Unfinished Business

Pray: 

Lord, help me to walk with humility and to walk in the wisdom of seeking counsel and advice.

 

Read: 1 CHRONICLES 13:1-14

[1] David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. [2] He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, "If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the LORD our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our people throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. [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. [5] So David assembled all Israel, from the Shihor River in Egypt to Lebo Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim. [6] David and all Israel went to Baalah of Judah (Kiriath Jearim) to bring up from there the ark of God the LORD, who is enthroned between the cherubim-the ark that is called by the Name. [7] They moved the ark of God from Abinadab's house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it. [8] David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets. [9] When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. [10] The LORD's anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God. [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. 



Reflect: Do you recognize your need for others' input?

David is really settling into this business of being king. He addresses the "whole assembly of Israel" (a favorite phrase with the Chronicler). He wants to consult and he has an instinct to gather people together. So much leadership fails because people are neither gathered nor consulted. Where people are ignored they feel diminished; where they are consulted they grow. The issue is about bringing the Ark into Jerusalem. It has a long history as a sign of God's presence and David understands how vital it is to the building of the kingdom (Exodus 25,37), hence the celebration (8).

But then, disaster strikes. An ox stumbles, the Ark sways unsteadily, and Uzzah--not unreasonably, one would have thought--reaches out to steady it and is struck down dead. God is angry with Uzzah, David is angry with God, and the whole enterprise judders to a halt. Then anger gives way to fear. No one wants to touch the Ark again!

So leadership is not so simple. The holiness of God (6) and the need for proper care in handling the things and the people of God (15:13) is vital. It was a hard lesson (especially for Uzzah!). And it still is.

 

Apply: 

When considering getting advice, remember that getting God's counsel is always foremost!

 

Pray: 

Jesus, help me to walk as a member of Your body, and always to seek Your direction as the head of the Church.

 

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