Chapter Eight: David Dances With Wild Abandon
In chapter eight we read the story David’s efforts to return the Ark of the Covenant (where the Ten commandments were held) to Jerusalem. It’s a great story showing us that God’s presence is praiseworthy! Included below is the entire story – my commentary is in italics.
Peril in Moving the Ark – 6 Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God (Ark of the Covenant) which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim. 3 They placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. 4 So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark. 5 Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating (worship, praise) before the Lord with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals.
6 But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. 7 And the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God. (It was against God’s law to touch the Ark, Uzzah tried to save the Ark from falling to the ground and God struck him down for his lack of respect of His law). 8 David became angry because of the Lord’s outburst against Uzzah, and that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day (A name that serves as a warning to all. Perhaps, David was upset because Uzzah tried to do what he thought was right – save Ark from falling – but he did not listen to God’s law. God knows all and if He wanted us to save it from falling He would have specified that. God knows best). 9 So David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” 10 And David was unwilling to move the ark of the Lord into the city of David with him; but David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite (I’d be afraid too! That’s a lot of responsibility!). 11 Thus 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. (Glory and blessing that flows from thr presence of God).
The Ark Is Brought to Jerusalem – 12 Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God.” (Well, duh!) David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness. (Obviously!) 13 And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet (worship, praise).
16 Then it happened as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David that 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 (instead of embracing the praise, she was more concerned with what everyone else would think).
17 So they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offering, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. 19 Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the multitude of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread and one of dates and one of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed each to his house.
20 But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!” (instead of embracing the presence of God, she was more concerned with what everyone would think about their King’s behavior). 21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the Lord. (Amen! Praise, worship, and celebrate God in all!) 22 I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.” (God exults the humble). 23 Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death (in the OT, it was seen as a possible punishment from God to be childless).
Chapter Eight focus point – Praise God!
These verses show us how important it is…
…to stay focused on God.
…to listen to God’s commands.
…to praise and worship God in all.
The presence of God is tangible – we can sense Him like David did. When David was in the presence of God, he had no stress, no worries – he rested in and praised God’s presence. Anyone who’s felt the Holy Spirit has been in the presence of God. Can we be like David and rest in God’s presence? Can we cast our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7) and simply dance and sing like crazy for Him?
Let’s see what God says on the subject:
Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Exodus 33:14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Jeremiah 31:13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
If we follow and praise Him with all our heart, His presence will go before us and give us rest! Hallelujah! Let all His people rejoice!
Rest in and praise God!
Let’s answer some questions from what we have reviewed thus far – the below list is a mix of questions from the Bible study and some of my own.
1. When we’re in the presence of God, we find rest. When we praise God, we find joy. What can you do to increase your rest and joy in the Lord?
2. David worshipped God through music and dance. What is your favorite form of worship?
3. I often wonder what others, especially non-believers think when I thank Jesus or acknowledge God in praise. Even at Church, I wonder what others would think if I got all fired up – shouting praises and dancing during worship. Does this happen to you too? Does fear or embarrassment ever hold you back from public worship of God? What can you do about it, can you step out in bold faith and praise?
4. Do you prefer to worship in a group or alone? Why? If your comfortable either way, is there someone you can encourage?
5.On a scale of 1 to 10, how concerned are you with how others view your praise and worship of God?
Very Concerned |——————–| Not Concerned
6. Write down some areas or activities where you think you can do better when it comes to praise and worship. Select one area or item and make a plan of action – work toward bold praise.
Digging Deeper: read and reflect on 1 Samuel 16:3-13. God selected David, an unlikely candidate, to become king over Isreal. What was God looking for in David as a leader? When you chose to focus on the Lord instead of worrying about what others may think, what changes do you notice in yourself? How can you sharpen your focus when distractions threaten to pull your attention away from God? God isn’t focused on the way a person looks or what people think about them. God is concerned with the heart. When we remember that, we are more able to live a life free from fear of condemnation or judgment.
God’s presence melts worry and anxiety.
Bonus Activity: play one of your favorite, meaningful worship songs. Let the words and music penetrate your heart, and try your hand at dancing with all your might before the Lord (you may want to find a space to be alone for this activity!).
I hope you enjoyed chapter eight 🙂 I pray God spoke to you while you read this, I urge you to listen to whatever He put on your heart. I’d love your hear reflections about David and Michal’s story, your responses to the questions, and any overall feedback about this chapter review. The goal and purpose of this study is for us to grow spiritually. I pray God gives us the wisdom to provide mutually beneficial thought-provoking, Christ-like inspiration.
God bless you.
Jennifer – I Give God All The Glory