The Ark of the Covenant has long captured our imagination, from Raiders of the Lost Ark to documentaries on the History Channel. In Exodus, we learn that God Himself commanded the building of the Ark (Ex. 25:10–22). It was placed in the innermost room of the tabernacle as a representation of God’s presence.
Arise, LORD, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.Psalm 132:8
For years, the Ark dwelt in obscurity in the house of Abinadab (1 Sam. 7:1). In today’s reading, David brought the Ark into Jerusalem. This chapter provides us with three pictures of worship illustrated by Uzzah, Michal, and David.
Uzzah was one of the priests entrusted with transporting the Ark. He decided to “set the ark of God on a new cart” (2 Sam. 6:3). This catches us by surprise. The Law was specific on how the Ark was to be handled. It was to be carried on poles by the priests (Ex. 25:13–14). Uzzah decided to transport it like the Philistines had (1 Sam. 6:7–8). He thought he knew best. As one commentator put it, “Instead of losing himself in the worship of God, [he] has God in a box and officiously assumes responsibility for keeping God safe.” Uzzah’s example reminds us to respect God’s holiness. Obedience is central to right worship.
Michal does not worship. She observes from the outside and critiques. She evaluates David’s performance (v. 16). It is easy to be sympathetic with Michal. She had a difficult life. But this passage shows that she did not take refuge in the Lord. Her bitterness kept her from joyful worship.
David was wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord. He did not always understand what God was doing (v. 8), but his whole being was oriented toward God, and he danced before Him with abandon.
Take a few minutes and reflect on your own attitude toward worship. Are you more like Uzzah, Michal, or David? What are the things that hinder you in your worship of God?