industrial worker adjusting a large gear April 29 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 2Samuel 6:12-23; 1Chronicles 15, 16; Psalm 15

Do It Right

Sometimes in relatively unimportant tasks we just need to “get 'er done”. At other times, however, it is very important to get it right the first time. Here are a few examples of the importance of doing things right.

An auto mechanic works on a car or truck. What happens if he does not follow the specifications for repairing the vehicle? He messes up the vehicle's normal operation, and must do it all over again at his expense.

Similarly, when a dressmaker does not follow the pattern, she has to pull out the seams and do it again.

Carpenters have a saying, “measure twice; cut once.” This is a reminder that pieces must fit together so time and material are not wasted.

If a person were going to bring a very important and expensive audio-visual system, computer system, or other machinery into his home, church, or business, he would want to get the most qualified (and insured) people to move it. He would not just pick any person off the street to handle it. He would even prepare the site where he would want it. He would train himself or other people to learn how to run the new equipment.

Proper preparation is essential, not just for practical reasons but for emotional and spiritual reasons. A wedding is a very important ceremony, and we have just one chance to get it right. Sloppy preparation can mar the sanctity of the wedding. All of these illustrations prepare us for today's lesson.

King David started his reign with the right desire; he wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (it was a symbol of God's presence). He had recently conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it Israel's new capital. The ark had been lost in a war with the Philistines and then later returned. He wanted to bring it to Jerusalem so that people would worship the LORD there. This was certainly a worthy goal which the LORD approved. David also had the support of all the people. David decided let's “get 'er done.” He had the ark lifted by its poles onto a new cart pulled by oxen, and the celebration began. When an ox stumbled, however, a man named Uzzah reached out to steady the ark. Uzzah was slain by the LORD! Everyone immediately feared the LORD. They left the cart where it was and the party was over. What happened? They had offended the holiness of God. God had said if anyone touched the ark or looked in it he would die. The ark represented the holiness and presence of God. Earlier, seventy Men of Beth Shemesh looked inside the ark and were also slain for profaning the holiness of God. They were afraid of the ark and said, “Who can stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God?” (1Samuel 6:19-20) Then they sought to send it elsewhere.

David, however, still wanted the ark of God with him in Jerusalem, especially after he heard the household of Obed-Edom, where they had left it, was being blessed abundantly. In Psalm 101:2 David asks God, “when will you come to me?” This is a possible reference to the ark of God and demonstrates his desire.

David had missed something very important: God is holy and wants to be esteemed before all his people as holy. Do we esteem God as holy before others or do we disrespect him by our words, our actions, or our worship? In Psalm 15 David asks,

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken. (NIV)

Like David, we need to worship God in a holy manner. The Apostle Paul wrote,

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Eph 1:3-4, NIV)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship, (Romans 12:1, NIV)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body, (1Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV).

David redeemed himself. David did the wise thing; he went back to Jerusalem, sought the LORD and read in the Holy Scriptures the proper procedures for moving the ark (Numbers 4:5,6,15). He righted his error. We can do the same thing. David gathered Israel together and humbly admitted his error to all the people (a good thing for leaders to do). Then he led them to move it as God prescribed (do it right). He organized the Kohathites to carry the ark on their shoulders by the poles and made sure that everyone was properly attired in their priestly garments for the occasion (even David put off his kingly attire and wore a linen garment to show his humility before God's holiness). He invited his military commanders to accompany him. Then the celebration began. In honor of God, he sacrificed burnt offerings for dedication. David involved all the people in the festivities, and he appointed singers and musicians to lead the people in worship. He composed a song for the occasion and he danced. David prepared an honorary place for the ark, and then he dedicated burnt offerings to the LORD, and the people shared fellowship offerings. Then he sent each man and woman home with gifts of bread, dates and raisin cakes. God was then properly honored in the eyes of the people. David did it right.

Unfortunately, his wife Michal did not understand. She despised David for dancing before the Lord, but David defended himself. Michal died childless. Some people will not understand your relationship with the Lord. Do not be discouraged or dissuaded from your worship of God; he is pleased.

Lessons to live by:

  • Sometimes we need to just get a task done, but sometimes we need to be very particular to do things right, especially in spiritual matters.
  • Respect the holiness of God in the way you live and worship.
  • If we have sinned by disrespecting God, let us right our errors and do things the way God prescribes (more...)
  • Not everyone will understand our worship of God - do not be dissuaded.

Today’s Bible memory verse:

Psalm 101:2 “I will be careful to lead a blameless life-- when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart.” (NIV)

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