Updated: Mar 10, 2022
In I Chronicles 15:13, we find these words, “For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.” These words were spoken by David regarding a certain thing he had tried to do. In this verse there is a lesson for all who would seek after God. A knowledge of the circumstances under which they were spoken will help us to understand.
Among the many pieces of furniture which God commanded Moses to make for the Tabernacle was the ark, which was called “the ark of God”, “the ark of the testimony”, and “the ark of the covenant.” The ark was built somewhat like a box, being two and half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and the same in depth. It was overlaid with gold within and without. Attached to either side by rings of gold were staves which extended at the ends. These were also overlaid with gold. When Israel moved, making it necessary to move the ark, it was the work of the sons of Kohath, of the tribe of Levi, to take the ark up by the staves and carry it on their shoulders. It should be remembered that this was God’s instruction concerning how to move this important piece of furniture.
There came a time when God permitted Israel to be captured by an idolatrous people called the Philistines. They also took the ark away with them. Because the presence of the ark caused them so much trouble, they finally decided to send it back. They fastened it on a new cart, hitched up a yoke of milk cows, and turned them loose. The cows went straight to the country of Israel. The ark was received and finally placed in the house of a man named Abinadab. It stayed there for twenty years. (I Samuel 7:2)
After David became king, he decided to bring the ark home to Jerusalem, the capital city. David was unaware of God’s instruction concerning the moving of it. He went down and set it on a new cart, to which he had had hitched a yoke of oxen. When he came to the threshing floor of Nachon, the old oxen stumbled and were about to fall, Uzzah, one of the drivers, took hold of it to keep it from falling off. But when he did, he dropped dead. Understanding that a law of God was being violated, David said, “None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them that hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him forever.” (I Chronicles 15:2) He then called in men who were descendants of the tribe of Levi and told them to make ready to go down and bring up the ark.
David had determined to bring the ark back to the place it should be. However, he was trying to do the right thing in the wrong way. He simply ignored God’s way. He was using a way of his own. When later he looked back upon the tragic outcome, he said it was because they did not seek God “after the due order.” Let's learn from that mistake!
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
Getting To Know Your Bible (www.gettingtoknowyourbible.com)
Summerdale Church of Christ (www.summerdalechurch.org)