David and the Ark – Gospel in Life

David and the Ark

Tim Keller |  July 7, 1996

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  • Understanding the Gospel
2 Samuel 6:1-23
RS 271-09


Just as water and fire cannot exist together, neither can God’s holiness with man’s sinfulness. How can the gap be bridged?

2 Samuel 6:1–23

This passage in 2 Samuel is about David’s efforts to move the ark of God to the City of David. It’s a story of initial struggle, fear, and eventually, triumph. It shows the ark’s journey from causing death to bringing joy, much like how the good news of Jesus transforms lives. David’s open, joyous celebration of God, even when faced with criticism, reminds us that we should always celebrate our relationship with God.

1. Why David wanted the ark of the Lord

David wanted to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem to remind everyone that God is the true King, who offers real safety and security, not military or political leaders. David also deeply desired to be close to God, knowing that his ability to lead depended on his relationship with God. The ark coming to Jerusalem symbolizes God living among His people, showing the importance of being close to God, which is also what David personally wanted.

2. The issue with the ark of the Lord

The story of Uzzah and Ahio mishandling the ark shows how serious it is to ignore God’s rules. It makes us think about God’s judgments, suggesting that God looks at our hearts and intentions, not just whether we follow rules. It also reminds us that the heart of our faith is understanding that we need God’s grace and salvation.

3. The good news related to the ark

The good news of Jesus shows us both how serious our sins are and how much we need God’s presence, often shown through our personal struggles and disasters. Recognizing our weaknesses and the importance of Jesus’ sacrifice is key to being close to God. By focusing on humility, grace, and accepting God as He is, rather than worrying about how we look to others, we can experience God’s grace and feel His presence within us.



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