II Samuel 6

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

DOING A RIGHT THING IN A WRONG WAY

INTRODUCTION:

We remind ourselves of something God told Joshua when Joshua took over as leader of Israel following the death of Moses.

Joshua 1:7-9 - 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

We also remind ourselves of something Samuel told Saul after Saul failed to carry out the Lord's instructions.

I Samuel 15:22 - And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken [i.e. to heed or to listen and obey] than the fat of rams.

God is looking for obedience and not for ritual.

We remind ourselves of what Jesus said.

John 14:15 - If ye love me, keep my commandments.

We remind ourselves of what Paul wrote in II Timothy 3 .

II Timothy 3:14-17 - 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We remind ourselves of what James wrote in James 1 .

James 1:22 - But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

In this message we see that God's blessing does not follow even the best intentions in God's service, unless this service is rendered in God's way. God's work must be done in God's way in order to bring God's full blessing.

We are used to rules.

We learned, usually the hard way, to obey our parents. We learned this before we knew that the Bible says, Children obey your parents.

Years ago, we learned in school to obey the rules. If we didn't obey the rules, we would experience the consequences.

Society has all kinds of laws. If we don't obey the laws, we can expect to experience the consequences. Our prisons are full of people who are experiencing the consequences of breaking the law.

The military has rules. If you don't obey the rules, you will have to learn the hard way to obey them.

Sports has all kinds of rules. To participate you must obey the rules. You must also play by the rules.

The Bible likewise has all kinds of rules God expects us to obey, whether these have to do with personal godliness, with family relationships, or with the operation and function of the local church.

In II Samuel 6 , we see that David does something good but that he does it in a wrong way with tragic results.

God gave specific instructions in Numbers 4 regarding how the Ark of the Covenant was to be carried from place to place, but David used a Philistine expedient.

Numbers 4:4-6 , 15 - (4) This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things: (5) And when the camp setteth forward [i.e. when the camp prepares to journey], Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering vail, and cover the ark of testimony with it: (6) And shall put thereon the covering of badgers' skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof [i.e. they shall insert its poles - they would carry the Ark on their shoulders by its poles].

(15) And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward [i.e. is set to go]; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear [i.e. to carry] it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation [i.e. These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry].

If you remember, or even if you don't, the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant in I Samuel 4 . In I Samuel 5 they took the Ark to the cities of Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron. Wherever it went, the people experienced death and serious physical problems. So, seven months later the lords of the Philistines determined to send the Ark back to Israel, which they did in I Samuel 6 .

Note the following directions the Philistines followed when they returned the ark to the Israelites. Realize that they did not know how to do this in God's way.

I Samuel 6:7-8 - (7) Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine [i.e. two milk cows], on which there hath come no yoke [i.e. two cows that had never been yoked together to pull a wagon or a plow], and tie the kine [i.e. the cows] to the cart, and bring their calves home from them [i.e. take their calves away from them]: (8) And take the ark of the Lord, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer [i.e. in a box or in a chest] by the side thereof [i.e. by the side of the Ark]; and send it away, that it may go.

I. THE ARK IS MOVED ON A NEW CART - 6:1-5

II Samuel 6:1-5 - (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 [i.e. from there] the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the Lord of hosts that dwelleth between the Cherubims [The presence of God is pictured as being on the lid of the Ark known as the mercy seat. The two cherubim were on each end of the mercy seat facing each other with their wings spread and their faces looking toward the mercy seat. Thus, God is said to dwell between the Cherubim.]. (3) And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, [just like the Philistines, who didn't know any better, had done. Oh, oh, they shouldn't have done this because they should have known better!] and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave [i.e. drove] 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.

We remind ourselves of something David wrote in Psalms 1 ,

Psalms 1:1-3 - 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The implication of this is that, if David practiced what he said in this passage, he should have been very familiar with what the law says about moving the Ark of the Covenant. Therefore, he should have known better than to do what he did.

Everything seemed to be going very well until all of a sudden -

II. GOD GETS DAVID'S ATTENTION - 6:6-11

II Samuel 6:6-11 - (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 [i.e. because of the Lord's outburst] upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah 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? [By the way, the fear of the Lord is not a bad thing. Remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.] (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 Obededom the Gittite. [Gittite means that Obededom was from Gath, a Philistine city.] (11) And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the Lord blessed Obededom, and all his household.

We need to learn from mistakes we make and not repeat them. God sometimes allows us to do things which are not right but then corrects us. This episode in the life of David is one of those things.

Hebrews 12:1-11 - 1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not [i.e. stop despising, stop treating lightly] thou the chastening [i.e. the training, discipline, or instruction] of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth [i.e. disciplines], and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening [i.e. discipline], God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not [i.e. does not discipline]? 8 But if ye be without chastisement [i.e. discipline], whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards [i.e. illegitimate children], and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence [i.e. respect]: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened [i.e. disciplined] us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening [i.e. discipline] for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous [i.e. painful]: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby [i.e. to those who have been trained by His discipline].

Having learned his lesson the hard way and having learned how to move the Ark -

III. DAVID PREPARES TO MOVE THE ARK A SECOND TIME - I Chronicles 15:1-4 , 11-15

I Chronicles 15:1-4 - (1) And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent. (2) Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto Him for ever. (3) And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord unto his place, which he had prepared for it. (4) And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites.

I Chronicles 15:11-15 - (11) And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab, (12) And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. (13) For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us [i.e. made an outburst on us or broke out against us], for that we sought him not after the due order [i.e. because we did not consult Him about the proper way to do this]. (14) So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. (15) And the children of the Levites bare [i.e. carried] the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon [i.e. by its poles], as Moses commanded according to the word of the Lord.

We see the same event described in II Samuel 6

IV. DAVID MOVES THE ARK PROPERLY - 6:12-15, 17-19

II Samuel 6:12-15 - (12) And it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obededom, 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 Obededom into the city of David with gladness. (13) And it was so, that when they that bare [i.e. when those who carried] the ark of the Lord had gone six paces [i.e. six steps], he sacrificed oxen and fatlings [i.e. fatted sheep]. [The Lord did not seem to be displeased; so, they continued.] (14) And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod [i.e. the garment of a priest]. (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.

II Samuel 6:17-19 - (17) And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his [i.e. in its] 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 [i.e. he distributed] among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake [i.e. a loaf] of bread, and a good piece of flesh [i.e. a peace of (meat)], and a flagon of wine [i.e. a cake of raisins]. So all the people departed every one to his house.

David learned from his mistake. We likewise need to learn from our mistakes to do things in the way God wants them to be done.

V. MICHAL'S REACTION - 6:16, 20-23

II Samuel 6:16 - (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.

II Samuel 6:20-23 - (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 [i.e. the slave girls] of his servants, as one of the vain [i.e. vulgar] fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself [i.e. David had taken off his royal robes and put on an ephod for this occasion. We must always do what's right, but be advised that there is always going to be someone like Michal who won't like it.]! (21) And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which [i.e. Who] chose me before thy father [i.e. before King Saul], and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play [i.e. celebrate or play music] before the Lord. (22) And I will yet be more vile [i.e. more undignified] than thus, and will be base [i.e. humble] 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.

CONCLUSION:

Let's learn a lesson from this. God's work must be done God's way to insure God's blessing. Don't be trying to change the things God has established, don't be trying to improve upon what God has established as if you think that you have a better idea.

This applies to your individual life, your family life, your church life, your reaching the lost, etc.

Don't forget also that there is only one way of salvation. It is God's way and not man's way.

Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Ephesians 2:8-10 - 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Make sure that you are genuinely saved in the only way possible.

Acts 4:12 - Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.