Here Comes the Ark (Part 2)

        

The Chastisement of Uzzah

         In the last post we learned that David was afraid after Uzzah was killed. The presence of God had not been paid the proper respect. If we think this is a tad arrogant of God, there are things we need to learn.

         Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. [Galatians 6:7-8]

         Though the procession began as a joyous celebration, Jerusalem was not ready. Though David perceived he was doing a great thing, he was not ready. There remained far too much irreverence and dishonor of God, as characterized in part by the practical insolence of Uzzah, regardless of his intentions. One may dishonor the Lord all day long without immediate recompense, but barring repentance, the tables will turn. Payment will be made. A person will eventually reap some really bad stuff. Those who cloak themselves with a bullet-proof attitude, especially a religious one, will one day learn they have no armor at all.

         Dishonoring God comes in many different forms.

         “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. 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. 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.” [2 Samuel 6:10-12] [1]

         Here was a man who understood reverence for God and why it is so vitally important. But guess what? He was not a native Levite. He was not a native priest. He was not a native Israelite.

         He was a Philistine, a convert from Gath, the same city as the slain giant Goliath. [2]

         What’s up with that? Where were the descendants of Levi? Where were those natural descendants entrusted with the duties of caring for and bearing the Ark of God? There is even doubt that Abinadab was a true Levite. Like so many Christians and ministers in America today, were they off somewhere padding their own nest, raising their own stature, and completely dishonoring God in the process? Institutional American Christianity has largely gone off the deep end, as characterized in this Old Testament account. Wherever the powerful, loving, and glorified presence of the Lord Jesus dwells, real believers know it. Dead churches have no clue.

         The Lord would spend 90 days with a Philistine who apparently reverenced Him more than anyone else in all of Israel. The meaning of his name gives a perfect clue. Obed means “servant,” or “worshipper.” Despite his lack of pedigree, he was a true servant and worshipper of YHWH. Notice that the Lord not only allowed His Ark to dwell in the house of Obed-edom, the man was blessed. Because of this converted Gentile Philistine, Jerusalem was allowed 90 days to get its act together, and instead of an end to the celebratory procession, it was merely put on hold.

         At present, God is still waiting for us to get our act together. He is waiting for a full expression of honor toward Him. Traditional American Christianity may have credentialed clergy, many schools and seminaries, about a million church buildings (some incredibly state of the art), television studios, stations, and networks, a powerful radio presence, hundreds of billions of dollars in net worth, and the vast majority who profess Christianity. But all we do has made little difference in the overall scheme of things. The only hope for America is the Lord Jesus. Because we still lack the desired presence of God, it proves our collective irreverence and lack of respect for Him. We are content without Him in His full strength and power. This proves an absence of general servanthood and proper worship.

         Until we get there (or back there), the Ark will be elsewhere. [Part 2 of 4]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

[2] It is possible that Obed-edom hailed from Gath-rimmon, a Levitical city, yet there are ten references in the OT to the word Gittite. Three of them refer to Obed-edom. The other seven all refer to Philistine inhabitants of Gath. Also, this name is interpreted to mean “servant of Edom (Esau),” not likely the name a Levite (descendant of Jacob) would give his son. The name Gath means “winepress.” Edom means “red.” These are apparent references to repentance and sacrifice (blood), and the three months as a time of repentance and getting right with God.

Posted on May 31, 2011, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Bob, your blog content and comments could not in my opinion, be better timed.

    There is something Spiritual going on here, I am convinced. I have not read “Here Comes the Ark 3”. Can’t wait…I’ll read it and sleep on it…

    don

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  2. God is good. It is always an exciting time when the Lord is working in our midst. He is also working nationally, though the evidence may seem somewhat unperceived. Unity is the answer. Ecumenism is man’s invention, but the spiritual unity of the Lord’s people is a MUST, and is one of the most powerful indications that He is at work. However, the unity must be according to His plan and direction, and by His Holy Spirit. He said we will know the real Christians by the actual spiritual love they have for one another, and such love creates unity, first by loving God and then by loving each other.
    I go into the entire unity subject in detail in Chapter Three of my book, especially in the Section entitled “Life Brings Unity” on Page 161.

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  3. Another good one! I especially liked: “Wherever the powerful, loving, and glorified presence of the Lord Jesus dwells, real believers know it. Dead churches have no clue.” My husband maintains that if the church was walking in the power and authority that we have been given through Christ, and the presence of God was fully manifested in our services, churches wouldn’t have to worry about an advertising budget or how many culturally relevent programs they had. People who are hungry would be drawn to His presence. Lives would be changed and so would our world.

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  4. In general and overall terms, because American Christianity has become so incredibly spiritually weak and dysfunctional, we rarely see the evidence and manifestation of God’s presence. At the end of Mark’s Gospel, the author clearly states the same thing Moses stated, that if we do THIS, God will do THAT. He will confirm His Word and miracles will take place. However, before the Lord’s presence can be manifested in our services or meetings, He must first be manifested in willing and obedient individual vessels. For the most part, we have created alternatives to His presence and have become satisfied with such stuff. Thank you for your insightful comments.

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  5. Bring it home, LORD! Make us your home. Make us your spotless Bride – hearts on fire, ready to respect and love you as you deserve!!!

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