Trying To Do YAHUAH A Service Without Being The Will of YAHUAH
Can a person be sincere in their service to YAHUAH and be sincerely wrong?
Let’s find out!
No matter how noble the intention or how something seems so right, we MUST find YAHUAH’s perfect will before we can do Him a service.
It might be the right thing to do, but it also might be the wrong time.
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 7:7
In a time of emergency that’s the time to look too YAHUAH. And look to Him, and be on friendship with Him before the emergency arrives. We know this. If we have favor with YAHUAH, we can ask Him anything, like you would any other friend, and He is a very present help in time of trouble.
But YAHUAH does not give us merits on good intentions. There is only one way to serve YAHUAH, that’s by doing His will at His command.
No matter how sincere, and what good motives, and what good objectives, and how people want those things and see the need of it, there is a will of YAHUAH to be carried out in these things.
By going to the priests, by going to the theologians, and by going to the military forces, and not even considering their YAHUAH-sent messenger of the hour, Nathan, they did it wrong.
The Word of YAHUAH is not to be handled by denominations; It’s to be handled by the heart of a man, where YAHUAH can come in there and reveal Himself. And if he reveals it according to the Word, it’s YAHUAH; if it isn’t, it’s not.
There is no great ones among us. There’s only one great One, and that’s YAHUAH.
First, it must be His time to do it.
And it must be according to His Word that has been spoken.
And it must be given according, to the person He has chosen to do it by.
And it must come, first, to His prophets.
And the prophet must be vindicated by the Word of YAHUAH.
I don’t care what your pastor says, don’t care what I say, or anybody else says. If it’s contrary to YAHUAH’s vindicated Word, the hour, the time, the Message, and so forth, forget it.
There is only one Ark to follow, that’s, the Word of YAHUAH. Anything contrary to that Ark, stay away from it! It’s on a new cart, and not on the shoulders of YAHUAH. Right. Stay away from the thing. Don’t have nothing to do with it.
Remember, MASHIACH (MESSIAH) our Ark!
And one day you’ll see that the One that you feel in your heart, and see His identification, will become personalized before you, then you and He are One. You’ve united by the Word.
So say I, in the Name of YAHUSHA HA’MASHIACH! Don’t you add one thing. Don’t take, put your own ideas in It. You just say what is said on those pages. You just do exactly what YAHUAH ELOHIYM has commanded to do. Don’t add to It.
Saul had become king primarily because the Yisraelites felt a need for a military commander to lead them in battles (1 Samuel 8:20). At that point, Yisrael was a loose confederation of tribes who looked to Samuel as Judge and worshipped YAHUAH together. Saul united them to some degree and led them in a united army, primarily in defensive battles against their enemies.
However, David has a larger vision for his kingdom. He establishes a new capital city in Jerusalem in neutral territory, designed to unite all the tribes. Under him, the Philistines are not just resisted, but vanquished. But more than just being a successful military leader and diplomat, David loves YAHUAH.
Under Saul, worship of YAHUAH had languished. Saul had disobeyed the YAHUAH’s direction through Samuel (1 Samuel 13:13; 15:11). The ark had been lost a generation before and never returned to its place in the Tabernacle (1 Samuel 4-6). In his paranoia, Saul had slaughtered the priests who tended the tabernacle at Nob (1 Samuel 22:18-19), and no longer was able to seek YAHUAH because Abiathar, the remaining priest, had taken the ephod with him when he had fled to David (1 Samuel 22:20; 23:6). The worship of YAHUAH was so diminished that Saul is reduced to seeking guidance from the witch of Endor, a spiritualist medium (1 Samuel 28).
David longs to renew the nation in the worship of YAHUAH. To do that he wants to bring the long-neglected ark into his new capital city as a sign that YAHUAH, the true King over Yisrael, is once again in the midst of his people. He also wants to unite the people, with Jerusalem as both their political and religious center.
Bringing the Ark from the House of Abinadab (6:1-2)
This is not just an idle whim. David brings together “the whole assembly of Yisrael,” as well as representatives from his army, and seeks to get their “buy-in” to a decision to bring the ark back. The Chronicler records his speech to the assembled multitude:
“If it seems good to you and if it is the will of YAHUAH our ELOHIYM, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our brothers throughout the territories of Yisrael, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us.
Let us bring the ark of our ELOHIYM back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.” (1 Chronicles 13:2-3)
The assembly agrees. As a wise leader, David elevates the restoration of YAHUAH worship to be a national goal, not just the fulfillment of a king’s pet project.
