So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. 2 Samuel 6:12-15
So I’m thinking this stopping every six steps to sacrifice a bull AND a fattened calf may have taken a little bit of time!
Being in landscape architecture, I’ve gotten a little grasp on space. I’ve learned that each of my steps is approximately three feet. Assuming these are full grown men carrying the Ark, let’s estimate that their stride is longer than mine and their six steps equals twenty feet.
What does stopping every twenty feet look like if you’re moving an Ark from one city to another?
From the goal line (touch down) to the goal post (field goal) on any American football field is twenty Yards (60 feet). Meaning they would have stopped three times just in the end zone to kill the bulls and the calves! If I did the math right, they stopped over twenty times just to get from one end zone to the other.
David and the priest, with thousands of Israelites in tow, were moving the Ark from Obed-Edem’s house to Jerusalem. I’m going to assume that OE probably lived out of the city limits. AND also assuming that it took more than a few minutes to do said sacrifice; I think it’s safe to say that this was not just a “Let’s run on out to OE’s house and pick up the Ark and bring it back!” I’m jus’ sayin’, It. Was. A. Process!
The next verse says: David was dancing before the Lord with all his might while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
Is this what David might have looked like if he were alive in today’s world? She certainly seems to be dancing with all her heart! (I want what she has!)
Let’s try to picture this scene. David dancing before the Lord with all his might…with shouts and the sound of trumpets! Out in front of the priests carrying this large gold covered trunk with angels on top with their wings stretched out over the cover. It had rings on the sides the priest slid poles through just to lift it. This Ark carried so much presence of The Lord that they dare not touch it for fear of dropping dead.
Conjuring up in my mind what this scene might have looked like and then trying to imagine myself in the crowd begs me to ask: Could I do that?
Could I dance before the Lord with David, much less for such a lengthy journey?
As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. 2 Samuel 6:16
David or his wife Michal… Whom would I have been in this story?
Which one do you think you would have been?
Maybe, just maybe, the condition of your heart determines IF you can dance.
Michal had bitterness in her heart. She despised that David could or even would dance in front of all Israel. After all, he was THE king.
But David had love in his heart for God. He valued what God saw more than what his wife or all of Israel saw for that matter.
Lest we forget, David was no saint worthy to dance in front of the Ark! David struggled with his own sins just like we do. But what David did know, and what we need to believe, is that it’s not based on our own “good”ness. We can never be good enough! We will always fall short of the mark.
David knew that every single time… without a moment’s hesitation; worthiness is not based on our goodness but on Jesus! God longs to welcome us back to the center of His heart.
So why do we feel that we have to have a period of repentance and guilt before we can step back into His presence? It only takes one moment to repent, accept His forgiveness and grace, and be in the thralls of His love.
What if we had more of a sense of what God thinks and less of a sense of what the Michals of this world will think? The world is full of Michals.
Because…. doesn’t caring more about what Michal will think make me a Michal?
Bottom line: Who am I trying to please?
I think it’s a fear of judgement by others that keeps me from dancing before the Lord with all my heart. I wonder if that’s what allowed Michal to keep her bitter heart.
Lord, help my heart run after you and my feet catch some air time!
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is eight years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 37 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.