I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. (2 Samuel 6:21-22).
The story of how David brought back the ark of God into the City of David is a story of failure and success, anger and fear, shame and worship. David’s first attempt to transport the ark was a humiliating failure. Thirty thousand men, and untold numbers of women, were gathered to witness the event. David and the whole house of Israel celebrated with all their might with songs, harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals. It must have been quite a boisterous event. But the Lord was not pleased because they had failed to heed His instructions regarding how to transport the ark. All the festivities came to a screeching halt when Uzzah, in whose house the ark had been stored in for twenty years, reached out to stablize the ark. Lord struck Uzzah for his irreverence and he died. I can just imagine David’s shame of failure before tens of thousands of people. David reacted with anger and he was afraid to continue bringing the ark to the City of David. So he gave up and stored the ark in Obed-Edom’s house.
Yet that failure did not keep David from trying again. Three months later, he summoned all the people back, but this time he did it right. Only the Levites were allowed to carry the ark with poles on their shoulders according to the God’s prescribed method. Levites were appointed as singers and musicians. They also sacrificed a bull and fattened calf after every six steps from Obed-Edom’s house all the way to the City of David. And the Lord granted David success. David gave parting gifts of a loaf of bread and cakes of dates and raisins to each person who attended. Everyone was was happy. Everyone except Michal, one of David’s wives.
God chose David to be king because he was a man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14). He was more interested in God’s honor than his own. David was a true worshipper who worshipped God in spirit and in truth. Even through failure in front of thousands, he persevered and continued to worship the Lord with all his might. He trusted in the Lord’s goodness and holiness and still worshipped with all his heart. Even after he successfully brought the ark into the City of David in the second attempt, his wife Michal despised him for dancing so exuberantly in public without much clothing. The enemy tried to use shame to discourage David, but he did not receive it. Instead he revealed the secret of a true worshipper. It was before the Lord and the Lord alone that he celebrated. It was for His eyes only, not for the Israelites, not for the royal family, not for anyone else but God. And he was willing to worship God with all his heart, no matter how foolish he looked in front of others. His own dignity was not an issue. His only concern was God’s honor.
Lord, change my heart that I may truly have a heart after You. Let me celebrate before You for Your eyes only. Let me be unconcerned about my own reputation or dignity. Give me such a passion for You that I will be willing to spend all to worship You. Lord, You are an awesome God. Please help me to trust in You today and to follow You with all my heart. I put my hope in You. Let nothing hinder the passion in my soul for You.