Today’s Overall Reading: 2 SAMUEL 6:12; 1 CHRONICLES 15:1-28; 2 SAMUEL 6:12-16; 1 CHRONICLES 15:29; 2 SAMUEL 6:17-19; 1 CHRONICLES 16:1-43; 2 SAMUEL 6:19-23
Today’s Post Specific Reading: 2 Samuel 6:12 – 23
180 Ways to Take your Coffee
Coffee is very important to a lot of people. I know in the United States coffee has become very big business with a Starbucks and every corner and a Caribou or some other beanery on every other corner. I admit, I looked forward to my cup of joe at White Hen Pantry on the way to work. At White Hen Pantry they had many flavored coffees, one day I would have a nice caramel coffee and the next a raspberry coffee. I always liked a change of pace and flavor.
Here in the Netherlands coffee is also very important. While I know of only one Starbucks in the whole country (at Schiphol airport) there are literally thousands of cafés that serve coffee. I have grown to like the Dutch coffee which is a bit stronger than in the US. When I have gone back to Chicago for a business trip or vacation, I always remark on how mild the coffee is there. I guess in some way I have adopted a Dutch taste for coffee, always asking for “Sterk” – strong.
One thing I do miss from the coffee station at the office in the states is that the coffee is brewed by the pot and you can walk up to it and pretty much get your coffee quickly. Here in the offices of the Netherlands, they all seem to use coffee machines where you push buttons to have your coffee specifically brewed your way. Sure, everyone can get their coffee their way, but when 5 people line up to get their coffee, and coffee for their team mates, the time to coffee can become rather long.
I was thinking about our coffee machines which offer coffee, espresso, cappuccino, hot water, tea, hot chocolate and consomé. We have a lot fo choice. Just within the area of coffee (excluding espresso and cappuccino) we have 180 different ways to take coffee. 5 strengths of coffee, 6 levels of milk (0 -5), and 6 levels of sugar (0-5). 180 ways to drink coffee! The machine realizes that 180 options are too many to remember so it will give you a four digit code so that you can simply tell your kind office mate that you would like a 0034 today (0034 = 5 strength coffee, no milk, 1 sugar). One of my office mates takes a 0004 which is the strongest black coffee there is. For a while I played coffee roulette and would spout out four numbers to my coworker, I would drink whatever they brought back.
What I have come to realize is that drinking coffee is a lot like worship and praise. There are 180 different ways to do it. If I like my coffee one way and you like yours another, that is OK – we are both drinking coffee. Let’s take a look at how 180 coffee options relate to today’s reading.
David – a dancing fool?
Today’s story of David has always been a problematic one for me. It is because I like David a lot. I have really enjoyed reading through his story this last week. He has been a constant image of a strong man dedicated to the Lord and justice. These are things I can stand behind. But today’s story throws me for a loop.
As a reminder, the Ark of the Covenant originally was kept in the tent of the tabernacle. It holds some manna, Aaron’s rod, and the original 10 commandment tablets. It has been last in battle during the time of Eli and recovered years later. But due to fear and circumstances it had never been returned to its rightful place. David as the chosen King of Israel decided it was time to move it to its home in Jerusalem. David organizes a grand procession with the Levites to move the Ark.
I Samuel 6: 12 – 15 (NLT)
12 Then King David was told, “The Lord has blessed Obed-edom’s household and everything he has because of the Ark of God.” So David went there and brought the Ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the City of David with a great celebration. 13 After the men who were carrying the Ark of the Lord had gone six steps, David sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. 15 So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.
During the procession David is seen singing and dancing about as the Ark of the Covenant is finally brought into Jerusalem. He seems to have been really celebrating the return of the Ark and the goodness of the Lord.
Unfortunately, my response to David’s dancing has been more in the line of Michal’s response.
I Samuel 6:16, 20 (NLT)
16 But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.
20 When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”
Not that I would have despised David in my heart, but I definitely would have thought that it was not proper for a king to make such a display. To me he seemed almost out of control.
But lets look at the verses that I skipped. Let’s take a look at the whole story…
I Samuel 6:17 – 19, (NLT)
17 They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. 18 When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19 Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes.
When confronted by a very embarrassed wife, David responded:
I Samuel 6:21 – 22 (NLT)
21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!”
David’s purpose and reason at all times has been to honor the Lord. He is celebrating the goodness of the Lord and the trying to honor the people, the Lord and his own family. As we have read about the life of David we have seen time after time he has tried to be a man of God, honoring the Lord and seeking justice. David is not a man to lose thought of the Lord in these manners.
This is a tough lesson for me, if you know me well, you know I would never be caught dancing in the streets with drums and cymbals. My style of worship is much more stoic and reserved. It does not mean that I don’t praise the Lord, it does not mean I don’t love the Lord. It means I like my coffee strong with a bit of sugar. You or David might like your coffee, mild with a lot of milk and artificial sweetener. The point is we like coffee. .
The point is we should worship and praise the Lord. Read David’s song in 1 Chronicles 16 to see how much David’s heart and actions on that day were right. David was praising the Lord!