This sermon is part of the sermon series "Beautifully, Tragically, Fully Human". See series.
In this series, we're going to wrestle with very difficult story—the story of David. But I promise that as we allow this story to tell itself, and as we connect it with the larger story of the Bible and the good news of Jesus, we will find some powerful principles for everyone else here this morning.
On the surface the story goes like this: After seven years of a brutal civil war, King Saul was murdered in battle and, as God promised, David was finally crowned king of Israel. David decided to bring the ark of the Covenant—a powerful religious symbol for the entire nation—up to the capital city of Jerusalem. Twenty years ago the Philistines had captured the ark in battle, but it brought them so much stress and judgment that they put it on an ox cart, pointed it in the direction of Jerusalem, and let it go. For 20 years the ark has been stashed in a remote area at the house of a man named Abinadab. In verse 1 of 2 Samuel 6, we read that 30,000 armed soldiers showed up at Abinadab's front door and asked for the ark. As it has been a curse, Abinadab released the ark. But as the Israelites moved the ark on the ox cart, the oxen stumbled, Uzzah reached out to steady the ark, and he dropped dead on the spot. The party was over. Everyone went home. David was ticked off and scared: "How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?" he asked. The ark went to the home of a man named Obed-Edom, and God blessed this man and his entire family. Three months later David tried to get the ark again. This time the party went as planned, and there was even more joy in the movement of the ark; David danced with all his might.
Let's be perfectly honest: this is the kind of story that makes some people not believe in the ...
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Matt Woodley serves as the Editor for PreachingToday.com and the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. He is also the author of God With Us: The Gospel of Matthew (IVP).