1 Chronicles 13
Many of worship services are taking place right now in this nation and around the world. The main goal is to honor God. I often wonder how pleased God is with the way, approaches and attitudes we bring to our worship services. There are churches in which God doesn’t even show up in their gathering. God doesn’t show up because people are not truly seeking his presence, they may want something else, but God’s presence. Sometimes God doesn’t show up because their approach to worship doesn’t glorify God. When it comes to worshiping God, you cannot worship whichever way you think. You must know what God expects in worship because you may think you are worshipping right and you may be disrespecting him,
During the reign of David, he wanted to bring back the Ark of God to Jerusalem. What was the Ark of God or Ark of the Covenant? Moses built it (Exodus 25:1-9) This ark or chest made of acacia wood was 45 inches long, 27 inches wide and 27 inches high. This is ark represented the presence of God among his people. When the tabernacle was built, the ark was placed in the Holy of holies. That was where God would meet his people. When the nation traveled in the wilderness, the ark would go before them; in battle, the ark would go because it guaranteed them victory. God’s presence in their midst was what distinguished them as God’s people.
Many years have passed from Moses to David, about 400 years (1 Kings 6:1). David had the desire to bring back the ark to Jerusalem. Read text. 1 Chr.13:1-4
Verse 2 ‘If it seems good to you and it is the will of the LORD our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our brothers 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. (v.3) Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.
The first king of Israel, Saul, didn’t consult the ark of God during his reign. Saul didn’t seek God’s presence during his 40 year reign. How would you lead a nation without God’s presence in your midst? How would you make decisions without consulting God first?
David was the best king of Israel and here you can see the reason why. He wanted God’s presence with him. Ps.51:11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
David went to go get the ark and he made all the preparations. (v.5-9)
-The ark was moved from Abinadab’s house on a new cart, With Uzza and Ahio guiding it.
-A worship celebration before God. Songs, harps, lyres, tambourines, cymbals and trumpets. They all rejoiced as they were bringing to Jerusalem God’s presence. A sudden halt!
-Uzzah died, God struck him down because he put his hand on the ark.
Uzzah did something irreverent (disrespectful) towards God. 2 Sam6:7
David was angry with God because of the death of Uzzah.
David was also afraid of God that day and asked. “How can I ever bring the ark of God back to me?”
David failed in bringing the ark back to Jerusalem. They sent it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of God remained there 3 months and the LORD blessed the house of Obed-Edom and everything he had.
The worshipful celebration turned into something irreverent or disrespectful toward God. When it comes to worshiping God, you may have the right intention in your heart, but how you go about it may be wrong and irreverent to God. People may be sincerely and passionately disrespecting God and they may not even know it. There are people who are very sincere in their heart and attitude, just like David. He had the desire to bring the presence of God to his city. He threw a worship party in their bringing the ark back to Jerusalem; however, their approach was not pleasing to God.
You may have the right intention in your heart, but if your intention violates God’s demands in worship, then your worship becomes irreverent (rude. mock). If the intention in your heart doesn’t match God’s expectation then your worship is not pleasing to God.
You cannot worship God whichever way you see fit or whatever way you like. You have to do it how he demands.
God wasn’t pleased with Uzzah because he touched the ark, even though he tried to keep it from falling from the cart. Touching the ark was not pleasing to God. He died because he did something he didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to do. What you don’t know may kill you! Not knowing how to approach God, can kill you at the end.
It was David’s fault that Uzzah died. David had forgotten the command of the Lord, his instructions for transporting the ark. He forgot to educate the people regarding the ark and the proper way for transporting it. After 3 months David attempted to bring back the ark and this time he did it the right way. Read 1 Chr.15:1-2 No one but the Levites were to carry the ark.
I Chr.15:11-13 It was because the Levites didn’t carry the ark that God’s anger broke against Uzzah. David acknowledged that they didn’t inquire of God regarding how to transport the ark. They didn’t do it the “prescribed way.” (Proper way) This was written in the law; God had given the people the instructions for worship and how to transport the ark and who should transport it.
David succeeded in bringing the ark because he did it the way God commanded it. God’s presence would literally be in Jerusalem where David was king. God’s blessing came to Jerusalem.
How many churches may be worshiping God or seeking God in their worship with the right intentions but the wrong approach? Anything we do in church, in our worship of God, serving God, loving God) has to be in accordance to his prescribed way. David and the people of Israel disrespected God and it cost someone’s life. How many people are worshiping God their own way ignoring God’s word? We must learn how to worship God, what he expects of us in our approach to him. You have to do his way because if it’s not God’s way then whatever you are doing becomes displeasing in his sight.