David ran away, and God protected him from all harm.
Fast forward to our story today — Saul and Jonathan were both killed in battle. So David was then made king of Judah, then all of Israel.
David loved the Lord. He loved to sing and write songs of worship.
One of the first things David did as king was to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem.
What is the Ark of the Covenant?
The Ark is made of gold; represented God’s presence among the Israelites.
Carried through the desert for 40 years when Israelites left Egypt
The priests carried the Ark into the River Jordan, causing the water to stop, so the Israelites could cross.
Lost in battle and captured by the Philistines, but they returned it to the Israelites. (1 Samuel 5-7:1).
Stayed in a place called Kirjath-jearim for 20 years.
David wanted to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem:
To remind Israel that God is the real King
Because David loved God’s presence
David’s 1st attempt: <can skip for younger classes>
Bring in the Ark on a cart, carried by oxen. Uzzah, one of the men accompanying the ark reached out to touch it to prevent the ark from falling. And he died!
The Ark represented God’s holy presence, and according to God’s law, The Ark could ONLY be carried on the shoulders of the Levite priests.Not anybody, even David, could just touch the Ark.
Why? Because of SIN. Sin is serious. Sin separates us from a holy God. Whether we have good intentions or try our best, we still fall short of God’s holy standards.
David’s 2nd attempt:
So King David tried again, this time, the right way. On the shoulders of the Levite priests.
There were burnt sacrifices of oxen and sheep à death for the forgiveness of sin
Picture of the gospel: There had to be a sacrifice for sin so that we can be holy and enter the presence of the Holy God.
Heb 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And what a big celebration it was! There were trumpets and singing and dancing and shouting. All Israel came to see the procession bringing the Ark into the city of Jerusalem. It was a huge celebration.
And right in front of it all was David. Yes, the king of Israel was dancing with all his might! And not just dancing, but dancing almost naked! David had taken off his crown, his majestic robes and fine clothes. He only wore a linen ephod.
Can you imagine our country’s king dancing on the streets at our national day parade? Or the king of any country dancing … naked? It was unheard of. Some may say embarrassing or humiliating for the great king. But David didn’t care. He was so happy that he could bring the Ark back to Jerusalem, and he was worshipping God. He was leaping and dancing.
[suggestion: can show this video of David dancing]
The ark was brought into a tabernacle that David had prepared. David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. Then he blessed the people and gave them gifts of bread and cakes. And all the people went home after that.
Now, not everybody was as happy as King David. In fact, his own wife, Michal, Saul’s daughter, was not enjoying the celebrations with everyone else. She was looking out her window, and she didn’t like what she saw. The Bible says she despised David in her heart.
When David returned home, Michal came to him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
But David told his wife, “In God’s presence, I’ll dance all I want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me prince over God’s people, over Israel. Oh yes, I’ll dance to God’s glory — more recklessly even than this. And as far as I’m concerned … I’ll gladly look like a fool!”
David celebrated the way he did because he knew that it was God who chose him to be king and he wanted to give God all the glory.
Jesus died to make us holy
Sin separates us from the holy God.
Jesus’ death makes us holy so we can be with our holy God
Jesus is our Ark
Today, we don’t need the Ark of the Covenant to have God’s presence. (no Ark = no presence of God in the Old Covenant)
Jesus is our Ark — God’s spirit/presence is in us forever.
Jesus is our reason to celebrate
Just as David and the city of Jerusalem were in celebration when the Ark was brought into Jerusalem, there were huge celebrations when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. People lined the streets and danced and cheered, waving palm branches.
Of course now we know Jesus came to Jerusalem to die for all of us. He loved us so much, He wanted to give His life for us so that our sins can be forgiven and we can be together with God forever and ever.
Now … isn’t that reason for us to dance and celebrate? We can worship and celebrate God’s goodness, greatness and holiness! So when we come together every Sunday, let’s not fold out arms, or do our own things. Instead, let us sing dance with all our heart like David did, because we worship such as wonderful Saviour, Jesus!
3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS:
Memory Verse: 2 Sam 6:21, ““In God’s presence, I’ll dance all I want to His glory!” (MSG)
Song and dance: The Spirit of the Lord is within my heart
(The original song lyrics state, “When the spirit of the Lord comes upon my heart.” It is good to remind kids that God’s Spirit is already in us, today. Hence we should sing this song as “The Spirit of the Lord is within my heart, I will dance like David danced.”)