God will have His work done in His own way and cannot bless us if we carry it on under wrong principles.
We need to seek His directions continually lest we do good things in a wrong way.
II Samuel 1
1 Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.
2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.
3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.
4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.
5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.
6 ¶ And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perez-uzzah to this day.
9 And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?
10 So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.
11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obed-edom, and all his household.
12 ¶ And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.
13 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.
14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
17 ¶ And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
18 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
19 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.
20 ¶ Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.
22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
II Samuel 1 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Samuel 6:1-11 – The Return of the Ark Interrupted
We have heard nothing of the Ark since it left the land of the Philistines, I Samuel 7:1, 2. The spiritual life of the nation was low, else this holy symbol of God’s presence would not have been thus neglected. David wished to make the new capital the religious as well as the political center of his kingdom. It was necessary, therefore, that the Ark be removed thither.
The sacredness of the Ark lay in its association with Jehovah Sabaoth, “the LORD of hosts.” It was His seat or throne. He “dwelleth between the cherubims” (2 Samuel 6:2). The clear order was that it should be borne on the shoulders of the Levites, and David had no right to substitute a new cart, after the manner of the Philistines, Numbers 7:9; I Chronicles 15:12-16. The death of Uzzah and the blessing on the house of Obed-edom illustrate the severity and the goodness of God. Not one jot or tittle of the law can fail; therefore the least violation must bring suffering on the part of those who offend; while reverence, obedience and faith secure an immediate response of the divine favor and love. God can and will take care of His own. We need not fear for the safety of His Church.
2 Samuel 6:3—They set the Ark of God upon a new cart.
This was their mistake. The Divine directions were explicit that the Ark of the living God must be carried on the shoulders of living men. There would have been no stumbling of oxen, no swaying of the Ark to falling, no need for Uzzah to reach out his hand, if only this simple direction had been obeyed. This breaking forth of God was to recall men to simple absolute obedience to the rules and regulations that had been so explicitly laid down in the Levitical code. It could not fall into disuse without grave loss to the entire people. Better that one life should be sacrificed for disobedience than that the whole nation should be impoverished for the relaxation of that ancient law.
We are fond of bringing new carts to God. At every birthday we build the new cart of good resolution, and place thereon the Ark of God. We will be different, and on our fresh endeavors the Lord of Hosts shall ride; but we must drive, and if needs be, steady the Ark. Ah! It is not long before the oxen stumble, and Uzzah who drives is smitten to the dust of death.
God wants, not new carts, but the living shoulders of consecrated men. We must live for Him, surrendering ourselves to his service; not driving, but being driven; not conducting, but being impelled; not imposing our thoughts on Him, but being willing to submit ourselves absolutely to Him. There is no need to fear God, if only we will obey Him, and in obedience discover the laws by which we may approach and serve Him, then the power which otherwise flames forth to destroy will become the useful servant of our faith, and we shall be able to undertake great things for God.
2 Samuel 6:12-23 – The Ark Tabernacled in the City of David
Josephus tells us that from the moment the Ark rested beneath Obed-edom’s roof, a tide of golden prosperity set in, and he passed from poverty to wealth. But I Chronicles 26:4-10 sheds a new light on the subject, for there we learn that the whole family became attached to the service of the Lord’s house, and even the grandchildren became mighty. If only we would open our homes to God’s Ark—that is, if we maintained the observances of religion for our children and dependents—for us also there would be similar blessing. One likes to imagine the reverence and joy with which those boys and girls lay down to sleep at night, feeling that the symbol of God’s presence was in the house.
This time the prescribed ritual was minutely observed. The warning given by Uzzah’s death had aroused the entire nation to a realization of their indifference and neglect. The stroke had been terrible, but the effect was eminently salutary. It seemed as if the flood-gates of David’s joy had been thrown wide open, and he could not contain his ecstasy. Then from an overflowing heart, he turned to bless his people. The one event that marred the day was poor Michal’s bitter speech. There is no perfect joy in this world; every rose has its thorn.