Again David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name, the LORD of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. (2 Samuel 6:1-2)
This was an extremely special occasion. The Ark of the Covenant represented God’s immediate presence with His people. Twenty years prior to this event, the Ark came back from the land of the Philistines and had sat at the house of Abinadab for 20 years. David greatly desired the presence of God to be in the central place of Israel, namely Jerusalem.
So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab. (2 Samuel 6:3)
But this is where David made his mistake.
Transporting the Ark on a cart was against God’s specific command. The Ark was designed to be carried, not set on a cart (Exodus 25:12-15) and was only to be carried by Levites of the family of Kohath (Numbers 4:15).
David would surely have prayed for God’s blessing in this venture, but he hadn’t prayed for guidance. How did God want this to be done? David’s intentions were right but his actions were wrong. David did it his way.
However, David learned from his mistake. He learned the right way of transporting the Ark and he fulfilled his mission through his humility and obedience. He could have chosen to abandon his efforts altogether. He could have sulked and blamed God. His initial reaction was anger born out of disappointment and confusion. But he chose the noble way, the way of humility and confession, and as a result he achieved his heart’s desire to have the Ark in Jerusalem.
So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. (2 Samuel 6:12)
Not only would he be greatly blessed by this, but so would countless others. Jerusalem would have been all the poorer if David had not learned from his mistake and sought to put it right. The Bible is honest about its heroes. It depicts their failings as well as their faith. If we are wise, we will read the accounts of their lives carefully and deeply learn the lessons they teach us.
Have you learned from your mistakes?
“God’s call to any man and the anointing of the Spirit for service are conditioned upon that man’s heart response.” Alan Redpath*
*The Making of a Man of God: Lessons from the Life of David
But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. (1 Samuel 12:24)
When a topic appears often in scripture, it’s a good idea to take note. It is interesting to see how often in scripture we are reminded to thank God, to be grateful to Him for what we have been given both in natural and spiritual terms.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. (Psalm 103:2-5)
What awe and wonder comes over us as we read and mediate on the words, “Who forgives all your iniquity.” He has not forgiven ‘some’ of our sins. He has not forgiven ‘most’ of us sins. He has forgiven ‘all of our sins’. Perhaps this is an area where you have failed to be deeply grateful. Maybe there has crept in a tendency to take this forgiveness for granted, forgetting the enormous price that Christ paid. Yet this psalmists reminds us to , “Bless the Lord” and “forget not his benefits”.
We are also reminded in this Psalm that God is the one “who redeems your life from the pit.” What pit has he saved you from? Depression? Unforgiveness? Anxiety? Jealousy? Pride? Greed? Drug addiction? Alcoholism? Fear? Vanity? Laziness? Lust? Self-condemnation? I could go on and on; the list is endless. Yet He has also redeemed us from the pit of eternal separation from Himself. As the hymn writer Charles H Gabriel once wrote;
How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!
We can never thank God enough for saving us from that pit. And how many times does the apostle Paul exhort his converts to live a life of gratitude to God? Here’s just a couple of examples:
Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Take a little time now to think of the incredible blessings that God has poured out on us, and I know you will want to make sure He is receiving the wholehearted gratitude He so richly deserves.
“Thankfulness makes much of little.” C. H. Spurgeon
Pauline Ann Anderson
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