Follow by Email

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Parable Of The Talents.

Matthew 25:14-19
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.
Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.”
Parable of the talents
Talents and abilities come from God. Everyone may have the same opportunities as everyone else, but each has different abilities. Some have more than others but each can function to their greatest abilities if they so desire.
This story is more than simply a lesson about money, as the talent was not only a unit of money in Bible times. It was also a measure of weight.
Different Talents, Different Abilities.
The first recipient was given FIVE TALENTS of gold. Five, many of you know, is the number of Grace. Gold in the Bible is a picture of God’s divine nature. Who is the One that received the full measure of God’s grace and possessed the full measure of God’s divinity? Jesus, His beloved Son, of course! He was perfectly Holy, perfectly at rest at all times, and perfectly able to perform all the 10 Commandments, hence the mention of the number “10.”
The second man received 2 talents which he faithfully put to work, doubling his Master’s money. In other words, he doubled the outreach and influence with which he was gifted. The master was very pleased with his works.
This man is a picture of the Church. We are beneficiaries of Jesus’ death (#1) and resurrection (#2). We mirror Jesus in that we do the best we can with what we have to reach the world for Christ.
Sadly, the one who received the one talent saw him as a hard task master, not a loving father. He did worse than nothing with what he was given: He buried it in the ground! When the Master returned, he was very displeased with the unjust servant, so his talent was give to the one who now had 10.
The message is, “If you don’t use it, you lose it and another will take the place you were supposed to have.” He who is faithful will have abundance, but he who is not shall not prosper.
F8BB3179-2FAF-4FC0-AF84-E1CEF5B60627
First Mention.
This reminds me of the first time the word, “Talent,” is mentioned in the Bible in Exodus 25. This is the chapter where God spoke to Moses about how to fashion the Menorah for the Tabernacle.
There is a “Law,” if you will, in the interpretation of scripture which states this: “The first mention or occurrence of a subject in Scripture establishes an unchangeable pattern with that subject.  It remains unchanged in the mind of God throughout Scripture.”  This law is the key to revealing truths hidden in the Bible in the meaning and of words, names, and even numbers.
What is interesting to note is that we are given the weight of the lampstand but not it’s dimensions. Let’s read below:
the Lampstand
Ex. 25:31 “You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece.
Ex. 25:39 “It shall be made of a (one) talent of pure gold, with all these utensils. And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”
See? Weight but no dimensions. Why? Because it’s not the size of your church or ministry that matters; IT IS THE WEIGHT THAT IT CARRIES.  In other words, how influential it is in your community has nothing to do with the size of your Church or ministry.  It is God Who gives weight to one’s words or causes them to fall to the ground.
(For more on the Lampstand, you may follow the link below:
BC571CA5-3B9A-46D4-948E-D61DED8131C9
To those who honor the truth of God’s word and preach Grace, God gives great weight or honor. Some people’s words are weightier than others, meaning THEIR WORDS AND TEACHINGS ARE MORE VALUED OR HONORED.
But those who come against grace, God causes their words to “Fall to the ground.” They have little or no impact. Eventually, their Church or ministry will dry up and their congregations will go elsewhere.
So whatever your talent or ministry, do it to the best of your ability. Don’t worry about your detractors. You just be true to God and to His word. He will take care of the rest.
He is the Lord of the Talents!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Secret Of Obed Edom Master Copy

2 Samuel 6:2-8
“2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Namethe Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. 
3 So they set the ark of God ON A NEW CART, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. 
5 Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the Lord on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals.
6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled 7 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.  
8 And David became angry because of the Lord’s outbreak against Uzzah; and he called the name of the place Perez Uzzato this day.”
(Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the Ark.)
Remember Obed Edom?  He’s the guy who lived along the route that David traveled when he was bringing the Ark back to Jerusalem.  You see, the Ark not in Jerusalem where it belonged.  In fact, it hadn’t been there for quite a long time.  Why?  Let’s take a little trip through it’s history and find out.
