David’s first attempt to bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem shows what not to do when living with a holy God. In 2 Samuel 6 we see that While David means well, he is lax about keeping the holiness rules. This brings God’s judgment on the community. His second, however, goes much better. David follows and even exceeds the rules. He brings the ark, the symbol of God’s presence, to dwell in his capital, the symbol of his people.
At the same time, Saul’s daughter Michal represents her father’s perspective on the story. He kept God at arm’s length. He refused to shed the pretense of his office, and Michal thinks David should follow suit. David points out that in rejecting Saul, God is rejecting his approach. God wants to be the king among his people. But he demands that his people take his holiness seriously.
Living with God Today
Christians today can learn a lot from this story. We can choose to follow Saul’s example. He abandoned the ark of God in Kiriath Jearim during the whole time he was king. Saul showed little interest in a relationship with God. But God rejected Saul and, by implication, his approach to governing. On the other hand, David shows us both what to do and what not to do when living with a holy God. First, he brings God close, without regard for his holiness. We do the same when we claim God’s gift of salvation without changing our lives. This leads us to judgement (which Starts in the house of God). When this backfires, David changes course, bringing God close while observing his holiness. This brings a blessing on David and his house. We will too. If we bring God close and live the holy lives he requires, then we will be blessed.
God’s blessing isn’t necessarily a promise of wealth or of ease. Rather, it’s a promise that he is with us in our difficulties. And those difficulties will not get the best of us. They will work to accomplish his reconciling plan. As Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us.”
Questions for Reflection
- Do I want God at the centre of my life or am I happy keeping him at a distance?
- Have I ever tried to bring God close, while ignoring his holiness? If so, what did I learn from the experience?
- How does having God’s blessing affect the way that I approach challenges and hardships?
- God wants to live with you. How does that realization affect the way you see God and yourself?
Other Sermons in This Series