2 Samuel 4-7
(The King Arrives in Jerusalem)
April 1st

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

- 2 Samuel 5:3-4 (NRSV)

Summary of Chapters

This set of chapters records the events that led to David becoming King over all of Israel, with Jerusalem as the political and spiritual capital. Chapter 4 describes the assassination of Ish-Bosheth, son of Saul and king of the northern tribes. Once again, David assigned the capital punishment to those who had claimed to murder his rival. Chapter 5 describes the scene in which the elders came together to select David as king over all of Israel. They recognized that the LORD had chosen David to “shepherd my people (5:2).” This united kingdom would thrive under the reign of David and his son, Solomon, but would only last about 75 years.

Under the guidance of the LORD, David took over Jerusalem from the Jebusites and established it as his capital. Chapter 6 describes the attempts to bring the sacred Ark there so that Jerusalem would also become the spiritual center of Israel. The organizers of the Ark transport had failed to heed the law from Moses regarding proper transport of the Ark on poles as described in Exodus 25:14-16. They also forgot that the Ark was supposed to be carried by the Kohathite clan of the Levites as described in Numbers 4:15. As a consequence, a man died unnecessarily, but the people were reminded to respect the Ark. The second attempt was successful because the transporters showed proper deference to the instructions that they had been given by the LORD.

All of Jerusalem was excited about the arrival of the Ark – except Michal, who became angry at the way that David danced when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem. The consequence for her was that she ended up childless. Note that the verse describing her anger refers to her as the “daughter of Saul (6:16).” Apparently, she had inherited his jealous traits. David wanted to build a permanent home for the Ark, but the LORD told him (through Nathan the prophet) that someone else would have that job:

    "Furthermore, God has this message for you: God himself will build you a house! When your life is complete and you're buried with your ancestors, then I'll raise up your child, your own flesh and blood, to succeed you, and I'll firmly establish his rule. He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom's rule permanently. I'll be a father to him, and he'll be a son to me. When he does wrong, I'll discipline him in the usual ways, the pitfalls and obstacles of this mortal life. But I'll never remove my gracious love from him, as I removed it from Saul, who preceded you and whom I most certainly did remove. Your family and your kingdom are permanently secured. I'm keeping my eye on them! And your royal throne will always be there, rock solid."

    - 2 Samuel 7:11-16 (MSG)

Reflection and Application

Observe that David consulted with the LORD for every important decision in this set of chapters. He gave the glory of success to the LORD and celebrated the arrival of his presence as represented by the Ark. We are on the right path if we follow his model of consulting God, giving him praise, and celebrating him.

Examples of people on the wrong track can be found in today's chapters. For instance, two men named Rekab and Baanah who thought they were doing something right, but were not well informed. These were the assassins who killed the king of the North thinking that they were doing a favor for Israel and David, or maybe they thought they would receive a personal reward. But they did not understand the character of David. They did not know or remember what happened after the deaths of Saul and Abner, or maybe they had been told but chose to ignore good advice.

The man named Uzzah was probably more innocent, but equally naïve when he touched the Ark. He saw it falling and out of respect he tried to catch it. The fault may have been with the organizers who did not follow the proper protocol. But we should all take responsibility to learn how to handle the things that God considers sacred.

Michal did not appear to think at all, but reacted with her emotions when she saw David dancing next to the ark. She may have thought he was behaving in an un-kingly way by dancing or exposing his upper body. Perhaps she was angry or jealous because David celebrated more about the ark then about her. We don’t know for sure what drove her emotions, but we should never be jealous of the attention that someone else gives to God.

    When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon my heart
    I will dance like David danced
    When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon my heart
    I will dance like David danced

    - Excerpt from "When the Spirit of the LORD," author unknown

"When the Spirit of the LORD,"dance performance by an unknown group

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What was the last parade that you saw?
    2. For what type of decisions should we consult with God?
    3. What are the sacred objects of God that you encounter in your life?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we know you have all of the answers. Help us to worship you with reverence and unrestrained joy, like your servant David.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Musical Performers and Dancers of all types

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: 2 Samuel 8-10 (Promises Fulfilled)

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