Puzzling Story.
The opening passage is one of the more puzzling stories in the Bible.  Why did the oxen stumble and why did God strike down Uzzah, who was only trying to help?  Have you ever asked God questions like that?
I always felt kinda bad for Uzzah. I mean, all he did was reach out his hand to steady the ark, and God killed him for it. What gives? As usual, The Holy Spirit, our Master Storyteller, is at it again, painting pictures of Jesus and explaining spiritual truths. Though this is an actual event that happened to real people in Israel’s history, He chose to record it for us to drive home a point.
Some of the answers to the questions above, and maybe even some you didn’t think to ask, can be found by understanding the typologies God is using.  Others are found in the Hebrew Language itself.  You see, all names in the Bible have a meaning.  Our God loves to hide wisdom in names, places, even numbers, for those who are hungry enough to search them out.  Other answers are directly tied in with why the oxen stumbled in the first place.
Before getting to the answers, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Why Is This Story Recorded?
This story in the Bible is here for a very important, very specific purpose as God is always up to something good!  When studying such puzzling passages, remember these three things:
#1. The Holy Spirit is the Author.
#2. He wants to tell us more about Jesus, Israel and the Church.
#3.  They are there to help and bless God’s people:  US!
So, let’s dig in and find out what’s on God’s heart.
(David and his entourage danced and sang to celebrate the return of the Ark.)
David’s Big Mistake.
King David made a BIG MISTAKE placing the Ark on an ox cart, new or otherwise.  He should have known better but, for some reason, he didn’t.  You see, it is supposed to be carried on the shoulders of the priests, much like one would carry a champion. That’s God’s way.  It’s a position of honor, you understand.
But when you don’t do things God’s way, HE DOESN’T HELP YOU.  If you insist, He’ll let you do it your way.  But when YOU WORK, He rests; when you rest, HE WORKS.
Weight Of The Ark.
Why would the priests need God’s help to carry the Ark?  Because it’s really, really, REALLY HEAVY!   The Mercy Seat alone was made of one solid slab of pure gold weighing one talent.  THAT’S 100 LBS FOLKS!
Experts estimate that the total weight of the Ark was about 565 lbs!  When you take into account the very steep and rocky terrain the oxen had to negotiate, you can see why they had a huge problem.  Without God helping to ease the burden of this VERY HEAVY piece of furniture, of course they stumbled.
When carried on the shoulders of the priests, however…THE RIGHT WAY…God HIMSELF actually helped.  If He didn’t, even the priests wouldn’t be able to carry it.
Contents of the Ark
(Contents of the Ark.)
Contents Of The Ark.
The lower part was made of incorruptible Shittim wood, overlaid inside and out with the purest gold. It contained three items inside:  #1) The tablets of stone on which were engraved the Ten Commandment. They were carved on stones of pure *sapphire, as clear as the heavens above. #2) Aaron’s rod that budded, and #3) A golden pot of manna, pictured above.

(*For more on the topic of the sapphire tablets, you may follow the link below:
Remember when Jesus said,  “My yoke is easy and My burden is light?”  This story perfectly illustrates that verse.
Typologies.
In order to understand what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach us, we’re going to have to look at the typologies in this story.  Oxen are used for hard labor.  As such, they are a typology of RIGHTEOUSNESS BY WORKS; of man doing it man’s way.
The Ark is a picture of Jesus, of course…..His presence, His Person and His work!
Being made of “shittim wood,” which is incorruptible, depicts both Jesus’ humanity and His eternal life.  Gold in the Bible typifies Divinity.  The Ark demonstrates that Jesus is 100% Man (wood) and 100% God (gold.)
(High Priest places one drop of blood on the Mercy Seat.)
