-A Symbol Of God’s Presence!
In my last post, I talked about Israel’s Ark of the Covenant that God instructed Moses to build as a reminder of the Covenant which God had made with Israel. It symbolized God’s presence with His people; and, that’s why it was so devastating to Israel when King Saul & the army was defeated by the Philistines & the Ark was part of the plunder they stole away from Israel. After succeeding Saul as king, David’s first priority, after securing the nation militarily,, was to retrieve the Ark & bring it to the capital city of Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13).
-The Disturbing Story Of Uzzah!
That’s where we find the disturbing story of Uzzah. As all Israel joined King David, in celebration, as they brought the Ark to Jerusalem, Uzzah reaches out to steady the Ark as the oxen, who pulled the Ark, stumbled! And, it says that God “…struck him dead…” because he touched it (v.9). Doesn’t that seem harsh to you? Well, it did to King David. It says, “David was angry because of the Lord’s outburst against Uzzah, so he named that place Outburst Against Uzzah, as it is still named today. David feared God that day and said, ‘How can I ever bring the ark of God to me?’” (13:11) But, to David’s credit, his fear of God was that Holy kind of fear that drove him back to God in confession & repentance!
-Back To God’s Word!
And, ultimately back to the Word of God; where, we all need to go when we’re confused by the events that Sovereign God choreographs into our lives! Two chapters later, we read, “David built houses for himself in the city of David, and he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, ‘No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before Him forever.’” (1 Chronicles 15) There’s only one place where David would have learned that— the Word of God! David returned to God’s word. If you flip back, in your Bibles, to 1 Chronicles 13, you’ll see David’s fatal mistake, in v.1, when it says that David consulted “men” rather than God’s Word. And, Uzzah paid for David’s mistake with his own life!
-The Wrong Kind Of Worship!
There’s an incredibly important lesson here, when it comes to worshipping God! God is never pleased by our worship when we’re disobedient to His revealed will. In other words, there is a right way to worship God & there is a wrong way to worship Him. And, the only way we can know that we’re worshipping God rightly is to compare our worship with the Scriptures! Jesus said: “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit & truth.” John 4:24
-Worship In Spirit And Truth!
The correct posture, for Worship, includes our spirit AND TRUTH! David had the right spirit about bringing the Ark of God to Jerusalem; but, he wasn’t operating in the truth of God’s revealed will! And, let’s remember that David wasn’t in defiance of God’s Word! He was ignorant of it! God has revealed His Word to us & He makes us responsible for knowing it! Again, I can’t emphasize enough how desperate we need to be to carve time, out of our schedule, every day to read a portion of God’s Word! We’re responsible for knowing what He’s said! You and I need to learn the same lessons that David learned; and, in the truest sense it really wasn’t about the Ark at all! It’s about our attitude toward God when He speaks! It’s about elevating the message of His Word and obeying it! We need to apply, to our own lives, the lesson David learned: “God is never pleased by our worship when we’re disobedient to His revealed will”