David determined to bring the ark of God to the city of David, to Jerusalem. It began badly. After loading the ark of God on a new cart, the oxen stumbled, the ark thrust sideways, and “Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God” (2Samuel 6:6-7). The celebration turned to grief. What happened?
The problem: David determined to bring the ark. He talked to his leaders, “David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with every leader” (1Chronicles 13:1). He talked to the people, “All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people” (1Chronicles 13:4). Of course he talked to God, right? He always talks to God. Look how often, “David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I…?'”–1Samuel 23:3; 1Samuel 30:8; 2Samuel 2:1; 2Samuel 5:19. Except not this time. He did not ask God if God wanted his ark in Jerusalem. And, tragically, he did not ask God how to carry the ark.
God’s word was clear, but forgotten. “You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark by them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it” (Exodus 25:12-15). The ark was to be carried on the shoulders by four Kohathite men, and “they must not touch the holy things, lest they die” (Numbers 4:15). And “Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it.”
It began badly, because it began without God.
Heavenly Father, I worship You and You alone. You are God and there is no other. May I worship You the way You want, the way You ask me to, the way that pleases You. God, too often I worship You to please myself and others. May I be more concerned about Your pleasure than mine. I give You Sunday; may I worship You Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as well, and may my worship be seen in my love for others. May my life be a living sacrifice.
God, help me be Your servant to the poor and the needy. Let me be one who reads Your Word and follows Your ways. To worship You, obedience comes before sacrifice. Keep me from becoming self-centered, world-centered. May I be heavenly minded and passionate about You. Mold my heart, so that it desires all things good and righteous.