Once a year the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled blood on the Mercy Seat, depicting Jesus blood Sacrifice to save all of us.   The two golden Cherubim, wings unfurled, heads pointed down at the Mercy Seat, represent the guardians of God’s Holiness and Righteousness.  They are representative of God “Looking” down on the Mercy Seat.  When God “Looks” down and “Sees” the blood, He passed over us.  He does not “See” your sins, represented by the three items contained inside. Our sins covered by the blood.  In other words, they are all under His mercy.
With all that in mind, let’s continue with our story.
Not God’s Way.
So “Carried on an ox cart” was not God’s way.  But, if David had read his Bible, he’d have known the proper way to carry the Ark.  Maybe he missed Bible study that week when he marched off to Kirjath Jearim.
Where did he get the idea to put it on an ox cart in the first place?   From the Philistines, of course.  But why did he follow their example? What do they know of the proper way to carry the Ark?  ZERO, ZIP, ZILCH, NADA. Absolutely NOTHING!  They’re ignorant Gentiles, for heaven’s sake, which is why God allowed them to get away with doing it in the first place.
But He didn’t cut His people any slack.  They had access to God’s word and were without excuse.
Why wasn’t the Ark in Jerusalem where it belonged? We’ll need to take a little trip through history to find out.
(The journey of the Ark.)
The Ark “Captured.”
The Philistines had “captured” the Ark in a battle against Israel some 70 years prior.  I say “Captured” in quotation marks because it cannot just be “Captured.” No one takes God by surprise or captures Him. H allowed them to take it.  If He hadn’t, they would not have been able to take it.
So, why did He permit this action?  Because Israel at that time had forfeited the right to have God in their midst. What did they do to make God leave them?
– 
Corrupt High Priest.
The battle in which it was “Captured” by the Philistines, took place during the time that a man named, “Eli,” was high priest over Israel.  He was a very worldly and fleshly high priest who had two wicked sons named Hophni and Phinehas.  These men did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Let’s follow the story…
(Eli and his wicked sons.)
I Samuel 2:12-17
“12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord. 13 And the priests’ custom with the people was  that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling.
14 Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.”
16 And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as  much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “ No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.”
17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord , for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.”
Though he was nearly blind, old Eli was not ignorant of his sons’ many “indiscretions,” shall we say.  Even so, he did nothing to stop them.  It got so bad that the people began to despise the Lord’s offerings.  Needless to say, God was most displeased!
Enter the child, Samuel.
Samuel.
I Samuel 3:1
“Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there  was no widespread revelation.”
Samuel
(Samuel hears the voice of the LORD.)
The LORD appeared to Samuel and told the child of His plan to end the line of wicked old Eli and his evil sons.  This He accomplished all in one day during the aforementioned battle with the Philistines.  Both Hophni and Phinehas were killed in the battle on that day that the Ark taken “captive.”
News of it’s “capture” came to the old priest, Eli, from a young man of the tribe of Benjamin.  Upon hearing the news,  he fell backwards (being very heavy) off the stool on which he was sitting and broke his neck.  He died instantly.
Prophetic Significance.
Benjamin, you recall, was the youngest son of Jacob.  This “young man from the tribe of Benjamin is a depiction of the last, and therefore youngest, generation.  They will deliver the message of Grace, the pure gospel, to the previous generations, bringing about the death of the legalism and mixture of Law and Grace with which they have been beating the people.
The Unfortunate Philistines.
The Philistines, on the other hand, were overjoyed…..well, at first anyway…..to have the Ark of God in their possession.  Fortunately for them, it was short-lived.  Let’s just say things didn’t exactly go well.
Their first mistake was to boast that their “god,” had “triumphed” over the God of Israel. (Uh oh!)   You see, their “god,” Dagon was a fish god; basically, a merman.  You know: Half man, half fish.  Dag, in Hebrew, actually means, “Fish.”
Their second mistake was to take the Ark to their “god’s” temple in Asdod.  They set it before “him” and celebrated their victory.  
OOPS!
(Dagon on his face before the LORD.)
