6 1David mustered the pick of the troops of Israel—thirty divisions of them. 2Together with his soldiers, David headed for Baalah to recover the Chest of God, which was called by the Name God–of–the–Angel–Armies, who was enthroned over the pair of angels on the Chest. 3They placed the Chest of God on a brand–new oxcart and removed it from Abinadab’s house on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were driving the new cart 4loaded with the Chest of God, Ahio in the lead and Uzzah alongside the Chest. 5David and the whole company of Israel were in the parade, singing at the top of their lungs and playing mandolins, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. 6When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, so Uzzah reached out and grabbed the Chest of God. 7God blazed in anger against Uzzah and struck him hard because he had profaned the Chest. Uzzah died on the spot, right alongside the Chest. 8Then David got angry because of God’s deadly outburst against Uzzah. That place is still called Perez Uzzah (The–Explosion–Against–Uzzah). 9David became fearful of God that day and said, “This Chest is too hot to handle. How can I ever get it back to the City of David?” 10He refused to take the Chest of God a step farther. Instead, David removed it off the road and to the house of Obed–Edom the Gittite. 11The Chest of God stayed at the house of Obed–Edom the Gittite for three months. And God prospered Obed–Edom and his entire household. 12It was reported to King David that God had prospered Obed–Edom and his entire household because of the Chest of God. So David thought, “I’ll get that blessing for myself,” and went and brought up the Chest of God from the house of Obed–Edom to the City of David, celebrating 13extravagantly all the way, with frequent sacrifices of choice bulls. 14David, ceremonially dressed in priest’s linen, danced with great abandon before God. 15The whole country was with him as he accompanied the Chest of God with shouts and trumpet blasts. 16But as the Chest of God came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, happened to be looking out a window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before God, her heart filled with scorn. 17They brought the Chest of God and set it in the middle of the tent pavilion that David had pitched for it. Then and there David worshiped, offering burnt offerings and peace offerings. 18When David had completed the sacrifices of burnt and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of God–of–the–Angel–Armies 19and handed out to each person in the crowd, men and women alike, a loaf of bread, a date cake, and a raisin cake. Then everyone went home. 20David returned home to bless his family. Michal, Saul’s daughter, came out to greet him: “How wonderfully the king has distinguished himself today—exposing himself to the eyes of the servants’ maids like some burlesque street dancer!” 21David replied to Michal, “In God’s presence I’ll dance all I want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me prince over God’s people, over Israel. Oh yes, I’ll dance to God’s glory22—more recklessly even than this. And as far as I’m concerned . . . I’ll gladly look like a fool . . . but among these maids you’re so worried about, I’ll be honored no end.” 23Michal, Saul’s daughter, was barren the rest of her life.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About