As you may recall, the Philistines had captured the ark when Samuel was a child. The glory had departed from Yisrael” (1 Samuel 4:21-22). The Philistines had paraded the ark as a trophy of war in Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron, but as long as they kept it, sickness followed (1 Samuel 5). No Philistine city wanted it. Finally, after seven months, they returned it to Yisraelite territory on a new cart pulled by two cows. Initially it was in the priestly city of Beth-Shemesh, but because they were judged for treating the ark carelessly (1 Samuel 6), the ark was finally moved to the city of Kiriath Jearim (also known as Baalah), a town about nine miles west of Jerusalem.
“They took it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of YAHUAH.” (1 Samuel 7:1)
There the ark remained throughout the judgeship of Samuel and the reign of Saul.
Now, bringing back the ark becomes a national event:
“So David assembled all the Yisraelites, from the Shihor River in Egypt to Lebo Hamath, to bring the ark of YAHUAH from Kiriath Jearim. David and all the Yisraelites with him went to Baalah of Judah (Kiriath Jearim) to bring up from there the ark of YAHUAH ELOHIYM, who is enthroned between the cherubim — the ark that is called by the Name.” (1 Chronicles 13:5-6)
Transporting the Ark Man’s Way (6:3-10)
Apparently, David didn’t seek YAHUAH — or read the Torah — about how the ark should be transported. Rather, his method of transport seems to be similar to the Philistine approach of putting the ark on a new cart pulled by two cows (1 Samuel 6:7). The celebration of bringing the ark to Jerusalem begins with great joy.
“3 They set the ark YAHUAH 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 YAHUAH on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it.
5 David and the whole house of Yisrael were celebrating with all their might before YAHUAH, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.” (6:3-5)
Then things go terribly wrong.
“6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark YAHUAH, because the oxen stumbled.
7 YAHUAH’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore YAHUAH struck him down and he died there beside the ark of YAHUAH.” (6:6-7)
This recalls the severe punishment upon the men of Beth Shemesh for looking in the ark (1 Samuel 6:19).
At that time, they had said: “Who can stand in the presence of YAHUAH, this Holy ELOHIYM?” (1 Samuel 6:20). The Holy ELOHIYM insists that holy things be treated with reverence in the manner he has prescribed!
Notice David’s reaction.
“Then David was angry because YAHUAH’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. David was afraid of YAHUAH that day and said, ‘How can the ark of YAHUAH ever come to me?'” (6:8-9)
Why is David angry? The text doesn’t tell us, but we can surmise two reasons:
1 Misunderstood. David has done this with the best of intentions. He loves YAHUAH and wants YAHUAH to be honored in Yisrael’s capital of Jerusalem. His motives are right, he feels, so why would YAHUAH bring judgment? He has been misunderstood.
2 Humiliated. David has been publicly humiliated. The national celebration he has planned in front of 30,000 onlookers has ended with disaster, as if YAHUAH doesn’t approve of moving the ark. In people’s eyes, David’s relationship with YAHUAH is being questioned.
David is angry, but he isn’t stupid. He sends everyone home — if they haven’t fled already — and makes arrangements to move the ark to the nearby home of Obed-Edom the Gittite. In this case, the Gath referred to is probably not the nearby Philistine city of Gath, but rather the Levitical city of Gath-Rimmon, a few miles east of Joppa (Joshua 21:24; 1 Chronicles 6:59).
This is likely, because we hear later of an Obed-Edom who is a prominent Levite who had seven sons, “for YAHUAH had blessed Obed-Edom.” (1 Chronicles 26:5), seemingly referring to the next verse in our text:
“The ark of YAHUAH remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, And YAHUAH blessed him and his entire household.” (6:11)
Q1. (2 Samuel 6:1-10) Why does YAHUAH strike Uzzah? Why is David so angry?
Transporting the Ark YAHUAH’s Way (6:11-13)
“Now King David was told, ‘YAHUAH has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of YAHUAH.’” (6:12a)
When David learns that Obed-Edom is being blessed with the “dangerous” ark at his house, David realizes that the ark itself is not the problem. He wants that blessing in the City of David! He begins to research in the Torah about how the ark is supposed to be transported, and discovers:
“No one but the Levites may carry the ark of YAHUAH, because YAHUAH chose them to carry the ark of YAHUAH and to minister before him forever.” (1 Chronicles 15:2)
This is the way the ark was carried across the Jordan River as Joshua led the people into the Promised Land (Joshua 3:3; 6:6). However, since this had been hundreds of years before, people had forgotten.