In the morning, where was their “god?”  FACE DOWN IN FRONT OF THE ARK!  So, they helped their “god” back up onto his place {snicker}.  The next morning, where was Dagon…..again?  He was not only face down in front of the Ark but his head and hands were severed from the rest of him!  
Head denotes intelligence and hands depict strength in biblical typology.  This is a picture of the devil being totally deprived of his knowledge (head) and strength (hands) having been completely crushed by Jesus!  HALLELUJAH!
Jesus In The Garden.
This entire story is also a depiction of the temple soldiers who came to arrest Jesus in the garden.
Jesus KNEW everything.  He knew what was about to happen, yet He did not shrink from it but stood forward with kingly grace.  John 18:4-5 says: ” Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”  Jesus said to them, “I am He. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, “I am He, they drew back and fell to the ground.
Jesus arrested
No One Takes My Life.
Church, Jesus willingly laid down His life.  No one took it from Him, and He wasn’t murdered.
Before the soldiers arrived at Gethsemane, as I said, Jesus knew ALL that was soon to happen.  You saw how they fell before Him when He said, “I am He.”  Well, notice the word, “He,” is in italics.  It isn’t in the original text.  It was added by translators.  What Jesus simply said was His Name:  “I AM;” and they all fell to the ground before the Holy One of God.
He had to wait there for a few minutes until they were able to stand up, compose themselves, and bind His hands to lead Him away.  You see, He allowed himself be “arrested.”
Like the Ark in our story, He also cannot be “captured.”  He willingly let them take Him away to be “tried,” sentenced, and crucified.  Though He suffered much because of His wounds, they didn’t bring about His death.  He had to dismiss His Spirit and placed it in the care of His Father.  Otherwise, even His physical body, so battered and bruised, would not be able to die.  No one can die in His presence, even He Himself.
At the cross, our arch enemy, the devil, was stripped of all his power.  His HEAD: intelligence, and HANDS: power, were cut off!
Now back to our story…..
Philistines send the ark back to Israel
Send It Back!
Those poor, clueless, hapless Philistines had the Ark for a total of 7 months; 7 months of pure hell, that is.  Caused them nothing but grief.  Wherever it was sent, the people were stricken with tumors and plagued with rats.  Many people died.  They finally….wisely….decided they’d better send it back where to it belonged before it killed everybody!
After consulting with their own priests, they put together a trespass offering (smart move) and put it on an ox cart pulled by two milk cows–nursing mothers, in other words.  They figured that if these new mothers did not turn around and run back to nurse their young, which would have been their nature, then all of their troubles must indeed have been caused by the God of Israel.
DUH!!!  I told you they were not very bright.
(The Ark comes to Beth Shemesh.)
The Foolishness Of Beth Shemesh.
When the oxen-pulled cart first came into Israel, it encountered the town of Beth Shemesh. The people, understandably, were overjoyed to see the Ark returned to them at last!
Now, bear in mind, these were Jewish people.  They’ve been under law for centuries, and were taught the Torah practically from birth.  You would think they’d know better than to look inside the Ark, right?  But they made a foolish, HUGE mistake and pushed aside the Mercy Seat.  Yikes!!!
IMG_0106
Oh dear! Remember, God doesn’t want to see what is underneath. All those things were placed inside so that they would be under the blood. But they were probably curious and wanted to get a glimpse of the tablets of stone, which were made of sapphire.  Well, God broke out against them.
The New King James records that He slew fifty thousand and seventy men.  Here’s the problem with that statement:  Beth Shemesh was a small town.  The whole town didn’t have anywhere near that number of people.
Hear me now:  There are NO ERRORS in the Bible.  Once you check with the original language, it becomes clear.  
Let’s see if we can clear up any confusion.
89851-image
Secrets In The Hebrew Language.
The word for “Ox,” is “Aleph.”  This is also the number “1,” in Hebrew.  Aleph can also be the word for “Thousand.”   It can also mean, “Leader.”
