Moving the Ark of the Covenant
into Jerusalem (II Samuel 6) had great spiritual significance. It
was accompanied by two unusual events with two severe punishments.
When the Ark was being brought in, the oxen stumbled, and the cart
was shaken. Uzzah stretched out his hand to steady the Ark and was killed
instantly. The punishment came because everyone (including David) had
totally ignored God's explicit instructions as to how the Ark should
be carried on poles by the Levites.
On the next attempt three months later, this same Ark was brought
into the city with joyous celebration. David was so jubilant that he
stripped off his kingly garments and danced in the street with the common
people. When his wife Michal despised him for this "dishonorable"
activity, the Lord punished her by making her forever childless.
These two events could be interpreted in many ways. Here is one possible
angle for us today: Bringing the Ark into Jerusalem is like bringing the
message of the kingdom and the presence of God back to Jerusalem; and two
elements must be included in the process - a Levitical-priestly order, and
free, passionate "Charismatic" worship.
Jewish (and some church) traditions contain many of the symbolic elements
of the ancient Levitical priesthood. These elements cannot be ignored. On
the one hand, we are no longer "under the Law"; and for us as Messianic
Jews, rabbinic tradition does not have authority over us. On the other
hand, the biblical holy days, the covenantal symbols and the protocol of
the Levitical priesthood were established by God and are a necessary part
of His kingdom.
Charismatic worship, including dancing, musical instruments, raising hands
and bowing knees, may not seem dignified at all times, but it is an honest
and sincere expression of our love of God. Tongues of fire, prophecies,
deliverance and all the charismatic gifts were an integral part of the
early community of faith. Yeshua said not to leave Jerusalem without the
baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5); certainly we can't return to
Jerusalem without it!
Jewish tradition reflects the Priestly element, while the charismatic gifts
reflect the Prophetic element. Both the Priestly and the Prophetic are
needed to bring back the King. Some want to be super charismatic without
the Jewish elements. Others want only Jewish tradition without the
charismatic elements. We seek to find the proper biblical balance.
Both are Necessary
For us as Messianic Jews in Israel, this balance means a delicate combining
of Jewish traditional elements with the charismatic gifts of the Spirit -
because the message of the kingdom is essentially both Jewish and -
Charismatic. (The original baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred on the -
Jewish holy day of Shavuot.)
It is not necessary for churches around the world to incorporate Jewish
elements in their own worship style. However, there should be an
understanding and deference to those Levitical-priestly elements within the
Messianic remnant of faith which is being re-established in Israel and
The combination of the Priestly and the Prophetic will pave the way for the
true King to return to His city. Combining the Jewish and charismatic
elements in the right biblical balance is fraught with many attacks and
difficulties. Yet both point the way to Yeshua, and both are absolutely
necessary. Let us learn our lessons from both Uzzah and Michal!
This article was previously published on 09Oct15
on the Revive Israel website