Learning the Hard Way!
The Ark had been out of circulation for 40 years. It was last in Israel when it was taken into battle by Eli’s sons against the Philistines. The Philistines defeated the Israelites and captured the Ark about 40 years prior to David retrieving it. The Ark showed itself to be God while with the Philistines. The Philistines wanted to rid themselves of it, so they sent it back to Israel on a new cart. The people of Beth Shemesh investigated the Ark by opening the cover and looking in. As a result, over 50,000 men were killed. After that they didn’t want anything to do with the Ark either.
They sent word for the men of Kirjath Jearim to come get it. They did and put it in the house of Abinadab (Saul’s Son). It stayed there probably 20 years with Eleazar, (Abinadad’s Son who was consecrated to look after it.) During the 40 years that Saul was King he never consulted the Ark for instructions from the Lord.
When Saul died, David was made king over Israel. So, David decided to procure the Ark of God from Kirjath-Jearim (a day’s journey away) so he can ask God how to operate being king. David takes singers and musicians with him, and they make a great celebration of it. Somehow, they manage to put the Ark on a new cart and started toward Jerusalem. They were proceeding well, and you could hear the music joyously penetrating the quiet of the countryside. People came out to see what was happening and lining the sides of the road toward Jerusalem.
Then something occurred that stopped the parade in its tracks. As joyous as it had been, it was now eerily somber and quiet. The oxen stumbled and the Ark moved and Uzzah, David’s long-time friend who was driving the Ark, put his hand out to keep the Ark from falling off the cart. He was immediately struck down (killed) by God for his actions. David was angry, upset, and afraid. How could David move the Ark to Jerusalem to be with Him doing the things he wanted to do in God’s presence and instruction if things like this were going to occur? David stopped, did not go any further and left the Ark where it was, at the house of Obed-edom. (2 Samuel 6:6-11)
Maybe that is how you are dealing with things in ministry these days. You desire to have God in your ministry and His presence to be around you, because you love Him so much, but things just aren’t working out the way you planned, and people are getting hurt, and you don’t know what to do next, so you have just stopped.
David’s heart is right. He wants God’s presence in his life, but David wants God’s presence his way instead of God’s way. David turns his anger into learning why what happened, happened? He learned how to do things God’s way which wasn’t taught for 40 years. That is where we are. So much of what we have done in ministry is based on human ideas rather than God’s Word. As God’s kids we serve God best when we learn how to pastor our flocks according to His instructions. Right now, David learned the hard way! Maybe that is us also. So, let’s study God’s Word for His instructions and commit to follow these instructions even if they seem “old fashioned” and haven’t been taught for 40 years or more.