilty of grieving the Spirit by a false sobriety.
    18. Remember worshiping to the audience of one isn’t about outward appearance, demonstrative or subdued, rather about our hearts being touched & renewed by the H.S.
      1. Once our hearts are touched our worship will be extravagant towards the Lord. We will worship the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
      2. Once we understand and catch a glimpse of the extravagant love it takes for a perfect God to run towards prodigals like us, will our hearts began to learn and worship to the audience of one.
    19. Q: Can you think of your most favorite worship experience?
      1. Where were you? What was unique? Was it professional worship or raw?
      2. What was the setting? What was the attitude of your heart?
      3. Is it possible it was because of your hearts posture & not the worship leader, or the band, or the environment?
    20. CRITICAL WORSHIP! - The Michal Attitude! (20-23)
    21. This is one who despises those who express themselves in worship.
      1. They are being a critical observer, instead of a participant.
      2. What David did, he did before God, & not for the acceptance of anyone else.
      3. Michal feared what others would say about David disgracing himself, except the tables were turned & she ended up being disgraced (i.e. bearing no children in that day & age; esp if it was because David refused her).
        1. Its a preoccupation with image(like her father/Saul).
        2. She was reflecting a fear of what people might think, instead of a fear of the Lord.
    22. Q: Have you ever been Critical of someone or some churches worship style?
      1. Their worship posture? (palms in or out? Arms straight up or out? Arms raised part way or all the way? Arms still or moving back & forth? Body swaying or still? Bouncy or non-bouncy)
      2. Ever judge someone’s heart...they’re not worshiping; that’s too expressive; they’re just showing off?
      3. Did you know criticism goes the other way also? If you’re an expressive worshiper you may judge others of being Ice Sculptures!
      4. I hate when people judge my worship leader. I have one answer, they don’t know the man like I do. Sure he has happy feet; he wears funny clothes; but what if he goes even more undignified than you’re used to? At least he’d have biblical precedent. Isn’t it better to be a Crazy worshiper then a Critical one?
    23. Prayer: May we have hearts soft enough to love You God; be humble enough to obey You; & even undignified in our worship towards Him!
    24. Read Gen.14:18-24.
      1. When Abraham returned from battle, he was met by 2 kings:
        1. Bera, King of Sodom (burning), and Melchizedek, King of Salem (peace).
        2. Bera offered Abraham all the spoils in return for the people.
        3. Melchizedek gave Abraham bread and wine.
          1. Abraham rejected Bera’s offer, but accepted the bread and wine from Melchizedek and gave him tithes of the spoils.
      2. Abraham had to choose between 2 kings who represented 2 opposite ways of life.
        1. Sodom was a wicked city, & their king Bera represented the dominion of this world system with its appeal to the flesh.
          1. Bera means gift, suggesting that the world bargains for your allegiance.
          2. Sodom means burning, so be careful how you choose!
          3. Melchizedek means “king of righteousness,” and Salem means “peace.”
            1. Hebrews 7 and Psalm 110 both connect Melchizedek with Jesus Christ, the “King of peace” and the “King of righteousness”.
          4. Certainly we can see in the bread and wine a reminder of our Lord’s death for us on the cross.
      3. So, when Abraham rejected Bera and accepted Melchizedek, he was making a statement of faith, saying, “Take the world, but give me Jesus.”
        1. Lot should have made the same decision, but he chose to return to his life of compromise.
        2. Have you chosen to reject the world & accept Jesus? If so, then He brings to you this morning bread, wine, & a blessing!
      4. Live by the blessing of the Lord, not the bribery of the world.
        1. He did not want anybody to think that the world made him rich. Even a small thing like a shoelace might affect his walk!
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 6". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/2-samuel-6.html. 2017.
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