Chris Brown, a member of the 6pm congregation, helps us reflect on Sunday's sermon from 2 Samuel 5:17-6:23.
My memories of church as a child often include being taught the Old Testament in Sunday School. Great stories—Daniel in the lions’ den, Jonah in the belly of a fish, David and Goliath. Yet as I read them now, my response is something along the lines of ‘this is a fun story, but what does it have to do with me?’ or perhaps, when faced with a passage like Sunday’s, ‘What on earth is this doing in the bible? At best it’s slightly awkward and embarrassing, at worst downright offensive. How does it impact on my life today?’. Having had this passage explained at the 6pm on Sunday, let me put forward three areas in which my thinking has been challenged by this passage.
Recognise the king
Be thankful for Jesus—he is the priest-king who brings us into a relationship with a Holy God. In David we are shown what kind of king God’s people need—and we have consistently seen that it is radically different to what we might think! In this passage, we see that the king should make sacrifices to atone for the sin of his people, in order to establish their relationship with a Holy God. Therefore, when we consider Jesus’s sacrificial death on the cross, do we see this as exactly what we need of our king? Do we love him for it? What would it look like for you to love Jesus this week?
Do not be ashamed of the king
The world, like Michal, will despise the king, seeing him as weak and contemptible. Expect the world to despise and mock Jesus for going to the cross.
In David, we see that we need a king who is prepared to be contemptible and humiliated in the eyes of the world, but cares solely for humble obedience to God. Rather than being ashamed, do we love Jesus for his obedience to the point of death, even a humiliating death on a cross? When we encounter people who, like Michal, despise the king in their hearts, how might this passage persuade us to keep on following Jesus?
Honour the king
Follow him! We have seen previously in 2:7 a call for the people of Jabesh-Gilead to align themselves with King David at a time of uncertainty. The question remains for us today – will we align ourselves, our hopes, dreams and ambitions, with that of King Jesus, and honour him by following him wholeheartedly? What might this look like? And will we look for a king or a saviour who is mighty in the eyes of the world, or will we hear what God says about the kind of king we need? Praise God that he has sent Jesus to be just that.