David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.
And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day. And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” So David was not willing to take the ark of the Lord into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.
And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants' female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.
2 Samuel 6:1-23
Arguably, one of the most important three sentences written over the past 100 years came in the opening line of a book published in 1993 by John Piper called, Let the Nations Be Glad.
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is.
Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”
Piper will go on to make the case that all humans are worshipers but our worship is misdirected. The church’s mission is motivated first by a desire for all people to know the glory of their Creator because He alone is worthy of our awe and affections. All of the benefits of true joy and gladness flow from our worship being redirected toward the one and only God. “Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal in missions”, Piper says. King David puts it this way in Psalm 67:3-4a:
“May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy…”
God can have his cake and eat it too. He is 100% interested in His glory and fame while at the same time 100% interested in our fullness and joy. This is precisely the case that the Apostle Paul makes in Romans 15. The nations were not glad because we were separated from our only source of gladness. Yet, Jesus “came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them.” How will the Gentiles know hope, joy, and peace? Paul says the source of these things is God. Romans 15:12-13a:
And in another place Isaiah said,
“The heir to David’s throne will come,
and he will rule over the Gentiles.
They will place their hope on him."
I pray that God, the source of hope,
will fill you completely with joy and peace
because you trust in him.
Directing our hearts toward our Creator is the only true and lasting source of gladness.
We saw this same order in 2 Samuel. David didn’t really dance until he kneeled. His worship at first was a lot like mine. It looked like worship on the outside but David did not have the order right. He was worshipping without awe. God’s glory is heavy. It wasn’t until David kneeled under the reality of God’s unique glory that he found true bounce in his step.
I don’t know about you, but I mostly want the joy without the awe, the peace without the glory, but that is not the order we see again and again in Scripture. The ark of the covenant represented the glory and provision of God and is a sign of the salvation to come through Jesus. In 2 Samuel 6:19 the people are blessed with a banquet from the Lord of hosts through the sacrifice of burnt offering. In John 6, Jesus, the Lamb of God, said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
This is an important reminder for me this week. What am I putting my affection in that will never satisfy? Money? Approval? Satisfaction itself? Food? Theology?
Paul concludes in Romans 15:13b:
“Then you will overflow with confident hope
through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Those who overflow with confident hope are those who place their awe in God. I want this, for the sake of God’s glory, and for the joy of the nations.