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From Eternity Past

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    The Ark Brings Blessings to Those Who Love the Lord

    Feeling that his own heart was not wholly right with God, David feared the ark, lest some sin bring judgments upon him. But Obed-edom welcomed the sacred symbol as the pledge of God's favor to the obedient. All Israel watched to see how it would fare with his household. “And the Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household.” David was led to realize as never before the sacredness of the law of God and the necessity of strict obedience.EP 513.1

    At the end of three months, he resolved to make another attempt to move the ark, and he now gave earnest heed to carry out the directions of the Lord. Again a vast assemblage gathered about the dwelling place of Obed-edom. With reverent care the ark was placed upon the shoulders of men of divine appointment, and with trembling hearts the vast procession set forth. By David's direction sacrifices were offered. Rejoicing now took the place of trembling and terror. The king had laid aside his royal robes and attired himself in a plain linen ephod as worn by the priests. (The ephod was sometimes worn by others besides the priests.) In this holy service he would take his place before God on an equality with his subjects. Jehovah was to be the sole object of reverence.EP 513.2

    Again the music of harp and cornet, trumpet and cymbal, floated heavenward, with the melody of many voices. “And David danced before the Lord,” keeping time to the measure of the song.EP 513.3

    David's dancing in reverent joy before God has been cited in justification of the modern dance, but in our day dancing is associated with folly and reveling. Morals are sacrificed to pleasure. God is not an object of thought; prayer would be out of place. Amusements that weaken love for sacred things are not to be sought by Christians. The music and dancing in joyful praise of God at the removal of the ark had not the faintest resemblance to the dissipation of modern dancing. The one exalted God's holy name. The other is a device of Satan to cause men to forget and dishonor God.EP 513.4

    The triumphal procession approached the capital. Then a burst of song demanded of the watchers upon the walls that the gates of the Holy City be thrown open:EP 514.1

    Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
    And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;
    And the King of glory shall come in.
    EP 514.2

    A band of singers and players answered:EP 514.3

    Who is this King of glory?EP 514.4

    From another company came the response:EP 514.5

    The Lord strong and mighty,
    The Lord mighty in battle.
    EP 514.6

    Then hundreds of voices, uniting, swelled the triumphal chorus:EP 514.7

    Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
    Even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;
    And the King of glory shall come in.
    EP 514.8

    Again was heard, “Who is the King of glory?”EP 514.9

    And the voice of the great multitude, like “the sound of many waters,” was heard in rapturous reply:EP 514.10

    The Lord of hosts,
    He is the King of glory.
    Psalm 24:7-10
    EP 514.11

    Then the gates were opened wide, and with reverent awe the ark was deposited in the tent prepared for its reception. The service ended, the king himself pronounced a benediction upon his people.EP 514.12

    This celebration was the most sacred event that had yet marked the reign of David. As the last beams of the setting sun bathed the tabernacle in hallowed light, the king's heart was uplifted in gratitude to God that the blessed symbol of His presence was now so near the throne of Israel.EP 515.1

    But there was one who witnessed the scene of rejoicing with a spirit widely different. “As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter, looked through a window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.” She went out to meet him and poured forth a torrent of bitter words, keen and cutting:EP 515.2

    “How glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!”EP 515.3

    David felt that it was the service of God which Michal had despised and he answered: “It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honor.” 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.”EP 515.4

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