TOPIC: DAVID DANCES BEFORE THE ARK
Devotional Reading: 2 Samuel 6
Background Scripture reading: 2 Samuel 6
Lesson Scripture reading: 2 Samuel 6:15, 14-19
Golden Text: David and all the house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbal. 2 Samuel 6:5
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
I. Explain the elements of true worship;
II. Discuss the significance of the covenant box and the reason for the elaborate celebration;
III. Identify some modern instruments of worship.
The National flag of any nation is symbolic because it represents the identity of the country. Different countries have their flag specially designed with choice colours. Whenever matches are played or there are other international events, the different countries will display their flags as a sign of identity. History has it that whenever a country is defeated in war, the flag will automatically belong to the other country.
Similarly, the covenant box was significant to the people of Israel. It represented the presence of God with a supernatural power to turn away evil and bring success. When the Israelites were defected in war with the Philistines, the covenant box was captured and taken to Ebenezer.
It was taken into the temple of their god Dagon, and was set beside the statue (1 Samuel 4:1011; 5:1-2). As long as they tried to keep the covenant box, plagues broke out as God’s punishment for them. When David became king in Israel, he decided that the covenant box be brought from Kiriath-Jearim to Jerusalem, after the defeat of the Philistines.
Today’s lesson focuses on the eventful celebration of the bringing of the covenant box to Jerusalem, under the leadership of King David.
David was involved in the proceedings and organised the celebratory procession because of its importance to them as a nation. Finally, the covenant box was placed at the newly instituted capital city of Jerusalem.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A The Covenant Box Brought to Jerusalem 2 Samuel 6:1-5
When the Philistines captured the covenant box, it remained in Philistia for seven months, briefly at Beth Shemes, and finally at Kiriath-Jearim. But when David became king in Israel, he made Jerusalem the political capital of the kingdom and hoped to retrieve the covenant box to Jerusalem as the religious centre of the nation.
As part of his preparation, he gathered choice men of Israel, thirty thousand soldiers and led them to baalah in Judah, in order to bring the covenant box. So, they set the covenant box, which is also known ds the ‘ark of God’ on (:1 new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab. Uzzoh and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new Cart. deid and all the people of Israel song and danced with all their might and played different instruments like harps, lyres, drums, rattles and cymbals in honour of God. The ark of God represented the presence and glory of God in Israel. It contained three items:
▪︎ The tablets of stone that Moses had delivered to the people of Israel at Sinai with the Ten Commandments.
▪︎ A jar of manna from the wilderness years of wandering as evidence of God’s provision.
▪︎ Aaron’s rod that budded as a living symbol of God’s saving grace.
Just like our liturgical furniture in the sanctuary consists of the pulpit and the communion table, the ark provided a centre for worship with visible reminders of God’s word and His mighty acts with Israel. Little wonder David organised the whole house of Israel amidst great celebration to bring the ark to Jerusalem after it was kept in the house of Abinadab for some years. His aim was to emphasise the presence and glory of God among the people, Israel.
David considered it a high priority to bring the ark out of obscurity into prominence. He wanted Israel to be alive with a sense of the nearness of the presence and glory of God and to be sure of God’s presence. Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the LORD with all kinds of musical instruments with singing and dancing.
Obviously, these steps suggest the importance of the covenant box to the people of Israel. Christians should also learn to celebrate landmarks, particularly to remember God’s faithfulness in their lives. When this tradition is sustained, it will help the younger generation to know more about His wonderful works among His people.
Discussion Time 1
1. Identify some ways our worship service do not glorify God and suggest what can be done to improve on them.
2. Discuss the roles of musical instruments in worship.
B. David’s Unrestrained Worship 2 Samuel 6:14-15
The death of Uzzah in his attempt to guide the covenant box from falling made David furious. He decided not to take the ark to Jerusalem but to the house Obed Edom. The box was there for three months and the Lord blessed Obed Edom and his family. Nevertheless, when David heard that God had blessed Obed Edom and his family, he resolved to take it to Jerusalem amidst great celebration and sacrifices of bulls and a fattened calves (vv. 6-13).
David showed his excitement in his dancing. He wore only a linen cloth (probably an Ephod) round his waist and danced with all his might in honour of God. He led the people of Israel to take the covenant box to Jerusalem amidst joy, and the playing of different instruments in commemoration of the ceremony.
Worshipping God involves the totality of one’s life as well as proper dressing, sacrifices in terms of offerings and physical demonstration with dancing. In the moment of sheer jubilation, David danced before the King of all Creation without holding back anything.
He danced with all his might, uncontrolled, joyful and out of heartfelt worship. These actions were as a result of the success of bringing back the ark of the LORD to Jerusalem. God demands true worship from us every moment not only during Sunday morning service or important programmes. It is a way of showing reverence, adoration and honour to God.
Discussion Time 2
1. Identify some Baptist distinctiveness that can help us worship God unrestrained.
2. Discuss others things we can do to honour God.
C. Michal Despised David 2 Samuel 6:16-19
The bringing of the covenant box to Jerusalem was a significant event in the history of the people of Israel. While David and the whole assembly of Israel were joyous, singing and dancing with musical instruments, Michal, the daughter of Saul was disgusted when she saw King David dancing and jumping in jubilation. Her negative reaction probably was as a result of David’s appearance, which was not ‘dignifying’ and perhaps could be described as ‘indecent’ (v. 14).
Nevertheless, the box was placed in the tent, which David had built for it and he offered peace and fellowship offerings before the LORD. He also blessed the people in the Name of the Lord Almighty and distributed food to them all. To everyone (men and women) in Israel, he gave a piece of roasted meat and some raisins before they depart.
Indeed, the return of the covenant box to the city of Jerusalem was a great achievement to David and his people. It was a dream come true, under the leadership of King David and a day of great consecration and fellowship with God. In fact, all the activities associated with the ceremony suggest the importance of the covenant box to the people of Israel.
Finally, David pronounced benediction on the people and gave them food. Unfortunately, Michal lacked both the physical and spiritual understanding of the celebration and at the end, incurred the wrath of God. Christians should not exhibit resentment towards the things of God, even when they lack the spiritual understanding of the action. Rather, we should pray and ask for God’s direction and the part He wishes us to play according to our gifts.
Discussion Time 3
1. Identify some attitude of Christians that are disrespectful to God in worship and how they can be corrected.
2. What are the best ways to celebrate great achievements as Christians?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
Encourage members to list at least ten things that can bring dishonour to God during our worship services and read them aloud, one after the other.
▪︎ God’s instructions must be carried out without addition or subtraction.
▪︎ Christians must avoid anything that can separate them from participatory worship of God.
▪︎ Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).
▪︎ Christian leaders should know that it is their responsibility to use their position appropriately to the glory of God.
▪︎ Believers should not allow hatred to deny them the opportunity of being blessed.
▪︎ Christians should use everything they have to worship God.