Reflection on 2 Samuel 6:1-23

Ark of the Covenant

Scripture

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.

Observation

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.

Application

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.

Prayer

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.

Advertisements

Reflection on 2 Samuel 1:1-27

david_grief

Scripture

“Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?” David asked.

Observation

An Amalekite comes to David with Saul’s crown and armband. He tells David that Saul and Jonathan are dead. He found Saul fatally wounded and killed him at Saul’s request.

David is mortified when he hears this news. He and his men weep all day for Saul and Jonathan.

David asks the man, “Why were you nt afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?” He then has the man killed.

Application

Despite years of running from Saul, David was grieved by Saul’s death. He asked the Amalekite twice, “Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?”

This verse is often used as a justification for some high profile ministers to be above any form of accountability. “You must not touch the Lord’s anointed,” they say. They then are allowed to commit all kinds of sins of greed, sexual immorality and arrogance.

In the other hand, some ministers seem to be hamstrung by people who think it is their job to humiliate, criticise and judge them.

So how do we rightly interpret this verse? We should start by noting that even though Saul was sinful and out of God’s will, to the point that the Lord had removed His Spirit from him, David refused to kill him, and refused to rejoice in his death.

When we become aware of a preacher’s sins we should first confront him alone and plead for him to repent. If they refuse to repent, we should withdraw from their influence, possibly changing churches. We should continue to pray for him, honour and respect him and allow God’s judgement to work its ways.

Finally, we should never rejoice in the fall of a minister, because that is always a victory for the enemy and a wound to the Kingdom of God.

Prayer

Lord I pray for all ministers whom I know. Please protect them from the wily temptations of the Evil One. May they remain in your anointing and in the path of holiness. Amen.

Reflection on 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13

Scripture
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Observation
Nathan comes to David to confront him about his sin. He tells David a parable about a rich man who stole a poor man’s only lamb. David is filled with anger at this unjust act.

Nathan tells him, “You are the man.” God gave David every good thing and would have given him more. David has done an evil thing in taking Bathsheba.

Confronted by his sin, David repents.

Application
We all sin, and as long as we live in this world we will continue to sin.

The christian life is a process of allowing the Lord to reveal our sins and then repenting of them.

To repent means to acknowledge wrong doing and then determine to change our ways.

David sinned boldly bur repented even more boldly. He truly loved the Lord and determined to do whatever it took to maintain his relationship with God.

Prayer
Lord show me if there is any sin in my life that I need to turn from. Give me grace to continue to live for you in all things. Amen.

Reflection on 2 Samuel 11:1-27

Scripture

She gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.

Observation

It is spring time, and instead of leading his troops into battle against the Ammonites, David remains in Jerusalem. There he sees a beautiful woman named Bathsheba and determines to have her. He sleeps with her and she becomes pregnant.

David then tries to cover up his adultery by calling Bathsheba’s husband Uriah back to Jerusalem from the front. Being an honourable man, Uriah sleeps at the palace gate rather than going home.

David then conspires to have Uriah killed in battle. He has Bathsheba brought to the palace, but the Lord is displeased with all David has done.

Application

David was a man after God’s heart, but he could sin as extravagantly as he worshipped.

Ancient kings were free to do anything they pleased with their subjects, but the king of Israel was subject to God’s Law as much as anyone else. David failed at this point because he stopped looking to God’s ways.

One of the temptations leaders must always fight is a sense of entitlement, This applies to ministers, political leaders and business people. The temptations can be subtle: “You deserve more,” “You work so hard to serve others”.

If we are not careful, we can easily find ourselves doing things that we would have once never dreamed we were capable of doing, and justifying to ourselves why it is acceptable.

Prayer

Grant me a humble heart, Lord, and insight into the temptations that assault me. Help me to stand firm in your ways. Amen.

Reflection on 2 Samuel 7:1-17

Scripture
“Your house and your kingdom will endure for ever before me; your throne will be established for ever.”

Observation
David becomes concerned to build a Temple for the Lord. David is living in luxury, but the Ark of God remains in a tent.

At first Nathan the prophet tells David to go ahead, but the word of the Lord comes to Nathan and says the Lord doesn’t need a house built by David. In fact the Lord will build David a house- a dynasty that will rule the kingdom for ever.

Application
David wanted to build the Lord a Temple, but the Lord said He didn’t need anything that David could give Him. The Lord is the provider for David, not the other way around. The Temple would be built, but this was not David’s task.

God doesn’t make demands on us as if He is dependent on the things we can give Him or do for Him. His Lordship is one of invitation and grace. He lets us participate in His work and provides us with all that we need to serve Him, and more beside.

The secret to the christian life is learning to hear His invitation and to respond without fear or hesitation. It is then that we see the miracles unfold.

Prayer
Father, give me a sensitive ear and a willing heart to participate in your works of grace. Amen.

Reflection on 2 Samuel 6:1-19

Scripture

Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.

Observation

David gathers his elite troops to bring back the Ark of God from Baalah of Judah (known also as Kiriath-Jearim). They put the Ark on a new cart to transport it.

As the Ark is going along, the oxen stumble and Uzzah outs out his hand to steady the Ark. Immediately he is struck dead.

David is angry at this and decides to leave the Ark right there. As a result, the people’s whose house the Ark stays in are greatly blessed by the favour of the Lord. David decides to resume his plan to bring the Ark to Jerusalem.

This time they do it properly as described in the Law of Moses. David dances and leaps before the Lord as the Ark moves onward.

Finally the Ark arrives in Jerusalem and is installed in a tent prepared for it.

Application

David’s love for the Lord was passionate and unrestrained. He danced before the Ark in a way that his wife Michal deemed to be undignified. But David didn’t care about her judgement as his heart was to praise God.

It was important for the Ark to be transported in God’s way. To do otherwise could be deadly.

When we come into God’s presence we need to do so with humility, awe and reverence as well as joy and passionate celebration. If we treat God with a measure of disdain or over-familiarity we may die- if not literally, then at least on the inside.

Prayer

Lord I love you, I worship you, I praise your name. Help me to retain an appropriate attitude of awe mixed in with the love. May I never take your mercy for granted. Amen.

Reflection on 2 Samuel 5:1-10

Scripture

David became more and more powerful because the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies was with him.

Observation

The tribes of Israel come to David and anoint him as their king. He had already been king of Judah for seven and a half years and he would reign over the united kingdom for another 33 years.

David then goes to Jerusalem and captures it from the Jebusites. David makes the fortress his home and calls it the City of David.

David becomes more powerful because of the blessing of God.

Application

The blessing of God brings a particular favour to move forward in our work, relationships, finances, indeed every part of our life.

In many ways there was nothing our of the ordinary about David. His success was entirely due to God’s favour.

How do we experience God’s favour? For David, the key was an intimate relationship with the Lord. He was known as a worshipper who was passionate in his love for the Lord.

When we worship God with our whole heart and devote ourselves to a passionate, intimate relationship with Him, obeying Him in all things, then we know God’s favour.

Prayer

Lord help me to set you at the centre of all things so that I can walk in your favour. Amen.