David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments- lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals.
David goes to bring back the Ark of the Lord and to locate it in Jerusalem. They place the Ark on a new cart, and then David and the people dance and sing before the Lord as they make their journey.
But the oxen stumble, and Uzzah reaches out to steady the Ark. The Lord strikes him down. The Ark is then left at the home of Obed-Edom.
After three months it becomes known that the Lord is blessing Obed-Edom because of the Ark, so David decides to complete its return to Jerusalem. Again there is much celebration, but this time David heeds the commandments of the Lord about how the Ark is to be carried.
As David dances with abandon, his wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, is disgusted by his lack of dignity. As a result she remains barren for her whole life.
It is good to celebrate God in our worship. Worship should always be a celebration of God’s grace. The more instruments, the more singers, the more participants, the better. Let us sing and dance to the Lord as often as we can.
However, worship must be holy. When worship lacks integrity or becomes self-seeking, it can become dangerous. In this passage, David failed to observe God’s rules for moving the Ark, and a man died as a result.
This is not to say that worship should be legalistic and overrun with rules and traditions. We do need to make sure that individually and corporately we are living lives that honour the Lord before we pick up an instrument.
Then we can boldly come into the presence of the Most High God and rejoice in Him.
Thank you Lord for the opportunity to worship you. May we always be mindful of your eternal holiness as well as your unfailing love so that we worship you in Spirit and in truth. Amen.