It could mean that God struck 70 men and 50 oxen.  That would make sense, wouldn’t it?  Young’s Literal Translation says it best:
19 And He smiteth among the men of Beth-Shemesh, for they looked into the ark of Jehovah, yea, He smiteth among the people seventy men — fifty chief men; and the people mourn, because Jehovah smote among the people — a great smiting.”
What really happened is God struck 70 men total.  50 of them were “Aleph,” meaning they were “Leaders or chiefs.”  These were men who should have known better, but didn’t.  Now that makes sense!
As for the tablets of sapphire, there is a link above with more information about that.
IMG_0649
The Letter Kills.
The Holy Spirit, in telling us this story, is illustrating the verse that says“the letter KILLS but the spirit gives life.”It kills alright: QUITE LITERALLY.
God is adamant that we understand being under law is deadly.  It brings upon us all the curses of Deuteronomy 28.  It allows the curses to operate in the lives of believers if they are trying to keep the law in order to be acceptable to God, which is righteousness by works.  
You can only bring out the law and teach it if you push aside the Mercy Seat. In other words, if you push Jesus aside.  What you are doing, in effect, is saying to God, “I don’t need your mercy.  I can obey your law on my own.”  That is essence of self-righteousness.
Church, you’d better know with absolute certainty that Righteousness is a gift you receive, not an action you perform. 
Well after that fiasco, the men of Beth Shemesh were terrified!  So they sent word to the men of Kirjath Jearim, asking them to take the Ark off their hands.  This they gladly did; and there it stayed in the house of Abinadab, a priest of Israel, for some 70 years!
(David the shepherd boy.)
A Young Shepherd Boy.
David as a young boy, probably about 17 years old, heard that the Ark of the Lord was there in Kirjath Jearim, at the house of Abinadab.  The name of the town means “City of woods/forests,” in Hebrew, by the way.  That’s right, folks:  The Ark was “lost” in the woods.
Again, there is a typology here.  Wood in the Bible is a typology of humanity.  If the Ark is a picture of Jesus, then where was He?  OUT AMONG THE PEOPLE!
Saul was king during this entire time.  Not once during his reign did he have any thought of bringing the Ark back to Jerusalem, where it belonged.  Even though Jerusalem was the CENTER of worship for the Jewish people, it never occurred to him to restore it to it’s rightful place.  Very telling.
This depicts many Churches today who, though they and their people are believers, don’t have Jesus at the center.  They talk about laws, rules and regulations, how to be holy, Church growth and evangelism.  Yet Jesus is hardly even mentioned in their midst, except in a harsh, judgmental way.  Communion, instead of being a remembrance of Jesus and what He did for us, becomes a remembrance of their sins, which have all been put away already!
They are, so to speak, lost in the woods of doctrines.  There is no sense of closeness to God.  He is distant, Someone to be afraid of if you go astray.  Not that we advocate sin or lawlessness, of course.  But there is not warmth, no sense of family.
Christianity is not about laws or doctrines.  It is about a Person:  Our Lord Jesus Christ.  He did not come to give us laws, laws and more laws.  He came to give LIFE MORE ABUNDANT!
David Shepherd Psalmist
A Man After God’s Of Own Heart.
That wasn’t David’s attitude.  Not at all.  From the moment He heard about where it was, he purposed in his heart to bring the Ark of the LORD back to Jerusalem; BACK TO THE CENTER OF WORSHIP!   
He wrote about his heart’s desire in Psalm 132:
“3 Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house,
Or go up to the comfort of my bed;
I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
Until I find a place for the Lord,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; (his childhood home)
We found it in the FIELDS OF THE WOODS. {Kirjath Jearim}
It wasn’t until David was King of Israel, however, that he was able to accomplish his heart’s desire.  This is why God called him “a man after His own heart.”  
Abba, too, desires that Jesus, His beloved Son, be THE CENTER OF WORSHIP…..ALWAYS!
First Attempt To Return The Ark.
