And the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his household. 2 Sam 6:1-11
The bible says, “I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favour to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11
We often hear of a person being in the wrong place at the wrong time and some people are at the right place at the right time. I always pray that God will order my step, so I can be at the right place at the right time. I pray this for you too today.
Such probably is the curious case of this man called Obed Edom. He was among the choice men of Israel. Thirty Thousand of them specially assembled by King David for a very special event! Thirty thousand men to help bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. All was set and the Ark was moved from the house of Abinadab.
Abinadab had been custodian of this most precious divine piece of furniture for about 20 years. His two sons, Ahio and Uzzah, placed the ark on a cart drawn by oxen. All was going well, until they got to Nachon’s threshing floor. Then drama, tragedy, the unthinkable happened. The oxen stumbled, the ark shook precariously and Uzzah, reached out his hands to steady the ark….then he died right there on the spot, because God struck him for his error. Was this a case of the wrong man in the wrong place?
David was angry and afraid. Disaster on what was supposed to be the most glorious, joyous day! He rejected the ark and asked for it to be taken away. Enter, Obed Edom. Remember there were 30,000 prominent men present. They all refused the ark. They all ran away. They all declined. But, Obed Edom ended up with the dreaded ark.
How did he end up with the ark?
How did he end up with the ark? Did David order him to take the ark into his house? Did he offer to take the ark? Either way, there are lessons to be learnt here. 1. We must obey our leaders, when we are instructed, and we must not refuse orders or make excuses. 2. With God, volunteering is highly priced. My troops shall volunteer freely in the day of my power – Psalm 110 comes to mind. Also, Jesus said, ‘many are called but few are chosen’. The chosen are those that offer to do the master’s bidding.
Obed Edom as his name indicates. Was a willing servant. Obed means servant and Edom, probably meant something about his colour or complexion. Edom means earthy, red. So, Obed Edom may have been a dark-skinned man. He was also referred to as the Gittite. Meaning he came from Gath. Gath was Philistine territory. So, he was also probably a philistine. How did a Philistine end up among the 30,000 choice men of Israel? It could be that when David was running away from Saul as a fugitive, when he took refuge in Philistine territory, he has a mixed bunch of warring men. Obed Edom may have been part of David’s army at that time and followed him all the way to Zion. (David had a special guard of troops called Cherethites (Pelethites). They were Philistines and they were part of David’s inner caucus.
This ‘foreigner’ ended up as the custodian of God’s ark and kept it for three months, and it was reported that God had blessed Obed Edom and all that he had. The right man in the right place, with the right attitude! The ark was in the house of Abinadab for about 20 years, yet there was no report of God blessing his house! Yet, Obed-Edom had the ark for just 3 months and God blessed him and his entire house hold.
In our next part we will explore why Obed Edom was so blessed. We will also draw out some key lessons from this interesting story.
God has a few questions for you today from the life of Obed Edom.
Are you willing to take a risk for me? Are you prepared to open up your life for me? Can I disrupt your personal plans, so I can fulfil my plans through you? Will you obey my call? Will you volunteer for the role? Can I trust you with my Ark?
Let us Pray: Father God, thank you for your word. Thank you for the message about Obed Edom. First Lord, I choose to be your servant. I also volunteer for whatever role you have for me this year. I saw Hineni Adonai. Here I am Lord, send me! Thank you for the grace to be at the right place at the right time with the right attitude. Thank you, Jesus, for being my best example. I submit all my life to you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.