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David danced before the Lord!

One of my favorite preachers said, “Reading the Bible will unfit one to hear a lot of good preaching!” That was Vance Havner, who has a great message on the passage we are going to study today entitled, “New carts the church is using.” 

I have heard a lot of people defend the crazy actions of CCM artists and worship leaders by pointing to David dancing when the Ark is being transported back from the Philistines.  Second Samuel 6 and First Chronicles 13 give the story.  Let’s look at the CCM model, David.

2Sa 6:1 ¶ Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.
 2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims
3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.
4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.
5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.

The first piece of the tabernacle's furniture, for which precise directions were delivered in Exodus 25. I. Description.-- It appears to have been an oblong chest of shittim (acacia) wood, 2 1/2 cubits long (45inches)by 1 1/2 broad (27 inches) and 27 inches deep. Within and without gold was overlaid on the wood, and on the upper side or lid, which was edged round about with gold, the mercy-seat was placed. The ark was fitted with rings, one at each of the four corners, and through these were passed staves of the same wood similarly overlaid, by which it was carried by the Kohathites.  It was to be carried with staves through the rings on the four corners.  Why was the Ark put on a cart?  To have a celebration, a parade!   Notice, it was a new cart, a ‘contemporary cart’, maybe supplied by the Contemporary Cart Movers, CCM for short, no doubt!

God had never given the order to put the Ark on a cart. He never said to use cattle to move it.  The priests, the Levites were to carry it with staves through rings.  So, David was disobedient and caused many others to disobey the Lord in the way it was transported this day.  Let me emphasize that.  Did God say “Thou shalt not commit Adultery”?  Shake your heads “yes.”  Did God also say “Thou shat not kill”?  Shake your heads yes, again.  Just five chapters after this event, David will do both!  Would we say it is OK to murder or commit adultery because David did it?  Shake your heads “No,” class.

You see, when you start making your own rules, you wind up violating many of God’s rules.

In Exodus, when the tabernacle was being described by God to Moses, was any music prescribed to be where the Ark was?  Shake your heads No.  Where was it, in the Holy of Holies!  It was never meant to be public spectacle or a parade piece.  It was never meant to be in the hands of Israel’s enemies.  Instead of giving it the respect it deserved, a parade is under way.  Since the Philistines had used the oxen and a cart, David did so.  After all, we have to do what is seeker- friendly, right?  If the world wants a style of music, that is what we should provide to get them to listen or attend church.


God gave specific instructions on the transportation of the Ark of the Covenant:

Nu 10:33 And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.
 Nu 14:44 But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.
 De 10:8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.
 De 31:9 ¶ And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.
 De 31:25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,
 De 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
 Jos 3:3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
 Jos 3:6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
 Jos 3:8 And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.
 Jos 3:11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.
 Jos 3:14 ¶ And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
 Jos 3:17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.
 Jos 4:7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
 Jos 4:9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.
 Jos 4:18 And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before. {lifted...: Heb. plucked up} {flowed: Heb. went}
 Jos 6:6 ¶ And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.
 Jos 6:8 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
 Jos 8:33 And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.

Now, the circus parade is on the move toward the crowd that would welcome the Ark back! David is dancing and singing very energetically. First Chronicles 13:7 “And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.  8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.”  As a former drummer in various kinds of orchestras, bands, and jazz combos, I can almost hear the sound in my ears.  Heavy on the percussion and brass!  They arrive at Nachon’s threshingfloor, and Uzzah puts his hand on the Ark to steady it.  He is immediately stuck dead by God!  If there had been an OSHA in that day, there would have been an investigation into this death.  Why was not a warning label pasted on the Ark?  Why was the team not given orders not to touch the Ark?  God had given them that order!  God said use staves, not carts. Use Levites, not cows!

Now, you would think that David and the crew would have re-examined their method.  Someone get the scroll.  Which version?  No one had one because they got one in the pew when they went to worship.

The music, the dancing, the celebration is stopped, and David is afraid of God!  His question gives a good look into David at this point.  “How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?”  Second Samuel 6:9 or First Chronicles 13:9.  Home to ME!  It was not the Ark of David, it was the Ark of God!  In much of the CCM dancing, singing, praising, etc. the big ME gets in the way of doing things God’s way!  Spurgeon commented on this verse, “Thus religious joy was interrupted because it had not been sufficiently seasoned with holy awe.  This was good for David and all Israel, it suspended their rejoicing, but it purged their hearts from levity and presumption.  It also taught them to be obedient to the Lord's word, as well as zealous in his praise.  Such lessons we all need to be taught.”

David had the Ark moved to the house of Obed-edom, the Gittite.  Do you know who he was?  He was a native of the Levitical city of Gath-rimmon in Manasseh, which was assigned to the Kohathites.  A Levite!  The Ark rested there for three months and Obed-edom was blessed and his house.  David is getting a bit back on track.  Oops!  Not so fast.  They are now moving the Ark and six oxen are sacrificed.  David then dances with all his might before the Lord!  His attire is rather questionable.  The King James describes it as a linen ephod. . 2 Samuel 6:14. David danced before the Lord with all his might--intimating violent efforts of leaping, and divested of his royal mantle (in a state of undress), conduct apparently unsuitable to the gravity of age or the dignity of a king. The ephod normally described the attire of a priest.  Today, the “worship leader” has taken the position of pastor in authority.  I remember a service I attended and the preacher got up as a song was ending, and the "worship leader” went on to another chorus! The preacher returned to his seat until being motioned to the pulpit by the “worship leader!”

Now, while David has taken off some of his clothes, is dancing wildly and jumping, perhaps showing more of him than was wise or kingly, his wife, Michal, saw him.  Who is this Michal? “Name means (who is like God?), she is the younger of Saul's two daughters, who married David. The price fixed on Michal's hand was no less than the slaughter of a hundred Philistines. David by a brilliant feat doubled the tale of victims, and Michal became his wife. Shortly afterward she saved David from the assassins whom her father had sent to take his life.  When the rupture between Saul and David had become open and incurable, she was married to another man, Phalti or Phaltiel of Gallim. After the death of her father and brothers at Gilboa, David compelled her new husband to surrender Michal to him. 

How Michal comported herself in the altered circumstances of David's household we are not told; but it is plain from the subsequent occurrences that something had happened to alter the relations of herself and David, for on the day of David's greatest triumph, when he brought the ark of Jehovah to Jerusalem, we are told that "she despised him in her heart." All intercourse between her and David ceased from that date.”  Smith’s Bible Dictionary. 

So, when someone tells you that Michal was punished by God for her comment to David on the occasion of his parade performance and his exposing himself in public (Second Samuel 6:20), remember it takes two to make children possible.  When God chooses to keep a woman from having children for whatever reason, the Bible says He closes the womb.

Ge 29:31 ¶ And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren
Ge 30:22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
 1Sa 1:5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
 1Sa 1:6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.
Job 3:10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.

David had other options.1Ch 14:1 ¶ Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house.
2 And David perceived that the LORD had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel.
3 And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more sons and daughters.

Now, let’s again look at David. 
He was disobedient in his transportation of the Ark. 
He was an accessory to the death of Uzzah
He was using an energetic worship mode
He was afraid and puzzled at the death of Uzzah
He dressed immodestly, to say the least
He acted shamelessly
He put on the attire of a priest
He had broken up a marriage to get Michal back
He was taking the Ark back home to himself
He soon married other women

Is that the kind of worship leader you really want to model? Remember, the worship leader is not named or described in the New Testament Church in the Bible.

Article written by Dr. Harold Richards of BBN

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