David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. 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. 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 6:1-7
Last week our Wednesday night Bible study looked at this passage as we examine the life of David. As we were studying some of the questions from the curriculum, something struck me as we talked: While David joyously brought back the ark, he didn’t follow God’s instructions in doing so. God had commanded that when the ark gets moved, priest are to do so only through the use of the carrying poles and is to be done separate from the rest of the community (Exodus 25:15 and Joshua 3:4 among others). God prescribed a certain way of doing things and David’s sin was that he decided rather than following what God commanded, he would settle for something ‘good enough.’ Instead of priests carrying the ark ark on the poles, David settled for any method of transportation, namely on an ox with an apple cart.
There is a good word for us in that warning. We know the things that God has called us to that we tend to ignore or settle for. God’s standard of doing things is one thing and we often try to substitute a ‘good enough‘ mentality to answer it. We think that as long as we try, well, then God can’t be too mad, can he?
Jesus would later offer this teaching: Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I think it’s far too easy in this sort of conversation to begin to point at large sins of a community or body. Well, if only America would realize its Christian heritage and pass God-honoring laws we wouldn’t be in this trouble. Garbage. I don’t buy it for a second. You can’t legislate Christianity.
What I’m more concerned in is the personal application of this sort of thing.
Because we all have those areas in our lives where we know God is calling us to something and we tend to ignore it or settle for less.
I knew for months that God was calling me into ministry and I ignored that call. I thought doing something ‘Christianly’ was good enough. It’s what allowed me to be in the major of my choice, have my own five year plan and be completely miserable while doing it. I ignored what God had for me and settled for less. You have (I’m sure) have had those experiences too.
And I know we do this with God because we do it with ourselves and with others all the time. Don’t believe me? It’s the end of January, have you kept all of your New Year’s resolutions?
Didn’t think so.
David’s incorrect approach to handling the Ark of the Covenant led to someone else’s death. David’s sin greatly affected someone else and that persons family. I hope your sins (and mine) never lead to that drastic of a conclusion, but it serves as a warning for us. When we decide to become God followers, there is no such thing as ‘good enough’.