Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Introduction to The Death of JI Packer +

    INTRODUCTORY ESSAY ___ to John Owen's The Death Of Death in the Death of Christ ___ By J.I. Packer _________ Read More
  • An Interview with Os Guiness on the 25th Anniversary of Francis Schaeffer's Death-Justin Taylor, 2009 +

    Next week (May 15) will be the 25th anniversary of the death of Francis Schaeffer, who died in his home Read More
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Don  Carson

2 Samuel 6; 1 Corinthians 16; Ezekiel 14; Psalm 55

DAVID WOULD DOUBTLESS make many of us uncomfortable if he lived today.

He was such an intense man—exuberant in his pleasures, crushed in his discouragement, powerful in his leadership, unrestrained in his worship.

(1) One occasion that displays much of the man displays no less of God, viz. bringing the ark of the covenant, and presumably the entire tabernacle, up to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6). David does not send down a few clerics—the designated Levites—and no more. He gathers thirty thousand crack troops and representatives from the whole house of Israel, to say nothing of musicians and choirs.

(2) When Uzzah stretches forth his hand to stabilize the ark because the oxen pulling the cart have stumbled, the "LORD's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God" (2 Sam. 6:7). That certainly put a damper on the festivities. David is both angry with God (2 Sam. 6:8) and afraid of him (2 Sam. 6:9). For the time being he resolves not to bring the ark of the Lord up to Jerusalem. Certainly there is something in most of us that silently thinks David is right.

Yet all along God has been profoundly concerned to eradicate any hint that he is nothing more than a talisman, a controllable god, some godlet akin to other neighborhood godlets. One of his strongest prohibitions was not to touch the ark, or look inside it. Indeed, on the latter point seventy men of Beth Shemesh had paid with their lives a bare generation earlier (1 Sam. 6:19–20; see the meditation for August 15), when they had ignored the edict. Our text calls Uzzah's act "irreverent" (2 Sam. 6:7). What made it "irreverent" or "profane" was not that Uzzah was malicious, but that there was no reverent fear before his eyes, no careful distinction between all that God says is holy and what is merely common. The horror of profanity is identical: people say they do not mean anything by it when they take the Lord's name in vain. That is precisely the point: they do not mean anything by it. God will not be treated that way.

(3) The ark remains with Obed-Edom for three months, and he experiences so much blessing that David becomes interested again (2 Sam. 6:11–12). Blessing and reverence go hand in hand, and David—and we—had better realize it.

(4) Michal turns out to be her father's daughter: she is more interested in pomp, form, royal robes, and personal dignity than in exuberant worship (2 Sam. 6:16). She despises David precisely because he is so God-centered he cares very little about his persona. People constantly fretting about what others think of them cannot be absorbed by the sheer God-awareness and God-centeredness that characterize all true worship.

2 Samuel 6; 1 Corinthians 16; Ezekiel 14; Psalm 55

Reflections to Consider

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Audio & Video

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  • Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson +

    Eugene Peterson’s book, Eat This Book gets its name from Revelation 10:9-10 when John asks for the scroll containing God’s Read More
  • Martin Luther’s Quiet Time, Walter Trobisch +

    Martin Luther had a barber named Peter Beskendorf who asked his world-famous customer and doctor of theology, "Dr. Luther, how Read More
  • Storytelling +

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • Life as an Alien +

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Separated Unto the Holy Ghost (Andrew Murray) +

    Below is chapter 3 from the book, Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, a South African "Now there were in the Read More
  • The Human Body and Spiritual Growth: Dallas Willard +

    In Christian Educator's Handbook on Spiritual Formation, edited by James Wilhoit of Wheaton College. "Spiritual formation" is the process through Read More
  • January 28 Devotional: Oswald Chambers +

    Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14 Read More
  • Coupla Things by Julie Moore +

    It has occurred to me that maybe more people would read my blog if the posts were shorter. I'm not Read More
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