“So they set the ark of God on a new cart…”– 2 Samuel 6:3
When recovered from the Philistines’ land, the ark sat at the house of Abinadab for two decades. Now King over Israel, David desired to place the ark back in a conspicuous location. The ark represented God’s presence. He sat on the mercy seat between the Cherubim. Having the ark in a place of prominence would bring a sense of the nearness of God’s presence. David had the right goal in mind, but how it was done was an unapproved production. It led some to sin and another to lose his life.
God’s declared Word commanded the ark to be carried (Exodus 25:12-15). It was only to be taken by the Levites (Numbers 4:15). David and the people, however, came up with a different plan. There’s was to be an elaborate show. A new cart was built, and thirty thousand of the king’s best soldiers were handpicked to attend the event. They would soon discover, though, that they neglected to seek the Lord’s counsel before charging ahead. A lesson David learned and applied later in his life when attempting to build the Lord’s Temple.
Occasionally we can attempt to do good things for the Lord. If we are not careful, though, we can perform them in the wrong way. There can be an overwhelming desire to sense the presence of God. But, many times, this pursuit can lead to an overemphasis on feelings. Church worship services can become overproduced concerts in search of the Lord’s presence. This is done even though Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” As Christians, the Lord is always present with us whether we think we feel Him or not. And, the Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from Him, including our own emotions.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). In these last days, we must remember the warnings of our Savior not to go with those who say “look here” or “look there!” “For indeed,” Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Always has been and always will be! No “new cart” is needed.
“We want God’s presence very much, don’t we? but we like to hitch His presence to some of our new carts. We like to add Him to our list of organizations, to load Him on top of the mechanics of a busy life, and then drive. How much of our service is really in the energy of the flesh, I wonder! so often we put forth our hands, but not our hearts.”– Alan Redpath