Accompanied by all Israel, much pomp and circumstance, he arrived at the house of Abinadab to collect the Ark.  He put it on his own new ox cart, and started off with his entourage.  There was praise, worship and music played skillfully on many instruments along with him.
They were going along OK, until they reached the threshing floor of Nachon.  Here is where the oxen stumbled and Uzzah made his fatal mistake, reaching out his hand to steady the Ark.  He was struck dead.
You see, God will allow you to go along doing things your way.  But he expects you to learn and grow, not remain a babe.  Under the Old Covenant, He didn’t cut you any slack.  You did things His way…..or else.  But once you study the Hebrew text, your begin to understand things from His perspective.
Let’s look at the rest of the pieces to this puzzle to understand why this incident happened.
33e3d-upload_-1
More Secrets In The Hebrew Language.
As I mentioned earlier, oxen are working animals, a picture of righteousness by works or “self righteousness.”  Another clue is found in the meaning of Uzzah’s name.
All names in the Bible have a meaning.  God, as you know, loves to hide truths in the meanings of the names of people, places, even things in the Hebrew letters, throughout the Bible.
Hebrew is a language of picture writing, like Chinese.  Each letter is a picture of something.  Uzzah’s name comes from the root word, “uz,” which means “strength.”   You’ve heard of the Israeli invention “the uzzi?”  It’s name is derived from the same root.  It means “gun of strength.”
Uzzi
Uzzah means “MY strength,” depicting man’s strength, unlike the name “Uz-zi-jah,” which means “God’s strength.”  The Holy Spirit is painting a picture of “Uzzah,” man’s strength, stretching out the “arm of flesh” to “help God.”
God Doesn’t Need Our Help.
Tell me Church:  Does God ever need our help?  NEVER.  Remember what happened in the temple of Dagon?  Oh yeah.  I’d say God is WELL-ABLE to defend Himself.
This whole sad tale is a picture of “Righteousness by works.”  The Holy Spirit is trying to show us it is DEADLY…literally!  This is why Christians within congregations where their pastors are trying to “balance” GRACE with law, (the righteousness by works model), fall sick and/or die before their time.  
News flash:  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BALANCE.  You are either under Grace OR under Law, not both.  They are mutually exclusive.  PICK ONE.
Well-meaning men of God who preach in this manner are inadvertently KILLING THEIR PEOPLE SLOWLY, by teaching the Law.  Might as well feed them arsenic.  It’s no less deadly.
Finished Work.
Listen, Church:  JESUS DID A FINISHED WORK.  We cannot add ANYTHING to it.  Your salvation is Jesus…..plus nothing.  Your blessings are Jesus…..plus nothing.
Those who try to add their “good works” to Jesus’ Finished work God “ADDS”to them all the plagues listed in this book!  (See Rev. 22:18)
When we try to be acceptable or pleasing to God by our good works or try to merit or earn His blessings, we stumble too.  That’s the message here.
THAT’S WHY THE OXEN STUMBLED.  THAT’S WHY UZZAH DIED:  BECAUSE SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS IS DEADLY.
(Obed Edom before the Ark of the Covenant.)
Obed Edom.
David was both angry at God and terrified at the the same time.  He was so afraid he decided he wasn’t going to go any further.  Instead, he decided to leave the Ark at the home of one Obed-Edom.  Who is he?  Let’s follow the story.
II Samuel 6:9-11
“9 David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” 10 So David would not move the ark of the Lord with him into the City of David; but David took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.
11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months. AND THE LORD BLESSED OBED EDOM AND ALL HIS HOUSEHOLD.”
Who Is Obed Edom?
Obed Edom is a Gittite.  What’s a “Gittite?”  Someone from the city of Gath, in Philistia.  He’s a GENTILE.
Remember who else hailed from Gath? Yep, that’s right:  Goliath, David’s giant.
Incredibly, though the Ark was only in his home for 3 months, the Bible records that “The Lord  blessed Obed Edom and all his household.”
