From the very beginning of the Bible we see that there's a right way and a wrong way to come to God or to handle the things of God. Abel came to God His way as he presented to God a blood offering. "Abel had faith. So he offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did" (Hebrews 11:4, NIrV). Abel "brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering" (Genesis 4:4). Cain refused to come to God His way; instead, he offered to God some of the things that he had grown. In order to come to God His way Cain would have had to humble himself before Abel in order to obtain a sacrificial lamb. In his pride Cain thought that he could come to God his way. Blood must be shed; the innocent, the good must die on account of the guilty. Abel understood that. Cain did not and it cost him dearly.
David's intentions were pure (bringing the ark to the prepared place in Jerusalem) as was Uzzah's (reaching out to steady the ark) intentions. Through lack of teaching Uzzah's reaching out to steady the oxen (a good and logical thing to do) cost him his life--he wasn't a Levite.
In our arrogance we think that God accepts all of our worship. He does not. Hosea rebukes Israel for going through the motions of worship (bringing sacrifices to God) while they mistreated others, etc. (Hosea 6:6). They were guilty of doing the right thing the wrong way. Solomon, in his wisdom writing declares this truth: "There is a way that seems right, but the end thereof is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12).
God is holy and must be treated as holy. People must be taught how to approach God and how to handle the things of God.
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43
- How does this movement of the Ark of the Covenant differ from the previous one in I Chron. 13?
- Important to review Deuteronomy 7:14ff. David obviously takes seriously the need to know the Book of the Law. Read Numbers 3:5-13 for role of the Levites. Read Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:3-4 for the rules regarding the offering.
- What does David do to signify the importance of this occasion in the life of Israel?
- What does Michal's response tell you about her attitude toward the Lord and her view or understanding of a king's role? (Think also about her use of criticism as a controlling mechanism)
• What question does David address and answer in this Psalm?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to show you where you err in touching the things of God.