2 Samuel 6:17-19 (NRSV)-
17 They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, 19 and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.
Despite Michal’s public disdain and judgment, when David worshiped, he stopped everything else to focus on God. In doing so, he sacrificed everything he had.
When the Ark of the Covenant was set in its tent in accordance with the guidelines set forth in Exodus, David sacrificed and offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being to the Lord. Although the number of these offerings is not specified in 2 Samuel 6, following Levite tradition, they were likely fatted calves, lambs, doves, and resources. And, if that was not enough, David went on to give both the men and women of the whole multitude of Israel bread, meat, and raisins to take home with them.
Can you imagine the scene in this morning’s verses?
A parade larger than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, consisting of the entire House of Israel led by King David, Levitical Priests, the nobles, officials, and military officers carried the Ark of the Covenant from the House of Obed-Edom to Jerusalem. As they traveled into Jerusalem, with reverence to the Sabbath and God’s ordinances, they would stop on every sixth step, make a sacrifice, and keep going. The parade could have lasted a week while people were dancing, shouting, singing, and rejoicing.
The parade comes to an end as the Ark arrives at the place that had been prepared for it, a tent that will eventually turn into the holiest of holies when the Temple is built around it. When the parade stops, its leader, King David, offers burnt offerings and offerings of well-being. Then, as the people prepare to leave, the king does something unexpected. Symbolically remembering God’s provision to Israel during their time in the desert, David gives them food to take home, share with their families, and eat.
The sacrifices and gifts of food to his people represent a vast amount of resources that David sincerely and joyfully offered in worship to God. However, when reading 2 Samuel 6, it does not seem like enough to worship the presence of God and celebrate the Ark’s placement at the center of Jerusalem. But it was.
The offerings, celebrations, and rejoicing around the placement of the Ark were enough because David’s heart was right, and he followed God’s ordinances the second-time around. That is, the first time David tried to move the Ark into Jerusalem, it was about him and his glory as king. Yet, the second time, it was about the worship and celebration of God’s presence in his and the people of Israel’s lives.
Today, as we begin the week, let’s make sure that our hearts are in the right place and assess if what we are doing is for the glory of God or ourselves.
Father God, thank you for the example of David’s heart. Please guide us to follow his example by orienting our hearts towards you. Please teach us to assess if what we are doing is about you or about us. And, at all times, please help us to respond to our hearts ensuring that we are placing you, our families, and our friends before ourselves. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!