Holy and Undignified

Day 1

Read 2 Samuel 6:1-11

Slow down when you read this passage and really try to imagine the scene that is playing out.  It is pretty incredible to think about this parade of over 30,000 people singing and dancing in praise following this cart with the Ark of the Lord on it.  This was a celebration that marked the idea of God fulfilling His promises through David. Imagine trusting God for years through all sorts of trials and turmoil and then you finally get what you knew was promised the whole time. That is the emotion and worship that is born out of this situation.  But emotions and even the label of worship doesn’t justify everything.  This act is out of bounds, not because of the loud music and dancing, but because that took over the atmosphere of following God’s words of how to move the ark.  It made sense to roll it down the hill on a cart, because that was easiest.  But beware when convenience takes the place of God’s word!

What parts of this story do you see that God had a problem with?

How do you wrestle with what happened to Uzzah and what you know about God?

Have you ever felt like David, confused and angry at something that God clearly did?

Why do you think the text takes time to tell us about how Obed-edom was blessed when the ark stayed with him?

How have you experienced the blessing that comes with God’s presence in your life and household?

Day 2

Read 2 Samuel 6:12-23

This is one of those texts that you have to be careful with.  You can spend time guessing at what is going on with Michal and making presumptions about why she was doing what she was doing, but that would be unfair.  We are only told what we are told here.  In fact, we want to be careful with what we are told as well.  Surely this text is not giving acceptance to stripping down and dancing barely dressed as David did!  And surely the point of this text is not to teach that all worship should be undignified.  So what is the point?

What do you think is ok to say and learn about Michal from this text?

What do you think is ok to say and learn from David in this text?

What does this teach you about worship and what does it make you think cautiously about worship?

How do you personally respond to this text in your week?

Why not share some thoughts on the app?

Day 3

Read 1 Corinthians 13

You are familiar with this chapter.  But maybe you are not familiar with the context of this chapter in the greater story of 1 Corinthians.  It is not about a husband and wife, but about a church and it’s worship service.  Paul was writing about all sorts of chaos and issues that the church in Corinth were experiencing.  Their worship services had started to dive into a mess that was distracting and confusing.  So he laid it all out and told them that worship was not about their own personal feelings and experiences, but were ordered in a way that considered those worshipping with them and those watching them worship that may not believe like they do.  He lays it out and then dives right into this chapter.  

With the understanding of this chapter being about the church’s public worship practices, what do you learn from this chapter now?

How is that different from how you usually think about this passage?

What part of this chapter seems to be missing in churches today and why do you think that is?

How does these thoughts impact your day today?

Day 4

Read Isaiah 40:9-31

Storms are small.  Well, not from down here, but if you were to see them from the context of the world, they are small smatterings that show up and blow through.  Perspective is helpful and that is what this chapter is more than anything.  We don’t spend enough time trying to understand just how great God is.  So take some time today to do that.  Just read these verses and stop thinking about yourself and what it means for you.  Just see God.

What do these verses make you feel?

What is your favorite part of these verses and why?

What part do you struggle to wrap your mind around or imagine?

How can this fit into your prayer today?

Day 5

Read Isaiah 40:9-31 (again, I know!)

Do it again.  I know you already did and some of you are not doing these in days, so you looked at these verses just a few minutes ago.  Don’t do that.  Come back to it in another day.  Sometimes when I am reading this, it truly brings tears to my eyes.  Other times when I am reading this, I get an adrenaline rush that makes me ready to conquer the world.  

Ok, take the time to bring it home, why are these images helpful for you at this moment in your life?

How does this perspective help how you will face your world today?

Why not share some thoughts on the app with others reading these devotions today?

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