“He said to them, ‘You are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, that you may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it. For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order’" (1 Chronicles 15:12-13).
These words were spoken by King David following the great disaster that occurred the first time David tried to have the ark of God carried to Jerusalem. During this first time, David had the ark of God transported on a cart driven by Uzzah and Ahio (2 Samuel 6:1-5). God had not authorized the ark of God to be transported in this manner. As a result, when the oxen stumbled and Uzzah took hold of the ark of God to stabilize it, God’s anger was aroused as He struck Uzzah so that he died (2 Samuel 6:6-7). Following this David became angry and afraid (2 Samuel 6:8-9). This should teach us that there are negative consequences when we fail to fear God by not respecting God enough to seek how He wants us to serve Him and follow His proper order.
To King David’s credit, he did not remain angry. He decided to find out how God wanted the ark of God to be transported. God had specifically commanded that the ark of God was to be transported by having the priest carry it on their shoulders using poles (Exodus 25:14). As the opening verses above indicate, once David found out the proper way to carry the ark of God, he called the priests unto himself, told them what to do. Then we read, “And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 15:15). The ark of God is brought to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:16-28).
It is interested to note the great joy that David now feels following these events. God’s people went down to get the ark of God and brought it up to Jerusalem “with joy” (1 Chronicles 15:25). The people sang with “resounding joy” (1 Chronicles 15:16). As the ark of God is brought into Jerusalem, David “appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the Lord God of Israel” (1 Chronicles 16:4). David then composes a psalm and delivers it into the hand of Asaph and his brethren to thank the Lord: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!” (1 Chronicles 16:8-10). There is great joy to be had when we follow God’s proper order!
As I read these events, it serves as yet another reminder of why David is described as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). Although David had made a mistake earlier by not following God’s Word on how to transport the ark of God, David repented and sought to find out how God wanted the ark of God to be moved. As the powerful King of Israel, David was humble enough to submit himself to the Will of God. When he followed God’s Way, David’s anger over the tragedy that had happened to Uzzah was removed and his heart was filled with great joy!
Today, I will strive to consult God’s Will for how He wants me to worship Him. I will not try to come up with my own ideas of how to serve God. I will submit my will to His Will and let His joy fill my life!
“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods” (1 Chronicles 16:23-25).