The Prescribed Way

Everything does not have a prescribed way, but some things do. When God prescribes the way, it is important for us to pay attention.

The ark of the covenant of Israel was a beautiful box. It represented the presence of God. It was possible for the ark to be moved. The Philistines once captured the ark and later returned it to Israel. When they returned it, they did so by placing it on a new cart pulled by oxen.

David wanted to move the ark to Jerusalem. He moved it in the same way the Philistines had, by placing it on a cart pulled by oxen. He moved it with the agreement of all the people and with great joy and celebration to the Lord.

But a man lost his life in the process of moving the ark, simply because he tried to steady the ark to keep it from falling off the cart. David was confused and angry with God for allowing such a thing to happen.

He remained angry until he read the law of God.

With all that was right about the heart of David and the hearts of the people in moving the ark, there was something wrong. And the thing that was wrong mattered. In their zeal for doing something for God they had forgotten to listen to God.

They had zeal without knowledge. They ignored what God had said. David saw it when he read the law again. The priest were to carry the ark. God had prescribed it to be carried that way. God had spoken, but His people were not listening.

God has spoken. He expects us to listen.