Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Promise Reaffirmed

2 Samuel 6-7

In Chapter 6, the relationship between David and the Lord comes more clearly into focus again. David wishes to bring the ark of God to the city of David. So they begin to bring it, with dancing and music along the way. But then a man named Uzzah accidentally touches the ark and is stricken dead. This show of angry power angers David, and he pauses, letting the ark stay in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. It stays there for three months, "and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household" (6:11). When David hears of this, he decides to bring it to the city of David after all. Again, he dances before the Lord "with all his might" (6:14) as they bring the ark. His wife Michal sees him and "despised him in her heart" (6:16), later chastising him for demeaning himself in that way. But he insists he did this for the Lord, and says, "I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in my own eyes" for the Lord (6:22). Meanwhile, Michal ends up not ever having any children (6:23).

David now decides that he would like to build a house for the ark. But the prophet Nathan receives word from the Lord that this is not necessary at this time. Chapter 7 is an important and moving dialogue first between Nathan and the Lord, and then between David and the Lord. It is a reaffirmation of the promise from the Lord:

I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel, and I have been with you wherever you went. ... And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more (7: 8-9, 10).

Instead of needing a house Himself, the Lord promises David a house. It is David's offspring who will build the Lord a house (7:13). The Lord promises to remain with his people: "I will not take my steadfast love from him" (7:15).

This is the true moment of arrival. After power is consolidated, the kingdom reunited, and the ark brought into the center, there is this moving time of prayerful appreciation for all that has happened, and what this moment means.

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