Monday, August 29, 2011

2 Samuel 6 & 7 - The Ark Comes to Jerusalem and The Davidic Covenant

LINK: 2 Samuel 6 & 7

BACKGROUND

2 Samuel 6 - Moving the Ark to Jerusalem

One of David's first acts as king was to bring the Ark of the Covenant back from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem. The Ark had been separated from the tabernacle and other places of worship for 100 long years! More recently, it had been captured by the Philistines at Aphek in 1 Samuel 4:11. Remember that the Ark of the Covenant bore the name of God and represented the presence of God who dwelled among His people (Exodus 25:22). It was to be handled with great care and reverence (Exodus 25:14; Numbers 4:15, 20). Putting the ark in an ox cart was not the way God commanded for it to be transported, and Uzzah knew that he could not touch the Ark because no one could touch the Ark and live. It seems like a harsh punishment for someone who was just trying to help, but it has to be seen in light of God absolute holiness. David named this spot Perez which means "outbreak against" because of God's wrath. The Ark remained and blessed the house of Obed-Edom for three months until the Lord gave David instruction.

Following this, the Ark was brought properly to Jerusalem with sacrifice, priestly attire, dancing, shouting for joy, and trumpets. You may ask how David could dress in priestly attire when he was not a descendant of Aaron. He was the anointed of the Lord and founder of the messianic line that would be fulfilled in JESUS who would someday come to embrace the offices of priest and prophet (7:12-16; 1 Samuel 2:35; Deuteronomy 18:15-19).

During this celebration, David's first wife and Saul's daughter, was embarrassed by his celebrating and rebuked him, but David defended his actions as holy zeal! Michal had no children after that time.

2 Samuel 7 - The Davidic Covenant 
(parallel passage: 1 Chronicles 17)

This is a KEY chapter in the Bible with far reaching effects for the future of our Bible reading. You would do well to read it over again and mark it in your Bible.

David wanted to build a permanent structure in which the Lord could dwell among His people. Through the Prophet Nathan, God told David that there was not yet a need for a permanent structure but that he would build a house for David that would be a royal house that would never end (7:16; 1 Chronicles 17:25). The kingdom of David and his throne would be forever. Let us pause in the story for a very important announcement:

This is the Scarlet Thread of Redemption!!!!!!

This promise fulfills the earlier Abrahamic Covenant blessing that the patriarchs would be the father of kings (Genesis 17:6, 16; 35:11). Later Judah, the great-grandson of Abraham, was given the pledge that a promised ruler would come from Judah (Genesis 49:10). David was from the tribe of Judah and part of the Messianic line that would result in a divine descendant and King (Psalm 2:6-7; 110; 89:3-4). We will see in our study of the prophets that they attested to the Davidic Messiah who would rule over all and forever on his throne. Of course, that Messiah is . . .

JESUS!!!! (See Luke 1:31-33)

It is all so very exciting. :)

Now back to our story . . .

Regarding the temple, David's would not be allowed to build it, but his son would do it. How did David respond to this? He acknowledged the Lord's goodness and sovereignty! He did not show disappointment because he would not be the one to build the house for God. I believe this indicates that David had the motive of bringing glory to God and not to himself. He trusted in God's sovereignty and timing and was not going to get ahead of God's plan. Why do I believe this? He says "O Sovereign LORD" seven times! (Just remember seven times in 2 Samuel 7.) 

REFLECTION (written in September 2008)

David's dream of building a house for God was perfectly timed for me! Just last night, my women's ministry director reminded me of the vision God had given me for "building" women in our church and beyond through discipleship. She said, "Carol, I still remember that vision you articulated in an email to me over a year ago. It is so obviously your passion. I am so excited. I want to pray into that vision with you."

Then, I got up this morning and meditated on 2 Samuel 7 and read this in the Daily Walk:
"Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God." That motto would provide an apt summary of David's early years as king over the 12 tribes of Israel. He moved speedily to implement his godly convictions and to reverse the godless influences of his predecessor, Saul. And though God would not permit him to fulfill certain dreams (such as building the temple), He never rebuked David for his motives or discouraged him from attempting other great enterprises for Him." 
"Great projects for God are costly, demanding vision, time, sacrifice, and perseverance. The great Christian schools we enjoy today, the majestic churches whose pulpits are aflame with righteousness, the missionary organizations that touch millions of lives spiritually and physically --each began with a dream in the heart of a committed child of God."
"One person with a dream is equal to 99 who only have interests." (March 2008)
Now, it is just a matter of me listening to the Lord and waiting on His sovereign timing for all things to come together for His glory!

2011 Update: How fun to read this post from 2008 and see that we are on the cusp of something very exciting as we have waited on His sovereign timing for discipleship in our church!  I met with the women's ministry leader mentioned above two weeks ago about starting Discipleship Essentials: A Guide to Building Your Life in Christ during the Sunday morning women's study. I am also excited to hear that one of our pastors has a triad of people going through this book right now and many of our staff have read Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time and are catching that vision. As late as March of this year, it seemed like this was maybe "dead in the water," but I was wrong! The vision is coming to fruition after many years of waiting and praying (Habakkuk 2:3). YIPEE! "Desire realized is sweet to the soul" (Proverbs 13:19).

And like David, I will look on in wonder but not be involved in the nuts and bolts of it inside the women's ministry because God has called me to minister to women outside the walls of the church. I am so happy to be a resource person for the building project though!  I rejoice like David and am not sad that I cannot be part of the day to day "building" because it is all about God's glory!


2015 Update: I continue to thrive building into women outside the walls of the church. I am passionate about equipping them to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God to every people. This year, I have a group of five women so hungry and F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, and Teachable - see previous post about that HERE)! They are affecting the lives of many others. I also have a group of women leaders in the community that I continue to pray for and encourage to listen and obey. It does not get any better than this!

APPLICATION


The Daily Walk continues:
Do you have a dream of how God might want to use you, your family, your church, your skills, and your resources to impact the world for Him? If not, allow Him to implant in you a dream for His glory; then dream it, plan it, pursue it - and as God enables, achieve it. (p.31)
PRAYER

O Sovereign LORD, who are we that You have brought us this far in our journey with You? We are Your servants. For the sake of Your Word and according to Your will, accomplish things in and through us that bring glory to Your holy name. There is no one like You, and there is no God but You. Make Your name great through the witness of our life and service. And Lord, please build discipleship DNA in every church throughout the world!  We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.
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