1069: Sincere, But Sincerely Wrong
Have you ever done something you believed was right but it turned out all wrong? You were earnest and sincere, but didn't do something correctly and the end result wasn't what you desired. You found out it isn't enough to be sincere, for you can be sincere and still be wrong. David learned that important lesson as you will see in this week's lesson in our life on the throne series.
THE ARK TILTS
After David twice defeated the Philistines in battle, he turned his attention to spiritual matters. He and 30,000 of his followers decided to bring the ark of God from where it was to be with them in Jerusalem. We read,
They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals (2 Samuel 6:3-5).
Unfortunately, the road was not smooth and tragedy struck as they got closer to their destination:
When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God (2 Samuel 6:6-7).
David was angry and offended that his sincere efforts had caused the death of one of the worshipers: "Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah" (2 Samuel 6:8). David went back to his kingly duties after that, but the incident weighed heavy on his mind as he wondered how something so right could have gone wrong so badly.
LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN
We then read in another book that David didn't forget about transporting the ark, but this time relied on more than sincerity to get the job done:
[David] said to them, “You are the heads of the Levitical families; you and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselves and bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.” So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves in order to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. And the Levites carried the ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the Lord (1 Chronicle 13:12-15).
On his second attempt, David was not only sincere but was also accurate and thus he successfully brought the ark to its new home.
This reminds me of when a group of men and I started a business. We were sincere, we were zealous, we were prayerful—but the business ended in failure. Why? It's because I was trying to make money even though the business did not relate to my purpose (plus I was in partnership with some who were less than honest in their business dealings). God had to teach me to pay more attention to His voice and not just my bank account.
The good news is that I found my purpose from that failure and have been teaching others how to find theirs for more than 30 years. I learned, just like David did, and thus I was able like he was to move on from my mistake to do things the way God wanted them done. How about you? Are you still angry or sulking after your lesson that sincerity is not enough? Can you learn from the experience so you can act more in accordance with God's will and way for your life?
David obviously did his research after the death of his comrade who touched the ark. If like him you seek the Lord, which involves humbly accepting that God is moved by faith and not just by sincerity, then you'll be able to move on your error to serve and obey God more intelligently and accurately in a way that He is eager to bless. Have a blessed week!