Nevertheless, instructions for carrying the ark are found several times in the Pentateuch (Numbers 4:4-15, 19-20; 7:9; Deuteronomy 10:8; 31:9). Specifically, the Kohathite clan of the Levites is charged with carrying the sacred objects from the tabernacle, and it just happens that Obed-Edom is a Levite from the Kohathite town of Gath-Rimmon (Joshua 21:20-24).
David now instructs the Levites:
“It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that YAHUAH our ELOHIYM broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.” (1 Chronicles 15:13)
He makes sure that the priests and Levites consecrate themselves according to the Torah before this ceremony (1 Chronicles 15:14). Then David tries a second time:
“12 So David went down and brought up the ark of YAHUAH from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing.
13 When those who were carrying the ark of YAHUAH had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.” (6:12-13)
This time, David makes sure to do YAHUAH’s will in YAHUAH’s way. It’s interesting that they’re rejoicing, after their previous aborted celebration. But David knows what he had done wrong and he has made it right. He and the people come with faith before YAHUAH And YAHUAH honors them in it.
Q2. (2 Samuel 6:11-13) How should the ark have been transported? How are Uzzah and David responsible if they don’t know the provisions of the Mosaic Law? What does David’s mistake in this incident teach us about seeking to do YAHUAH’s will?
David Dances before YAHUAH (6:14)
David leads his people in worship in the procession.
“David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before YAHUAH with all his might, while he and the entire house of Yisrael brought up the ark of YAHUAH with shouts and the sound of trumpets.” (6:14)
David is personally absorbed in joyful worship of his ELOHIYM. This is not some formal exercise, but worship from the heart — and with the arms, legs, and feet. David is dancing, and doesn’t seem to care that it might seem undignified. When David’s wife Michal questions him about behavior below the dignity of a king, he responds:
“I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes….” (6:22)
Often we are inhibited in our worship by what others might think of us. What will people think if I say “Amein” or if I lift my hands in worship? What will people think if I am so entranced with worship that I forget everyone around me and just focus on Him? It is before YAHUAH that we worship!
Protestants don’t understand Anglicans, Lutherans, Catholics, and the Orthodox who worship liturgically — and vice versa! Pentecostals accuse quieter evangelicals of being “G-d’s frozen people,” while the quieter judge the Pentecostals as “holy rollers.” Foolishness! Our worship reflects both our culture and our traditions. YAHUAH had to remind Samuel on one occasion:
“YAHUAH does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance,
but YAHUAH looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
When we worship, we focus on an “audience of One.” It doesn’t really matter what others think. But it matters greatly what YAHUAH thinks of our worship!
One of the great lessons of the Psalms is the importance of praise. The Psalms were not designed to be read silently, but to be sung out, at the very least, to be read aloud. The Psalms are designed to help us experience praise, to enter into it ourselves.
Q3. (2 Samuel 6:14, 22) How would you describe David’s approach to worship? What does his dancing here teach us? What do we learn about praise from the psalms he wrote? Does what others might think affect your ability to worship? How has YAHUAH been working in your life to teach you to worship him in spirit and in truth?
David Brings the Ark into a Tent (6:17-19)
David can’t very well return the ark to the tabernacle at Shiloh. Shiloh had been destroyed! (Jeremiah 7:12). The tabernacle had been moved to the priestly city of Nob, but the ark had never been there and Saul had slaughtered the town’s priests and their families. The ancient tabernacle is now to be found at “the high place at Gibeon” (1 Chronicles 16:39-40; 21:29; 2 Chronicles 1:3, 13; 1 Kings 3:4), in a Levitical city where personnel continued sacrifices.
David wants the center of YAHUAH worship to be in the capital at Jerusalem, not in some priestly town. So he sets up a tent for the ark in Jerusalem, in hopes of eventually building a proper temple to house it.
“17 They brought the ark of YAHUAH and set it in its place inside the tent (ʾōhel) that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before YAHUAH.
18 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of YAHUAH Almighty.
19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Yisraelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.” (6:17-19)
Worship in the Tent in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 16:4-6)
David is the great architect of worship before YAHUAH in Jerusalem. Compared to the emphasis on sacrifice at the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, worship before the ark in Jerusalem is characterized by praise music, much of it written by David and his musical successors — Asaph and others.