What?  A Gentile?  Blessed by God?  Abinadab, a Jewish priest, had it in his house for 20 years, yet there is no mention of God blessing him…..at all!  In fact, it was his son, Uzzah, who was struck dead by God!  Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
The very next verse says, “12a Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.”
Material Blessings.
How could they tell he was blessed?  Were they merely “spiritual blessings?”  Hardly.   They could tell by all his “MATERIAL BLESSINGS.”  Can’t see blessings that are only spiritual, can you?  There had to be OBVIOUS, OUTWARD signs that were reported to King David.
What’s the difference between Abinadab and Obed Edom?  Abinadab was both a Jew AND a priest.  Obed Edom was a Gentile.  You know, basically a nobody! Hmmm…..what gives?
More Meanings In The Hebrew Language.
Once again the answers are hiding in the meanings of names in Hebrew.  Obed means “servant;”  Edom comes from the root word “dam,” which means “blood.”  HE WAS A SERVANT OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS!  He had a greater revelation and appreciation of His blood!  
HUGE DIFFERENCE between him and Abinadab.
Well David, upon hearing all this, came back to the house of Obed Edom for the Ark, this time with a whole new attitude!  Maybe he went back to church or read his Bible.  But he returned with priests properly consecrated and educated on how to carry the Ark of God:  On their shoulders.
(The priests carry the Ark God’s way.)
Let’s follow the story…
David Returns For The Ark.
“12b So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness.
13 And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep.
14 Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.”
Where before there was abject terror now there was great dancing and rejoicing and a VERY different King David!  From bad attitude to a NEW ATTITUDE, he is recharged!
Comparing The Two Attempts.
IMG_0650
On David’s first attempt, he put the Ark on a new cart, all the people were with him, and there was lots of praise and worship.  The account in 1 Chronicles is much more detailed.  It says in verse 8, “Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might,with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.״
You can see that they played music.  But not just any music.  They were singing songs of praise and worship.  You can see that they played before God.  They also played with lots of excitement and energy: All their might.
On his second attempt, there were similarities but we see important differences.  Let’s follow the account in 1 Chronicles, which has details not included in 2 Samuel.
1 Chronicles 15:1-2. “He (David) prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, “No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever.”
Wow!  David learned from his mistake.  Already he started out differently.  The Levites are carrying the Ark on their shoulders.  It’s not on a cart like in his last attempt.  He also prepared a place for the Ark.  Let’s read on.
Vs. 11-12
“David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites: for Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. He said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, that you may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it.
Vs. 16:  “David spoke to the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers accompanied by instruments of music, stringed instruments, harps, and cymbals, by raising the voice with resounding joy.”
This time, there was also singing, but notice there is no mention of “All their might.”  No self-righteousness.
Many of the same kinds of things that transpired 3 months prior–like lot’s of praise and worship–were again present.  But David did something else new.
Vs. 26-28. “And so it was, when God helped the Levites who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that they offered seven bulls and seven rams. David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who bore the ark, the singers, and Chenaniah the music master with the singers.  David also wore a linen ephod. 
“Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn (Shofar), with trumpets and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps.”
EVERY SIX PACES HE OFFERED ANIMAL SACRIFICES.  Yep!  Blood was shed EVERY SIX PACES!…..and this time, God helped the priests transport His Ark because they were now doing it His way!
They sounded the Shofar also every step along the way.  The Shofar is the horn from a male sheep.  It depicts the Lord’s death.
David this time around had a greater revelation and appreciation of the blood of Jesus.
Sacrifice Every Six Paces.
David sacrificed bullocks every 6 paces.  This is a picture of having communion, in remembrance of the Lord’s death, every Sunday.  You see, in the early Church, they “broke bread” from house to house.  It wasn’t just on Sunday, but daily, sometimes more often.  If someone was sick or had any need at all, they broke bread.  THEY HAD A GREATER APPRECIAION OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS.
Greatest Of The Five Offerings.
