DIY Cedar Window Boxes
“As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window.” -2 Samuel 6:16
The fight of David and Goliath under the reign of Israel’s first king, Saul . . . we all know this inspiring story- gathering stones, sling shot, giant down and beheaded by a child shepherd/now warrior. God’s Spirit was with David and blessed him in all that he did. David became a great warrior for Israel before God eventually appointed him to be their next king.
David had married the youngest daughter of King Saul, Michal, for a bride price of 100 dead Philistines. Michal was compliant because she loved the handsome, heroic David. However, dramatic events preceded and followed the marriage of this royal couple. Saul tried to kill David numerous times; once Michal had helped him escape out of a window. Then Saul married Michal off to someone else to spite David, but David went to get her back. The couple eventually rejoined, even though David had taken other wives. Overall, they had enormous strain on their marriage.
It was of vital importance to David’s leadership to retrieve the blessed Ark of the Covenant from Israel’s enemies. Upon success, David was so full of complete elation that this respected leader broke out in a crazy-fool dance in front of everyone in the street. I imagine people dancing and laughing with him, being completely silly in this communal victory for the Lord. And all the while, Michal, his wife, watched from the window, while he danced around the sacred box . . .
To understand this scene, we need to learn about the Ark of the Covenant. A covenant is an agreement, or promise, between two parties. A conditional covenant is where both parties agree to fulfill their explicit expectations; when the expectations are unmet by either side, the covenant is broken and no longer binding. But God offered an unconditional covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3, Gen. 15), but instead of binding Abraham as the second party, God offered Himself as the first and second party. He is essentially making an unconditional covenant with Himself, by Himself, on behalf of Abraham and his descendants. God is bound to the Israelites, no matter their disobedience. It’s almost like taking out a loan from God, but your credit is bad, so God signs as the lender and the applicant but gives you the money with no obligation.
Through the Abrahamic covenant, God’s promises are ownership of fruitful land, descendants (childless at the time), with blessing and redemption of sin. God was/is responsible for paying the debt to Himself (which was done through Christ, being His Son and also God). The promise of redemption will be completely fulfilled on the second coming of Christ and the day of judgment (Isaiah 61:2).
Beyond Abraham, God continued to make covenants with his descendants to affirm these promises, but also to show His love and care for them personally. God’s covenant with David (the Davidic covenant, 2 Sam. 7:12-13) consisted of promises of land free from oppression, that his son, Solomon, would be king after him, that Solomon would build God’s temple, that the Messiah would come from David’s bloodline, and that Christ’s house would rule forever. So to say that David had personal interest and faith in covenants is putting it lightly. All of his future hope rested in those promises.
From the very beginning, the Israelites were commanded to not have any idols or tangible relics to worship. But there was one holy relic they were commanded to protect, cherish, and revere- the Ark of the Covenant. God gave exact dimensions and specifications for every detail of the construction of a large box to Moses at Sinai. The Ark was almost the shape of a big deep coffin, made of wood, plated with gold inside and out, and extremely ornate. There were rings which poles slid into that would allow the priests to carry it without touching it. The top of the box had two facing Cherubs with wings that joined.
The contents of the Ark were the tablets with the Decalogue (10 Commandments) written on them, a pot of manna (food God provided in the desert), and Aaron’s fruitful rod (God’s sign that Aaron and the tribe of Levi would be the nation’s priests) . When not traveling, the Ark was to be kept in the Tabernacle in the Holy of Holies (a room that nobody but the high priest was allowed in except once a year). It was where God’s Spirit would reside to be among the people, so it needed to stay pure. Anyone who would touch the Ark directly (and sometimes just look at it without permission) would be killed instantly, and many were. Sin cannot live in God’s presence.
The Ark of the Covenant was a tangible sign that reminded the Israelites of God’s promises and residence among them. They would bring it to their battles, it led the way of their travels, and it was the center of their worship of the Lord. When God allowed the Ark to be taken from them in battle, very bad things happened to the stealers and to the losers of the Ark. Even though God’s unconditional covenant would not be broken, the Israelites felt that God had left them, and with Him left His abundant promises.