This passage will give you the flavor of this worship that David instituted:
“He appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of YAHUAH, to make petition, to give thanks, and to praise YAHUAH, the ELOHIYM of Yisrael…. They were to play the lyres and harps, Asaph was to sound the cymbals,
6 and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow the trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of YAHUAH.” (1 Chronicles 16:4-6)
However, David didn’t restrict praise-worship only before the ark.
Sacrifices continued at the high place in Gibeon — along with musical praise.
“Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were stationed at the gate.” (1 Chronicles 16:42)
Michal Despises David (6:20-23)
David is the great Praise Leader of Yisrael. But sadly, that very praise is misunderstood by one of the people closest to him, Michel, David’s wife.
“And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before YAHUAH, she despised him in her heart.” (6:16b)
“Despised” is bāzâ, “to despise, disdain, hold in contempt … to accord little worth to something.”
When David comes home, happy in YAHUAH, ready to share his joy with his family, he is met by a rebuke from his wife.
“When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, ‘How the king of Yisrael has distinguished himself today, uncovering in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!'” (6:20)
Here is David’s response:
“21 David said to Michal, ‘It was before YAHUAH, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over YAHUAH’s people Yisrael — I will celebrate before YAHUAH.
22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.’
23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.” (2 Samuel 6:21-23)
David’s answer indicates that there is no longer any great love between the two. His response involves three elements:
1. YAHUAH’s choice of David over Saul’s dynasty.
It sounds like Michal resents David. She had loved him once, when he was the young warrior honored by her father the king (1 Samuel 18:20). However, for years she had been the wife of Paltiel, one of Saul’s supporters and a fellow Benjamite. Paltiel obviously loved her deeply, for when she was to be returned to her legitimate husband, David, Paltiel “went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim” (3:16).
Though she had been David’s first wife, by the time Michal was returned, she seems to have been David’s seventh wife in terms of status — and all the rest bore him children! (3:2-5). Her once high status as a king’s daughter is but a memory — and she resents it! David understands this, and that is why he reminds her that YAHUAH had made him king in the place of her father Saul:
“… YAHUAH … chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the YAHUAH’s people Yisrael.” (6:21)
2. Humility vs. pride.
David isn’t afraid to humble himself before YAHUAH. He knows YAHUAH’s character:
“You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.” (Psalm 18:27)
Some commentators believe that David’s short ephod exposed his genitals to the eyes of the low-class slave girls when he leaped in dance.
That’s possible, of course, but I think it’s more likely that Michal is objecting to the fact that David takes off his royal robe to wear the simple ephod of a priest, and thus “uncovers” himself as if he were a commoner, rather than wearing the royal robes of a king. The NIV’s translation “vulgar” misleads us, I think. The word rêq doesn’t suggest sexual vulgarity, only the idea of being common (“empty, vain, worthless”), rather than dignified as a king might be expected to be.
Assuming that David is wearing the priestly ephod specified in the Torah, he will also be wearing a linen undergarment prescribed for this very reason — to prevent a priest from exposing himself (Exodus 20:26).
David had spent years in desert camps fleeing Michal’s father Saul. He knows homelessness and hunger. He knows fear and faith. However, all her life, Michal has been pampered as a king’s daughter, and later as the wife of an important person the king chose to favor. She knows only luxury and has developed a sense of class superiority that sometimes accompanies wealth and position.
It is significant that David doesn’t defend himself against a charge of exposing his sexual organs, as some believe happened. Rather, his answer justifies humbling himself before YAHUAH. The word translated “undignified” (NIV), “contemptible” (NRSV), “vile” (KJV) has the idea of being of little account, that is abased, or seen as humble.
3. The priority of worship.
David defends his act of worship as not for anyone’s benefit but YAHUAH’s. Michal sees only the exterior — because she isn’t a co-worshipper, only an observer. YAHUAH sees David’s heart.
‘It was before YAHUAH…. I will celebrate before YAHUAH.” (6:21)
Q4. (2 Samuel 6:16, 20-23)
What has happened to Michal that she is so bitter at David?
How does her bitterness cause her to misjudge what she sees?
Are you bitter towards YAHUAH about something in your past?
What effect might it have on your spiritual life?
How can you find healing from the bitterness?
What would have happened if David had conformed his worship expression to his wife’s preferences?