Second Samuel 6 Commentary
The sudden switch from joy in the presence of the LORD to anger and cursing is not a good sign for the minister. We think the minister is returning home to bless his family. Instead, we find the minister angering and uttering hurting words. What a minister does when he is right and his wife is wrong is important. David requires marriage counseling here.
But there is another even more important contradiction in this chapter: how a good and godly intention becomes fatally wrong. Incidentally, it is also another switch from joy to anger and sadness. Uzzah’s irreverent act of touching the Ark results in sudden death. The rejoicing is immediately halted. A calamity must be investigated and the LORD is responsible.
This incident is the latest in a series of punishments connected directly with the Ark. Earlier in the Book of Samuel, Eli’s wicked sons Hophni and Phinehas die chiefly because of their irreverence. The captured Ark caused havoc in Dagon’s temple. The Philistine cities of Ashdod and Ekron suffer when they attempt to host the Ark. When the Ark is returned to Israel, the men of Beth Shemesh die when they irreverently look inside the Ark. That is how the Ark ended up at Abinadab’s house for care. His son was consecrated to take care of the Ark at Kiriath Jearim.
In this chapter, David is trying to transport the Ark from Abinadab’s house to Jerusalem. What happens here is a good lesson to one who claims to host the Holy Spirit within their chests. There are strict rules on how the LORD should be hosted and transported from place to place, as you go about your daily activities.
In numbers, we found very elaborate instructions on how the Ark was to be transported. We can confirm here that David completely ignored the manual. We can guess all the rejoicing was just entertainment. Heaven wasn’t so happy. The top priests were required to go in and cover the Ark before other priests came in to lift the Ark on their shoulders. Social distancing was a must! We haven’t seen anything like that here.
This should be easy. Irreverence towards the LORD means death. But reverence means life and prosperity. David has seen both. He has seen Uzzah’s irreverence punished severely. He has also seen the house Obed-Edom receive blessings because of the presence of the LORD.
We are however impressed with David’s desire to bring back respectability to the box that represented the presence of the LORD. Importantly, not even David’s good intentions can protect him from the consequence of breaking the law.
We are once again reminded that the worship of the LORD is never to be defined by man. The LORD defines how He is to be worshipped, when and by who.
And back to the small matter of David and his wife Michal. A man should remember not to be so rude when the LORD elevates them. Being all smiles at church and angering and cursing when you return home may be a sign that your religion is more of a show than reality. How can David forget this woman’s love and protection when he was nothing?
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