The Bare Soul
April 5, 2009
Kings and Priests
II Samuel 6:14-16 - And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet. Then it happened as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
King David was a complex character. It might be argued that there is no other person in the scriptures that we know so much about and yet his life is still enigmatic. Notably, 38 chapters in I and II Samuel are devoted to the life of David. Of greater importance is how these 38 chapters reveal the multi-dimensional character of this man who would bring together Israel and unite it as a kingdom state. We are first introduced to David in I Samuel 16 when the prophet Samuel is directed by God to go to the house of Jesse to anoint the next king of Israel in the place of disobedient Saul. In the following chapters, we see a young man that is obviously graced by God. David becomes an important part of King Saul's retinue (I Samuel 16:17-23) as he becomes the king's armor bearer and also his personal psalmist that would invariably drive away the spirits that vexed Saul. The scripture states that after David had skillfully played on the harp that the king would be "refreshed and be well".
In subsequent chapters in I Samuel and the beginning of II Samuel, we see a young warrior that establishes himself firmly in the hearts and minds of the Israelite nation. From his first victory of killing the giant Goliath (I Samuel 17:49-50), to the uniting of all the tribes under his commander Joab (II Samuel 5:1-5), David grew with a warrior mentality that would serve him well as he ruled the nation with a strong hand. David was both feared and respected by both his nation and those nations round about. Those who knew him both intimately and from afar had grown comfortable with his warrior-king motif. So, when David paraded himself through the streets of Jerusalem in a linen ephod (basically a thin robe-type garment worn by the priests), some may have been taken aback. In II Samuel 6 the scripture tells us nothing whether those who lined the streets were shocked regarding their king's behavior as the ark of the covenant was carried to its resting place. We only hear of his wife Michal's contempt and how she despised him in her heart. Some bible commentators say that she hated David because he had left her when Saul was pursuing David, and that she had therefore married another. David later reclaimed Michal as his wife with much misgivings by her counterfeit husband (II Samuel 3:16). However, this was the first reference in all of scripture that Michal had expressed anything other than love for her husband and king. No, I believe the reason she felt disdain and loathing toward David was that she had never seen the type of behavior he was displaying to all Jerusalem. In II Samuel 6:20 she states: But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, "How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants' maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!" Clearly, she speaks through her embarrassment as she never believed that a king would consider behaving as she saw David behave that day. Surely, she had never seen her father, King Saul, act in such a manner. And that, beloved, is where the great delineation between Saul and David is clearly revealed.
Saul was a king who ruled by proxy, sometimes by his own weak mind and sometimes by the prophet Samuel (when he would listen and obey). Saul did not have the connection with God that King David learned. David knew how to step from one character, a warrior-king, into the ephod of a priest and minister with love and joy to the Lord. Those who lined the streets dared not say anything regarding their king's behavior, but Michal who was close and intimate with her husband and king undoubtedly believed she had license to speak her mind. In conclusion of this royal tirade, Michal was spurned by the king and she remained barren the rest of her life.
There's a reason why King David's life is so vividly recorded for us in scripture. It goes far beyond just thinking what a great guy David was and how he united the nation of Israel. In truth, God desires His people to discover what it means to be both a warrior-king and a priest unto the Lord. To be able to war in the spirit with a vengeance -- to learn how to get a hold of the mind of Christ in intercessory prayer and pull down strongholds that He is wanting us to war against. There are evil forces that seek to destroy and splinter our families, our churches, and ultimately our nation. They are like a corrosive rust that seeks to eat away all that is good and upright from the inside out. By the time the damage is done, the damage is so demonstrative that it crumbles all around us. We see sensuality and perversion on a rise that is unparalleled. We need to pull down this wicked spiritual stronghold in the name of Jesus Christ. We see homosexuality becoming an accepted "alternative" lifestyle. We need to pull down this wicked spiritual stronghold in the name of Jesus Christ. We continue to see thousands of babies aborted in the U.S. every year, many in their last trimester. We need to pull down this wicked spiritual stronghold in the name of Jesus Christ. We see greed, hate, murder, and every sin against mankind on the rise. All of the humanistic, selfish, sinful acts of mankind need to be warred against, much like David did in his day against the pagan, idolatrous nations that surrounded Israel.
As with David, even in the midst of our warring in the spirit, we need to take up the linen ephod and minister to the Lord "with all our might". This means taking time to refresh ourselves in His presence, to sing and dance before Him with all our heart, mind, and soul. For truly the "joy of the Lord is our strength" and "in His presence is fullness of joy" (see Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 16:11). No matter if some might think that this kind of behavior is wasteful. No matter if some might despise us because it seems "undignified" to be giving ourselves in abandon to our Lord. For those of us who are redeemed, we need to learn this behavior here in this lifetime, for the age to come has us reigning in this manner as "kings and priests". Revelation 5:10 states: And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (King James Version). Beloved, this is our destiny -- this is our calling as true believers in the Lord. Not to be merely warrior-king intercessors, embodying the spirit of King David to pull down the forces of wickedness that would seek to dismantle our nation. This alone is a high, holy calling but it is only one piece of this dichotomy. As there will always be warfare for to be waged for our wicked world, we still need to know our way back to our respective "Jerusalem", having the wisdom to know how and when to minister to Him. Only as we know how to make war with the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and at the same time minister as a priest to our Lord, will we experience the depth of character as a king and priest that so dynamically typified King David.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
To execute vengeance on the nations
And punishment on the peoples,
To bind their kings with chains
And their nobles with fetters of iron,
To execute on them the judgment written;
This is an honor for all His godly ones.
Praise the LORD!
Your Barefoot Servant,
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