A bullock offering has the greatest quantity of blood of any of the five offerings of Leviticus.  For more on that topic, follow the link below:
You see, the greater your appreciation of the blood of Jesus, the bigger revelation of Him, THE GREATER YOUR BLESSINGS!!!
God Helped The Levites.
I Chronicles 15:26
“26 And so it was, when GOD HELPED THE LEVITES who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord , that they offered seven bulls and seven rams.”
Know how far it is from the house of Obed Edom to Jerusalem?   TWELVE MILES!  That’s a whole lot of sacrifices and shedding of blood!
Can you imagine? A burnt offering EVERY SIX PACES!  What a difference now that he understood why God had blessed Obed Edom.  He, too, got a clear revelation of the blood of Jesus. No wonder there was exuberant praise and worship!!!  But it was not by thier might; it was in response to a revelation of Jesus!
img_0038
(The Tabernacle Of David.  Notice, there is no veil.)
And what did Obed Edom do?  Did he just let David take the Ark?  Oh, no!  He said, “I’m coming with you!”  He and all his house picked up stakes and moved in with the Ark, becoming gatekeepers alongside the priests!
1 Chronicles 16:37-38
“So he left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord to minister before the ark regularly, as every day’s work required; and Obed-Edom with his sixty-eight brethren, including Obed-Edom the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah, to be gatekeepers;”
Greater Appreciation Of The Blood.
Before Uzzah died, there was no lack of praise and worship. It was heartfelt and sincere no doubt, but they relied on their own reasoning, their own efforts.  It’s not enough to praise, worship the Lord, and have Church, however.  Jesus, His glory, His beauty and His FINISHED WORK MUST BE CENTRAL.  When they had a greater appreciation of the blood of Jesus, they had great success.
Many Christians today are of the opinion that having more praise and worship is the key to revival.  Well, yes and no.  Praise and worship are involved.  However, praise out of a heart that is resting and rejoicing in the finished work of Jesus is key.  What must also be present is an overwhelming consciousness of our eternal righteousness and a greater appreciation of THE BLOOD OF JESUS.  That brings it to a whole new level!
No longer are we worshipping out of a sense of duty or the wrong kind of the fear of God.  Rather, it is out of a heart that truly understands; a heart that cannot help but respond to God’s amazing Love, great Grace and abundant Mercy!
THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE ARK IS BROUGHT BACK TO JERUSALEM!
THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN JESUS IS BROUGHT BACK TO THE CENTER OF THE CHURCH!   You get turned on, fired up engaged people so in love with Jesus that no one will have to tell them to go talk to others about Jesus:  THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO SHUT UP!
What The Church Is Missing.
This is the missing piece in the Church today.  Jesus needs to be brought BACK TO THE CENTER.  She needs a whole new appreciation of the BLOOD OF JESUS!
 
Every 6 paces is a picture of having communion every 7th day; in other words every week, corporately, plus people making use of communion in their daily lives.  It was, after all, given for our health and well being.
You don’t need a pastor or a deacon present to have communion.  You, Church, are a royal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, just like Jesus!  You are king-priests!
Church Growth.
PASTORS:  Want your churches to really grow?  BRING THE ARK BACK TO THE CENTER OF WORSHIP!
“But, Jesus is the center,” you say.  
I beg to differ.  If you go to church and all you hear is someone telling you the right thoughts, words and behaviors to perform, but Jesus is hardly even mentioned, except in a harsh judgmental way, HE ISN’T CENTRAL:  THE LAW IS.  You are prioritizing righteousness by works above righteousness by faith.
Remember…..D-E-A-D-L-Y!
Self-righteousness:  That’s what Uzzah represents.  Well I say, “UZZAH NEEDS TO DIE!”  Bring Jesus once again to His rightful place: AT THE CENTER of worship in the church………and LET THE OXEN STUMBLE!
That, Church, is the secret of Obed Edom:  The servant of the Blood.