Pursuing His Presence

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

King David wanted the Ark of God’s Presence, Queen Michal had little interest, and Obed the doorkeeper got it. David danced in God’s Presence, Michal despised him and was barren, Obed enjoyed God and had 62 descendants. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Speakers notes follow –

Pursuing His Presence

2 Samuel 6: 1-23

David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark

David was a pursuer of Gods Presence – the ark symbolized Presence in Israel – ark of the Presence – gold Cherubim facing on lid – met H. Priest – representation of heaven

Parallel account Ch 13 ‘Let us bring me ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul‘ – get presence on God back! Did not seek it!

Sometimes we try be Gods people without his Presence! Supposed to be people of his Presence! – How about we pursue like David?

So they decided bring ark from Baalah/Kiriam Jearim to Jerusalem

3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God. Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah (outbreak against Uzzah)

David wanting life, presence in Israel – arranges nice spanking new cart – oxen stumble – Uzzah tries stop it sliding – zap – dead – instead of life, got death!

Isn’t it true – sometimes when we want Gods presence – do it the way we think best – not Gods way – get new instruments, new guitarist, new lead singer – new stuff! new cart! arrive Sunday expectant – gonna worship! – although music + voices good – worship flat – no presence – dead! – Whats wrong Lord – new cart not God’s way!

9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David.

Its down time – new cart brought death – David fearful – doesn’t want death in the city – time to seek Lord & scriptures – fear of the Lord is beginning of wisdom

Not working, dry, dead – whats wrong with me/usWimber, a prayer God answers!

Well did he answer? – right away!

10b Instead, (of taking the ark into the city) he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.

Obed-Edom is appointed to look after the ark – why – who is he? Nobodyaskari – tabernacle doorman – gatekeeper – used to guarding sacred area – Levite of lowest position – doormen last on Levite lists

Wonder how family felt having ark – ‘What that thing just killed a man!’

After 3 months no moaning – everything blessed – goats more babies, chickens more eggs, sheep more wool, wheat plants more heads, kids more friends, marriage never sweeter! Heaven on earth!

12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.”

At same time – David learned something from scripture – 1 Ch 15.2 ‘No one but the Levites may carry the ark!’ – Ark made with poles -Levite shoulders

Big point here – Presence of God isn’t carried by man made things, like new carts, instruments, lighting – or louder singing, working people up – carried on shoulders of Levites – people consecrated, surrendered to God

Just as David sees this – the Levite 0bed is being notably blessed – David moves in with more confidence

12b So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

Ever danced before the Lord with all your might – not talking human train, leg swinging, waving hand in step –  but all your might!

Torrent Blessing – refreshing – church in Soweto – Spirit came – started swinging – more pronounced – danced till I dropped – did a ‘spiritual Elvis

16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart

17 They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it – 20 – When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

Note Michal referred to as daughter of Saul – quite apt – Saul didn’t enquire about me ark (Presence) – his daughter has similar disinterest – not involved – royal windowsees David dancing – embarrassed – her husband, King – not carrying self with dignity – concerned for her royal image

21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord (the dancing), who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

David chose worship over royal image – life is about God, not us – what will the slave girls think – they will value a king who is humble enough, enthusiastic enough to worship + dance with them

As we cheer David + shun Michal – lets not make same mistake – come to church to be seen – look good – spiritual image – come for Him – people see thru pretend smiles anyway

Last sentence is shaking – 23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

Consequence of her despising the welcoming of Gods Presence – point obvious – if we reject Presence, we will be barren – no fruit

But look at Obed-Edom – 1 Ch 26. 4-8

Obed-Edom also had sons: Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, Sakar the fourth, Nethanel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh and Peullethai the eighth. (For God had blessed Obed-Edom. ) Obed-Edom’s son Shemaiah also had sons, who were leaders in their father’s family because they were very capable men. The sons of Shemaiah: Othni, Rephael, Obed and Elzabad; his relatives Elihu and Semakiah were also able men. All these were descendants of Obed-Edom; they and their sons and their relatives were capable men with the strength to do the work—descendants of Obed-Edom, 62 in all.

The difference between Michal + Obed was one – Presence of God – now days not physical children, but spiritual – if the Presence is on us we will be followed – will disciple – will transform lives

Finally – Gods Presence benefits high and low – David was King – Obed a doorman – Presence causes the king to dance like street person – that’s freedom – Presence causes the doorman to prosper and become known throughout Israel – they never forgot Obed – keeps being mentioned –

1 Ch 16.37 David left Asaph and his associates before the ark of the covenant of the Lord to minister there regularly, according to each day’s requirements. He also left Obed-Edom and his sixty-eight associates to minister with them. Obed-Edom son of Jeduthun, and also Hosah, were gatekeepers/door keepers

Mentioned with the worshipers – consistently

And it seems David never forgot Obed either – Ps 84.10 I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (than be a honored guest in the palace of sin – MSG)

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