Sometimes, if we are not cautious, we can try do the right thing the wrong way, independent of God’s direction. Today in my personal Bible reading, I read such a story, an intriguing, yet tragic, story of good intentions gone awry. Sit back and learn a timely life’s lesson from this sad story recorded for us in I Samuel 6 and II Chronicles 13.
In the opening scene of this story we find King David, “a man after God’s own heart,” with a heart-felt desire to return the Ark of the Covenant (pictured above) to Israel’s worship center, Jerusalem. The Ark had been captured years before by the Philistines and never returned to its home in Jerusalem. The Ark represented the holiness and presence of God, the Holy Place where He met with His people. Many chapters of the Old Testament are dedicated to its construction, care, and if needed, its method of transport. Because the Ark mirrored that holiness of God, it was never to be touched by human hands, poles were to be used to lift it. This sense of holiness needed to be preserved, along with all the human preparation and cleansing of the priests that was required to approach a holy God. Although David had the best of intentions and loved his God deeply, he had a small lapse of carelessness regarding God’s clear instructions concerning the Ark. He took men, not priests (as required by God’s law) to fetch the Ark; He had the Ark placed “…upon on a new cart,” when it was to be borne on the shoulders of the priests. When the cart stumbled, a man named Uzzah felt it was his personal duty to intervene by placing his hand on the Ark. He “…put forth his hand to the ark of God” and was immediately struck dead, “…smote for his error.” One error, one misjudgment. The Ark had been in the house of Abinadab, Uzzah’s father, for quite a while; had Uzzah become accustomed to and careless with that holy presence in his home? Did “familiarity breed contempt” as the saying goes? I don’t know, we aren’t given insight into his heart’s motives. Perhaps his intentions were good, keeping that precious Ark from tumbling to the ground. But regardless of intent, punishment was swift. Needless to say, “And David was displeased..,” taken back by this severe judgment from the God he loved and served. He returned to Jerusalem without the Ark, bearing only the heaviness of a man’s life lost to that futile effort.
Years later, David would again attempt to move the Ark, but this time he tempered his zeal with knowledge, following God’s instruction exactly, bearing it on the shoulders of the priests. The resulting celebration, complete with shouting, singing, instruments of praise, not to mention a king dancing “… before the LORD with all his might;” proves that David learned a valuable lesson on following God’s Word precisely. Even our best intentions will not be pleasing to God if they are not in accordance with His Word. Have much zeal for the work of God, but temper that zeal with a knowledge of God’s Word. Be sure to accomplish His work His way.
Psalm 128:1 Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord, that walketh in his ways.
Help me to walk in fear of the Lord, always doing Your will Your way. Always make Your Word a blueprint for my life. I want to have a zeal for You, but please make we always aware that my zeal needs to be tempered with Your Word.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-140-656bd17a05442' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=140&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-140-656bd17a05442' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-140-656bd17a05442' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>