Caricature of Reality #2

Summary: Following the movement of the Ark in early Israelites history, we learn that God is holy and that means that he is not a commodity, but Lord. It also means that even though Joy is appropriate and even commanded, God must be approached with reverence before he can be approached with Joy. It is only when we have reverence that we can acceptably have joy in the Lord.

Open (5 minutes)

1. Was there ever a time when you were joyful to see another person? Who was it and where?

Dig (20-25 minutes)

2. Why did God lash out so harshly at the people of Beth Shemesh when the Ark returned to them?

3. Why did the people of Beth Shemesh want to send the Ark away out of sight? What does this say about their understanding of God?

4. How was David's treatment of God when he first attempted to bring the Ark to Jerusalem similar to the men of Beth Shemesh's treatment of God?

5. What did both David and the people of Beth Shemesh need to understand about God?

6. Why does David rejoice and leap about at the second attempt to bring the Ark to Jerusalem? The first two times the Ark moved prior to this there was also rejoicing that resulted in disaster? Was David being irreverent? Explain.

7. Why was the joy of the Beth-Shemites and of David's first procession repugnant enough to God that is caused him anger? What does this say about the character of God?

Apply (20 minutes)

8. When is joy appropriate according to these passages?

9. How is your reaction similar to David's when you approach God? How is it different?

10. What can you do to help nurture the reverence that is necessary before rejoicing?

11. What do you need to change about your prayer habits from what you have learned in this lesson?