2 Samuel 6:9 NKJV David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?”
The back story to this verse is quite extensive and spans over 40 years of history, but let’s see if we can get it in perspective. Prior to the reign of Saul (1 Samuel 4) and Samuel becoming a Judge of Israel, Israel had become corrupt in her ways and unfaithful to God. They had lost the Ark of the Covenant to the Philistines while trying to use it as a “lucky charm” instead of actually consulting God and getting right with Him. The Philistines later abandoned the Ark putting in on a cart led by cows, because of horrible plagues of tumors that befell any Philistine city that held the Ark. The cows headed straight for Israel. The Israelites stored the now recovered Ark of the Covenant in the home of Abinidab, a Levite, for fear it would be lost again to the Philistines and because they weren’t actively up keeping the Tabernacle and serving the Lord whole heartedly at the time. Now some 40+ years later David had become king and longed to have the Ark of the Covenant returned to the Tabernacle in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, it had been so long that proper care in handling and transporting the Ark had been lost. During the transport, an oxen stumbled and a man reached out to steady the Ark. When he touched the Ark of the Covenant, he died. David is torn between his desire to have the Ark of the Covenant back in the Tabernacle so the presence of God would once again dwell among the people, and his concern for the safety of the people. In addition, he is now confused and frightened of the Ark and fears that he nor his people will not be able to approach God. He was afraid they wouldn’t be able to get in the Lord’s presence.
I love the presence of God and the thought of not being able to approach Him or have His presence in my life is a frightening thought to me indeed. Praise God, I know that He’ll never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5) and that He has made a way and desires me to come boldly before His throne of grace and into His holy presence (Hebrews 4:16). I know God’s will. I know God’s covenant with me and how to enter into His presence. David and the Israelites problem wasn’t that God didn’t want them to return the Ark of the Covenant to the Tabernacle in Jerusalem, but it was that they were ignorant in how to do it. Israel had been forsaking the Lord’s duties and not studying His instruction manual on proper care of the Tabernacle and the Ark. The Levites didn’t know how to properly move the Ark of the Covenant and the ignorance of the people led to this tragedy and the fear that the presence of God would no longer dwell in Israel. Ignorance of God’s Word allows fear to enter in. Ignorance is not bliss.
A few months later, David again pursued having the Ark of the Covenant brought to Jerusalem. By now they had read the manual. The Levites were properly taught and prepared regarding how to handle the Ark of the Covenant and with great joy, worship, and celebration the Ark of the Covenant made its way back the City of David. The Israelites, now informed of God’s Word and instructions, no longer feared the Ark of the Covenant or that God’s presence would no longer be among them. Now armed with His Word they boldly, fearlessly, and with celebration transported the Ark of the Covenant back to where it belonged.
Fear resides where the will of God is not known. When we know the will of God, faith arises and we can be bold, fearless, and go forward with joy. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Whenever fear rises in your heart, look to His Word and find out what God says about your situation and how to proceed. Once you know that, faith will rise and fear will subside. Ignorance is not bliss. Knowing and trusting in God’s Word will cause you to FEAR NOT!