Have you ever done something that seemingly, in our eyes , would please God but it goes all wrong and fails miserably? Today we look into King David’s life and witness this exact thing and we will find out why everything went wrong.
We’ve been studying the life of David and the lessons relevant to life today for us to learn. We last covered David’s fall with Bathsheba where we learned it’s not how terrible or how much we have sinned that matters to God, but how much we trust His mercy and forgiveness that pleases Him, that when our eyes are on His love instead of our failures we have the right focus.
Let us look at a very unusual moment in David’s life when he brings The Ark of The Covenant back to Jerusalem. When you first look at the story it may seem irrelevant but there’s a powerful lesson in the events we are about to study, but first let’s get some background on The Ark:
The Ark Of The Covenant was first crafted in the days of Moses when the Israelites were first led out of Egypt. It was the most holy piece of the Tabernacle God had instructed the Israelites to build as they travelled the desert as a nation under Him.
The Tabernacle was a portable Temple of worship and The Ark was the literal resting place of God’s very presence amongst the people. It was around 3 feet 9 inches long, 2 feet 3 inches wide, and 2 feet 3 inches high and could only be seen by the High Priest only once a year on the Day Of Atonement. When the Ark was to be moved due to It’s incredible Holiness and importance as the literal presence of God there was a very special and specific way to move it and it involved only the Levites. The Priests had be Levites but not all Levites were Priests. The Priests would handle and cover the articles of the Tabernacle in preparation for travel since the Priests were the only ones who could touch The Ark, after The Ark had been prepared for travel only the family from the Levites, the Kohathites, were to carry The Ark.
They could only carry The Ark by hand on their shoulders and never allowed to touch or see The Ark. Poles were used to accomplish this. So to recap only the Priests could touch or see The Ark and prepare it for travel and only the Kohathites, using poles, could lift and carry The Ark but they could never see or touch The Ark.
Now The Ark had been with the Israelites until the end of the life of Eli, a judge of Israel. It had been captured by the Philistines but they only kept it 7 months and during that time they moved it 3 times. First it was in Ashdod where it was left with the Idol of the Philistine God Dagon, of which every morning the idol would be facedown before The Ark as well as tumors breaking out on the people of the city, so it was moved to Gath, Goliath’s home city, were death and tumors became rampant, so it was then moved to Ekron but death and tumors followed there as well.
The Philistines had had enough of Israel’s God so they placed it on a new cart, hitched 2 cows with young calves to the carts sending the calves home, then waited to see what would happen. The cows then took The Ark straight into Israel, lowing in distress all the way, to the city of Beth Shemesh a priestly city (Joshua 21:16). The priests should have known how to care for The Ark, but instead the people of the city looked into The Ark resulting in the deaths of 70 (some translation say 50,070) of their men.
Rather than ask “How can we change our ways to live right before God’ they asked “Where can we send The Ark, so the Holiness of God won’t be a problem for us”? Instead of repenting they chose to get rid of God’s presence. They sent The Ark to Kirjath Jearim to a Levite family the House of Abinadab. They consecrated Abinadab’s son Eleazar to be a priest and care for The Ark. He did everything right in God’s eye in caring for The Ark and there It remained for 70 years, because they were afraid to move it.
Now that brings us to our story. Years after David became King he took the city of Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it the capital of Israel and he wanted to bring the Glory of the Presence of God back to Jerusalem, so were his intentions good, YES, but let’s see what happens…
2 Samuel 6:1-11
Did you catch all that, they used the Philistines idea and used a new cart to transport The Ark, over 30,000 were there with excitement, joy and enthusiasm but then when Uzzah touches The Ark he dies instantly. We immediately think God was harsh on Uzzah, it was just a quick reaction to try and help. But do you remember God’s commands for transporting The Ark? Only the Kohathites could carry The Ark, and only carry It on there shoulders, and it was never to be seen or touched during transportation. So every command was broken. A total disregard to God’s Plan and Commandments. They chose what was easiest and best in their eyes over following God, it was their choice to cheapen God’s Holiness by putting The Ark in plain view before all the people and allowing anyone to touch it. The Ark should have never been placed in the position were it was revealed or transported in such a way it would be in danger of falling, so In their zeal and desire to worship God they forgot the most important Thing: GOD!
