Undignified, drunken behaviour ? No. It’s worship !

21 06 2011

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE : 2 Samuel 5 v. 6 – 6 v. 23; Acts 1 v. 23 – 2 v. 21; Psalm 69 v. 29 – 36

2 SAMUEL
David Conquers Jerusalem – David attacks the Jebusites who are occupying Jerusalem, and renames it the City of David (‘the fortress of Zion’). He builds up the city, taking residence in the fortress.‘And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.’
The king of Tyre sent messengers and cedar wood, and his craftsmen built David a temple. This was another sign to David that he’d really made it as king over all Israel.
David moves to Jerusalem, and increases the number of concubines and wives he has, and raises many children in Jerusalem (including Solomon, who’s born there).

David Defeats the Philistines – the Philistines prepare to wage war against David, and position themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. David enquires of the Lord whether he should go and attack them, and the Lord tells him that He will hand the Philistines over to him.
At Baal Perazim (meaning ‘as water poured out’), David and his men defeat the Philistines.
The Lord tells David to circle round behind the remaining Philistines in the valley, and to attack in front of the balsam trees. The Lord sent the sound of marching in the tops of the trees as a sign for them to attack.

The Ark Brought to Jerusalem – David sends an army of 30,000 men to collect the ark of God from Baalah of Judah. The ark is transported on a new cart, with Abinadab’s sons Uzzah and Ahio guiding and guarding it.
‘David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.’
They made quite a noise as they went along, celebrating the homecoming of the ark.
When the oxen stumbled and it looked like the ark might fall, Uzzah reaches out to steady it, and touches the ark. He instantly dies.
David is freaked out by this and decides not to have the ark so close to him in Jerusalem, so it resides is Obed-Edom’s house. After three months, Obed-Edom and his family have known only great blessings from having had the ark with them, so David then takes it to Jerusalem. 
There is great rejoicing, with sacrifices along the way.
‘David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all of his might….’
David’s wife, Michal (Saul’s daughter) watched this from a nearby window and ‘when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.’
David pitched a tent for the ark, and it is placed within it. Then David blessed all the people, sharing out loaves of bread and cakes of dates with all the people. Then people returned home.
As David returns home, Michal meets him with her complaint that David has acted like a ‘vulgar fellow’, distinguishing himself by his disrobing and dancing before slave girls.
David famously replies
‘I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes, but by these slave girls I will be held in honour’.
Michal bears no children from that day onwards.

ACTS
Matthias Chosen – two suitable men are proposed, Matthias and Joseph (who was also known as Barsabbas or Justus), and prayed over. Then they cast lots and Matthias won the place, added to the eleven apostles.

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost – okay, another very familiar passage :
‘they were all together in one place’ – the significance of the gathered church, God blessing their togetherness!
‘suddenly’ – unexpectedly, and without warning, strange things started happening
‘a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house’ – I am reminded that the Spirit is also the Breath, or Wind of God (Ruach / Pneuma), and this was a loud gust of God’s Spirit-Breath filling the place
‘they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire…that came to rest on each of them’ – I am reminded that God is often portrayed as, or accompanied with fire, a flame of God’s burning, holy presence resting on them all    
‘all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit’ – I love the fact that no-one is left out, that this is a shared experience of the outpouring of the Spirit. How this needed all the more today.
‘and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them’ – unlearnt languages which people will hear in their own native tongue in a few verses time – Spirit-utterances.
There is a snapshot of all the nationalities represented in Jerusalem at the time of the Pentecost Celebration. Everyone hears their own language being spoken, and all this from a group of northern Galileans ! The list of places people have come from give a glimpse of the ‘witness in Jerusalem, in Judea and to the ends of the earth.’

I was touched by the fact that Libya and Egypt are amongst those places mentioned, and those places have been major news items in recent days.

The wonders of God are proclaimed in many tongues, understood by all (the undoing of ‘Babel’), and many are amazed. Yet others poke fun at the disciples and say they are drunk !!
                                                                                                                                         
Peter Addresses the Crowd – So then, here’s Peter taking the reins, no longer sulking in the shadows, but rising from that whole denial thing. He boldly proclaims to the crowd, preaching his first sermon.
Point One – the disciples aren’t drunk (it’s only nine in the morning), this is the fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy about the outpoured Holy Spirit (a big chunk of Joel is quoted)
‘Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy…
and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

to be continued…..

PSALM
I am in pain and distress; may Your salvation, O God, protect me.’
‘I will praise God’s name in song, and glorify Him with thanksgiving.’
‘You who seek God, may your hearts live!’
‘Let heaven and earth praise Him….’

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