When David was finally able to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to the people (after it had been away for 20+ years), he knew they had finally been reconciled with God! All the people felt like God had been away, and now finally He was back and ready to bless them again! He was so ecstatic David danced like a fool in the streets. But his wife, Michal, stood at the window observing this foolishness. She witnessed the humiliating joy of her husband (that she thought beneath his royal position) and allowed her last drop of love for him to make the final spoilage to bitterness. And she despised him in her heart. Later on (giving her the opportunity to stew for awhile), “when David returned home to bless his household”, she “came out to meet him and said, ‘How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!’”
David responded, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”
Zing! Ouch. There’s nothing like resentment to turn a blessing into a curse. God was David’s first love, and nobody was going to stand in the way of his joy, even his wife. But why was she not out there with them; dancing like a spasmodic teenager? Michal apparently did not share the joy-producing-faith of her husband or the rest of the rejoicing people. While the whole nation was celebrating, she stood by the window, fertilizing her detestation for David. Believe me, I know this scene; in fact, I’ve lived it a long time. Sinful pride keeps you at the window and holds you back from dancing in the street. Godly humility allows you to fully rejoice in the Lord, no matter what people think or what you may think of yourself!
What does the knowledge of God’s promises do for you? Do you trick yourself into thinking you are experiencing God when really you are only watching others take joy in Him? Are you living with shame, wondering why Jesus isn’t “working for you” and blaming others for your unhappiness? Like David, when you humbly acknowledge that God has forgiven your sin and chosen you to fulfill His purpose, celebration follows! Instead of trying to force God and others to work for you, ask God to choose you for His purpose!
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:25-31
So I’m going to ask you what others asked me before my salvation. Where’s your joy? If you don’t know, I urge you to keep asking, praying and learning until you find out what this means. Are you merely observing the joy that others find in the Lord while you stand by the window watching? Or are you on the ground dancing like a fool around God’s precious box of promises that He meant for you? Window or box?
This is where I left you with the last post.
I did some experimenting with the stain I had on hand, and let Nate choose. Keep in mind, it’s kind of hard to take a small swatch and imagine it all over the doors of your house.
This is the one he liked best. I was surprised he like the red so much, but I trust his designer’s eye.
These are all of the boxes I have to stain.
These are the two stains I used. This will be the future stain on the exterior doors and garage door.
Follow the wood grain with your strokes. I applied the red Gunstock first.
Then streaked in the Mahogany gel stain and blended.
I only stained the inside lip a few inches. The inside will be covered with a lining.
And after a significant amount of time and care not to smudge my hard work before it dried, I have a completed stained pile of boxes.
I then moved onto the brackets. The only ones I could find that I liked (and didn’t cost a fortune) were interior dark brown. All of our hardware on this house will be black. So this is the paint I used.
I sprayed them over cardboard; this paint is pretty messy (said my arms today).
And left them in a box to dry.
Then I coated them with polyurethane for more protection against rust.
When the boxes were dry, I drilled drain holes in the bottom.
I started with the smallest window, that also happens to be on the ground level. I attached the dried brackets to the box first.
Since these boxes will not be food grade, I had no issues with lining them with plastic. I cut my desired length and draped it over. I used an electric stapler to attach the plastic to the sides. Then poked holes in the plastic to line up with my drain holes.
Basement door before.
Basement door after.
After I attached the smallest one, I started on the highest ones. These I attached the boxes first by drilling 4 screws into the boxes, attaching the tops to the house. Then, due to the slope of the siding, I made supports to fit under the brackets. I clamped them to drill my holes.
This wasn’t quite as simple as it looks, but still easy.
I used 3 different kinds of screws to make sure they were secure and the depth was correct in all the right places. I will eventually paint the supports the same color as the house (whenever we choose a color). In this photo you can see the 3 boxes completed. It started to pour rain on me so this is all I got done on Day 1 of hanging.
When we take off the screen door, this entry will eventually be very attractive . . . when I fix the garage door . . . and paint the house.
I’m surprised how much better the wood stain makes the blue color look! I have just moved from loathing the blue to mere toleration. And who knows, it might even change to charming when I finish the front!
Then I moved to the front door. Using the same spray paint, I removed then blackened the house numbers.
I attached the numbers to the new box, and moved the mailbox up a little.
Whole front before.
Current stage of the house. The fun shall continue . . . when I can afford to put flowers in these babies. 😉