5 Lessons from the Life of Obed-Edom

Obed-Edom was first mentioned in the Bible just after the death of Uzzah for touching the Ark of God. This happened during King David’s first attempt to move the Ark to Jerusalem. The Ark of God was placed in the home of Obed-Edom. He must have been a man of faith to allow this in his home; just after God had killed someone for touching it (this broke one of the commands of the Lord concerning the Ark). The ark of God remained with Obed-Edom for three months, and the Lord blessed his household and everything he owned.

When it came time to move the Ark to Jerusalem, (this time correctly) Obed-Edom had a choice. He could have stayed where he was and lived off of his past relationship with God or move with the Ark of God, staying in God’s presence and in relationship with God.

Obed-Edom had a desire for the Lord and moved with God. His desire for the Lord caused him to do whatever it took to be close to the Lord. He became a gatekeeper, a musician, and a doorkeeper for the Ark. Due to Obed-Edom’s desire and love for the Lord and his faithfulness, God begins again to bless him and promote him.

Here are 5 lessons from the life of Obededom 

1. Blessings Through Obedience

The initial act of obedience by Obed-Edom came when he accepted the Ark of the Covenant into his home after the death of Uzzah, who was struck down by God for touching the Ark, violating divine command (2 Samuel 6). Despite the obvious risk, given what happened to Uzzah, Obed-Edom welcomed the Ark. This was an act of obedience and respect towards what the Ark represented—the very presence and holiness of God.

The Bible records that Obed-Edom's household was blessed because of his willingness to keep the Ark (2 Samuel 6:11). This period in his life highlights how obedience to God’s commands and honoring His presence can lead to divine blessings. When the Ark resided in Obed Edom's home, the Bible clarifies that the Lord blessed Obed Edom and his entire household. This blessing was likely evident in various aspects of their lives, such as their prosperity, health, and overall well-being. It served as a confirmation that Obed Edom was appropriately fulfilling his role as a custodian of the sacred Ark.

The Bible specifically notes that "the LORD blessed Obed-Edom and all his household" during the three months the Ark remained in his house (2 Samuel 6:11). This blessing was likely evident in various forms—health, prosperity, and possibly increase in his household and fields. The direct correlation between his act of obedience in hosting the Ark and the blessings that followed underscores a fundamental biblical principle: obedience to God’s commands brings blessings.

The blessings Obed-Edom experienced were not merely temporary. The chronicler mentions that Obed-Edom had eight sons who had the strength to aid him in his duties because God had blessed him (1 Chronicles 26:4-8). This generational blessing indicates that the benefits of his initial obedience extended beyond his immediate circumstances, affecting his family lineage and their capacity to serve in temple duties.

2. Perseverance in Worship

Obed-Edom's experiences with the Ark of the Covenant, which housed the very essence of God's presence among the Israelites, transformed not only his life but also his approach to service and worship. After experiencing the blessings associated with hosting the Ark, Obed-Edom chose to relocate to Jerusalem when the Ark was moved to the city by King David (1 Chronicles 15:25). This move was significant—it showed his commitment to maintaining a close physical and spiritual proximity to God's presence.

Even after the Ark was taken from his home to Jerusalem, Obed-Edom continued to serve in the temple as a gatekeeper and a Levite musician (1 Chronicles 15:18, 1 Chronicles 16:5). His role did not diminish in importance with the relocation of the Ark; rather, it evolved to meet the needs of worship in the temple. 

Obed-Edom's story teaches us the importance of persevering in worship and maintaining reverence for God. Despite the initial tragedy, David brought the Ark to Jerusalem with reverence and worship. Christians today are encouraged to approach worship with reverence and humility, recognizing the holiness of God.

Obed-Edom's commitment to worship and service also had a lasting impact on his descendants, who continued in similar roles. This generational legacy demonstrates that his perseverance was not just a personal attribute but one that he instilled in his family, teaching them the value of steadfast dedication to God.

3. Legacy of faith and relationship with God

Obed-Edom’s decision to house the Ark of the Covenant, despite the risks involved, demonstrated his profound reverence and trust in God's sovereignty. This teaches that true faith often involves taking risks and stepping into situations where one's trust in God is both tested and strengthened. It's a reminder that living in reverence to God involves more than mere lip service; it requires actionable faith. 

Obed-Edom’s life exemplifies a deep, personal faith characterized by an ongoing dialogue of trust, service, and worship. He responded to God’s presence with awe and acted with a conviction that God is both holy and benevolent. His life teaches that a relationship with God involves more than just personal spiritual feelings; it includes public expressions of faith, daily decisions that align with God's will, and actions that demonstrate a commitment to living under God’s guidance. Obed-Edom’s relationship with God provides a model of faithful devotion, illustrating how respect, obedience, and active service contribute to a robust and rewarding spiritual life.

After the Ark was moved from his house, Obed-Edom could have easily returned to his previous life. Instead, he chose to relocate to Jerusalem to stay near the Ark, demonstrating perseverance in his devotion and worship. This shows the importance of persisting in faith, even when the circumstances change.

4. Wholehearted Service to God

Obed-Edom's decision to follow the Ark to Jerusalem and serve in the temple demonstrates his commitment to worship and service. He served as a gatekeeper, musician, and Levite, showcasing that service to God can take many forms and should be done wholeheartedly.

When the opportunity arose to house the Ark of the Covenant, Obed-Edom did not hesitate, despite the risks known to be associated with it. His willingness to accept the Ark into his home, following its disastrous stay at the house of Abinadab where Uzzah was struck down for touching it, shows a profound commitment to serving God’s purposes, regardless of personal risk. This act of faith and reverence signifies a readiness to serve God under any circumstances, highlighting the essence of wholehearted service.

By involving his family in temple service and setting a standard of faith and dedication, Obed-Edom ensured that his approach to service would perpetuate across generations. His sons and relatives continued to serve, evidencing that wholehearted service to God not only impacts one's life but also molds the character and choices of subsequent generations. This aspect of his life teaches the importance of modeling devotion and service in ways that inspire and instruct others, particularly younger family members.

5. Rewards of Hospitality

His willingness to host the Ark shows that spiritual hospitality can lead to unexpected blessings.

Obed-Edom’s hospitality exemplified his trust in God’s goodness and his reverence for God’s presence. Despite the potential risks, he opened his home to the Ark, demonstrating unwavering faith and devotion. This teaches that practicing hospitality involves trusting in God’s providence and honoring His sanctity, even in challenging circumstances.

The life of Obed-Edom teaches us that practicing hospitality—welcoming God’s presence into our lives and homes—leads to divine favor, tangible blessings, spiritual enrichment, generational impact, and the opportunity to exemplify trust and reverence. It shows the great rewards that come from opening our hearts and homes to God and others.

Obededom's story is a testament to the profound rewards of living a life that is deeply associated with faith and devotion, serving as a timeless example of how dedication to God enriches not only our own lives but also those of others around us, echoing through generations.

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