Now no one was more loved by God than David, but yet David disregarded God’s commands. He transported The Ark just like the Philistines did, not according to God’s commands. He disregarded God’s commands, he did it his way instead of God’s instructions. How many of us do this today? Even though we have specific instructions from His Word we choose our way, some out of ignorance to His Word some out of disregard.
David followed the pagans example as their basis instead of God’s Word. Are you using the world’s example of how to serve God, do your thing since your service to Him He will overlook this one thing? Because I’m being “faithful and sincere” and have “good intentions” He will overlook me not following His Word. How’d that work out for David?
Some of us walk contrary to God’s way even though we try and worship Him in other ways; by doing blatant things such as living together, uncontrolled lusts, sexual behavior, homosexuality or by living our lives by unforgiving, critical, selfish, not cherishing or respecting our spouses, not giving of ourselves to others at church, not loving and serving sacrificially. Living in these ways are just as rebellious.
And to anyone today who have gone off the rails in how you choose to follow God in what you call sin verses what you call love, how you disrespect the truth and infallibility of God’s Word because it’s popular, safe, or convenient. You can’t place God’s Holiness and Wisdom beneath your own. You can’t show irreverence for Him. You can’t follow what you or the world wants in ignorance to His love and desires, no matter how passionate, extreme, or well intended you may be.
Romans 2:19-20, 23-24
Should you follow yours or the world’s plan instead of God’s you will never please Him, never show the real God to anyone or even truly help anyone. You will never understand His reasoning, love and plan, and you will never have His blessing or fellowship, and eventually you will have to answer to Him and give an account; so please understand this and worry about living and trusting Christ over the world.
2 Samuel 6:8
David’s first reaction was anger. Do you ever get angry at God for seemingly unfair actions in your life? If so how about evaluate whether He may be trying to warn or discipline you. This is not always the case but Biblical example would show this would be wise to do.
2 Samuel 6:9
David became afraid, because the Presence of God had nearly destroyed 3 Philistine cities, crippled and Israeli city, and now killed Uzzah in front of 30,000 people. So imagine how Obed-Edom felt when David put The Ark in his home. “Hey this Thing has killed and hurt people it has touched for over 70 years so you keep it.” David should have been asking “God how can we change so that we may live in Your Presence in joy and peace.”, but instead they decided it was to hard and risky to live in God’s Presence so they tucked Him away.
How many of us put God away? Not pursued Him because you don’t want to deal with His Holiness in your life? You’d rather live as is than walk with God.
David in his zeal to be close to God finally did the right thing…
2 Samuel 6:11-13
Notice now they are 'bearing The Ark' and 'are walking'. A different account gives more detail…
1 Chronicles 15:1-15
David studied God’s Word and realized and took blame for his mistake. He decided God’s presence was worth any change, any work any risk. David honored God by doing things God’s way.
We can learn an intimate lesson even from how God instructed The Ark to be Carried. He wanted it to be carried carefully every step of the way, personaaly in contact with His Presence, carefully caring for it every step of the journey, constantly aware of His Presence and making It the main focus of the journey.
God wants us to consciously, carefully take every step with Him. If you are not living with Him first, foremost, reverenced, and personal, you are not walking according to scriptures:
2 Samuel 6:14-15
Lastly David took of his royal garments and looked like a commoner. He danced in the parade; he shouted praises; he did this to show he understood every man is equal and accountable to God. He was under His authority as well as every commoner. Even David’s wife reprimanded him for not looking royal but debased in front of the people, but David loved God and he had the secret to God’s heart….Trust and reverence God enough to do it His way no matter the cost! Carry His load lovingly and purposefully every step of the journey and humble yourself before Him.
Let us live purposefully, reverently, and consciously for God in our life, not according to the world.
And to all His churches: wake up. Carry and teach His Presence in truth and righteousness; not according to how the world tells you to carry It, but according to God. Care more about Him than being popular or growing in numbers. Trust that His ways are full of wisdom and the only way to help others love.
Looking for something specific? Use our search bar below