February 24, 2019 – March 2, 2019
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 473, 474; Patriarchs and Prophets, 706–713.
“He [David] learned that only by God’s power could he come to the throne; only in His wisdom could he rule wisely.” Education, 152.
- How had David learned to exercise the utmost care and reverence when transporting the ark the second time? 2 Samuel 6:12, 13. What charge is given to those who hold positions of responsibility in the Lord’s work today? Isaiah 52:11.
Note: “He [David] resolved to make another attempt to remove the ark, and he now gave earnest heed to carry out in every particular the directions of the Lord. Again the chief men of the nation were summoned, and a vast assemblage gathered about the dwelling place of the Gittite. With reverent care the ark was now placed upon the shoulders of men of divine appointment, the multitude fell into line, and with trembling hearts the vast procession again set forth. After advancing six paces the trumpet sounded a halt. By David’s direction sacrifices of ‘oxen and fatlings’ (2 Samuel 6:13) were to be offered.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 706.
“Men and women may be well versed in Bible knowledge, as well acquainted with the Scripture as were the Israelites with the ark, and yet if their hearts are not right before God, success will not attend their efforts. God will not be with them. They do not have a high sense of the obligations of the law of heaven, nor do they realize the sacred character of the truth they are teaching. The charge is, ‘Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord’ (Isaiah 52:11).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 998.
- How was David dressed on this particular occasion, and why? 2 Samuel 6:14, last part.
Note: “The king had laid aside his royal robes and had attired himself in a plain linen ephod, such as was worn by the priests. He did not by this act signify that he assumed priestly functions, for the ephod was sometimes worn by others besides the priests. But in this holy service he would take his place as, before God, on an equality with his subjects. Upon that day Jehovah was to be adored. He was to be the sole object of reverence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 706, 707.
- What should we understand by David’s “dancing”? 2 Samuel 6:14, first part.
Note: “David’s dancing in reverent joy before God has been cited by pleasure lovers in justification of the fashionable modern dance, but there is no ground for such an argument. In our day dancing is associated with folly and midnight reveling. Health and morals are sacrificed to pleasure. By the frequenters of the ballroom God is not an object of thought and reverence; prayer or the song of praise would be felt to be out of place in their assemblies. This test should be decisive. Amusements that have a tendency to weaken the love for sacred things and lessen our joy in the service of God are not to be sought by Christians. The music and dancing in joyful praise to God at the removal of the ark had not the faintest resemblance to the dissipation of modern dancing. The one tended to the remembrance of God and exalted His holy name. The other is a device of Satan to cause men to forget God and to dishonor Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 707.
- Describe the chorus, procession, and ceremony that accompanied the entrance of the sacred ark into the gates of Jerusalem. Psalm 24:7–10; 2 Samuel 6:17–19.
Note: “When the gates were opened wide, the procession entered, and with reverent awe the ark was deposited in the tent that had been prepared for its reception. …
“The Spirit of divine inspiration had rested upon the king, and now as the last beams of the setting sun bathed the tabernacle in a hallowed light, his heart was uplifted in gratitude to God that the blessed symbol of His presence was now so near the throne of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 708.
PRIDE VS. THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS
- How did Michal, David’s wife, show evidence of having inherited and cultivated the same bitter spirit as her father? 2 Samuel 6:16, 20. Relate how her attitude was displeasing to Heaven as well as to her husband. 2 Samuel 6:21–23.
Note: “The dignity and pride of king Saul’s daughter was shocked that king David should lay aside his garments of royalty, and lay by his royal scepter, and be clothed with the simple linen garments worn by the priest. She thought that he was greatly dishonoring himself before the people of Israel. But God honored David in the sight of all Israel by letting his Spirit abide upon him.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 112, 113.
“In the bitterness of her passion she could not await David’s return to the palace, but went out to meet him, and to his kindly greeting poured forth a torrent of bitter words. Keen and cutting was the irony of her speech: [2 Samuel 6:20 quoted].
“David felt that it was the service of God which Michal had despised and dishonored. … To David’s rebuke was added that of the Lord: because of her pride and arrogance, Michal ‘had no child unto the day of her death’ (2 Samuel 6:23).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 708–711.
- Explain how the deep joy tasted by David, so contrary to the nature of the proud, carnal heart, will be experienced in even greater measure by God’s final remnant when He utters His covenant of peace. Psalm 96:1–6, 9–13; Revelation 14:12, 13; Daniel 12:2.
Note: “David humbled himself, but God exalted him. He sung in an inspired manner, playing upon the harp, producing the most enchanting music. He felt in a small degree that holy joy that all the saints will experience at the voice of God when their captivity is turned, and God makes a covenant of peace with all who have kept His commandments.’’ Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 113.
“[Daniel 12:2 quoted.] All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law.” The Great Controversy, 637.
“I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time to put them to death. … God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating, without their seeing death, the faithful, waiting ones who had so long expected Him.” Early Writings, 282, 283.
A DREAM DEFERRED
- When the throne of David was established and he had rest from all his enemies, what was his greatest aspiration? 2 Samuel 7:1–3.
- What should we learn from the Lord’s message to David in this regard? 2 Samuel 7:4, 5, 12, 13.
Note: “Our plans are not always God’s plans. He may see that it is best for us and for His cause to refuse our very best intentions, as He did in the case of David. But of one thing we may be assured, He will bless and use in the advancement of His cause those who sincerely devote themselves and all they have to His glory. If He sees it best not to grant their desires He will counterbalance the refusal by giving them tokens of His love and entrusting to them another service.
”In His loving care and interest for us, often He who understands us better than we understand ourselves refuses to permit us selfishly to seek the gratification of our own ambition.” The Ministry of Healing, 473.
THE GRACE OF HUMILITY
- Why was David himself not permitted to build the house of God? 1 Chronicles 22:7–10.
- What should we learn from David’s attitude in response to the Lord’s declaration? 2 Samuel 7:18–22. Name another servant of God who also manifested this same type of graceful humility. John 3:26–30.
Note: “David knew that it would be an honor to his name and would bring glory to his government to perform the work that he had purposed in his heart to do, but he was ready to submit his will to the will of God. The grateful resignation thus manifested is rarely seen, even among Christians. How often do those who have passed the strength of manhood cling to the hope of accomplishing some great work upon which their hearts are set, but which they are unfitted to perform! God’s providence may speak to them, as did His prophet to David, declaring that the work which they so much desire is not committed to them. It is theirs to prepare the way for another to accomplish it. But instead of gratefully submitting to the divine direction, many fall back as if slighted and rejected, feeling that if they cannot do the one thing which they desire to do, they will do nothing. Many cling with desperate energy to responsibilities which they are incapable of bearing, and vainly endeavor to accomplish a work for which they are insufficient, while that which they might do, lies neglected. And because of this lack of co-operation on their part the greater work is hindered or frustrated.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 712, 713.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What constitutes the bearing of God’s ark with reverence today?
2 Contrast David’s religious dancing with today’s celebration movement.
3 How is the bitterness of Michal a warning to each of us?
4 What should Christians realize, even in establishing worthy aims?
5 What can we as Adventists learn from God’s verdict about David’s goal?