As we continue to look at fearing God, there is a right way and a wrong way. Obviously not fearing God leads to going your own way and fearing God leads you to obeying the word of God. Yesterday we talked about the writer of Proverbs not following his own advice. If you read Proverbs 1-9 you will see a right way and a wrong way. Now this isn’t just about getting lost, this is about dying with eternal consequences. Proverbs 2:16 “Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words. Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. 19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.” Proverbs 5:1 “My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, 2 that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. 3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; 4 but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. 6 She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it. 7 Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. 8 Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house” Proverbs 7:21 “With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. 22 All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose 23 till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. 24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. 25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. 26 Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.” Proverbs 1:8 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, 29 since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. 30 Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. 32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Throughout Proverbs we are told to pay close attention to wisdom / truth. When we do not fear God we do not care whether we do or not and are too blind to see the consequences of those decisions. Jesus makes it very clear to us that He is the way, the truth and the life. We are not to turn from him to the right or to the left and we are to keep this Book of the Law always on our lips; meditate on it day and night, so that we may be careful to do everything written in it. Moses said, Deuteronomy 29:19 “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.” This is a dangerous way to live.
Today I want to look at David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.
After David conferred with his leaders they said, Chronicles 13:3 “Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul. 4 The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people.” Notice that it seemed right to all the people. At this point someone should have raised their hand and said, excuse me everyone, is there not something written down about proper transportation of the Ark of the Covenant. The answer would have been; no it’s fine, we even bought this fancy new cart, let’s do this. We will even sing and celebrate. “1 Chronicles 13:8 David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets.”
So at first appearance everything seems good. We have the new cart, great worship but then God strikes down Uzzah for touching the Ark. Wow what just happened? He was just trying to help. “11 Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. 12 David was afraid of God that day and asked, “How can I ever bring the ark of God to me?” 13 He did not take the ark to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 14 The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house for three months, and the Lord blessed his household and everything he had.”
But notice here that David was afraid of God that day. The fear of the Lord leads to obedience. So after the ark stayed with Obed-Edom David decided to now bring the Ark to Jerusalem. This time things are different. 1 Chronicles 15:1 “After David had constructed buildings for himself in the City of David, he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. 2 Then David said, “No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord chose them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.” God had already given the “how to carry” instructions. Deuteronomy 10:8
“At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him, and to bless in his name, to this day.” One person said that Uzzah had died because of “act of desecration, arrogance, and presumption.” Many in our day presume to speak for God. They think they are serving the Lord rightly but are they. If they do not fear God as David did that day they will continue in arrogance to desecrate their position in the church because they are not following God’s word. They will continue as Jesus said the Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” This would apply to all those who have come up with a new plan for “doing church”. They have said God now blesses going your own way. No they don’t actually say that but their actions do.
So now David will do it right this time. 1 Chronicles 15:3” David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it. 4 He called together the descendants of Aaron and the Levites:” “11 Then David summoned Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab the Levites. 12 He 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. 13 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.” 14 So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves in order to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 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.”
How many leaders today presume they know what God wants. How many are actually waiting on God and asking Him how this is to be done. Will they listen to that person saying; excuse me should we not adhere to the word of God, probably not. Today people are so enamoured with men and woman who have found a new cart /way that they fail to follow “thee way” James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Many are leading the church astray and being led astray in the midst of the sound of jubilation and praise.
As you read about the transportation of the Ark, this time you know it was done right now that they were following the word of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 15:25 “So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of units of a thousand went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-Edom, with rejoicing. 26 Because God had helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed. 27 Now David was clothed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and as were the musicians, and Kenaniah, who was in charge of the singing of the choirs. David also wore a linen ephod. 28 So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps.”
I want to also include this last verse of the chapter, as there will always be those apposed to following God’s word wholeheartedly. 1 Chronicles 15:29 “As the ark of the covenant of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.” So wherever you are don’t be afraid to say excuse me is that new cart really such a good idea, should we not fear God and obey his word. Yes there will always be those who will despise you for it but when the day of Judgement comes you will know that you stood for the word for the Lord. Do we really want to find out on Judgement day that we were using ta new cart? Deuteronomy 31:12 “Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.” Isaiah said, Isaiah 50:10 “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant?” Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.”