2 Samuel 6:1-11 – Who Needs The Instruction Manual? I Got This!

Posted: June 1, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel
Tags: ,

2 Samuel 6:1-11
David Attempts to Move the Ark

Have you ever tried to take a shortcut in doing something and then it ends up costing more time and effort in the end than it should have if you just simply followed the instructions? Back in the 1990’s, I remember when television manufacturers started moving away from televisions being in fine wood cabinets and being treated like a piece of furniture as much as a television. It was in the early 90s that high end audio equipment started becoming more and more accessible to the common man. Because of improved technology, high quality stereo sound was becoming the rage. So, televisions in wood cabinets were no longer the thing. TVs became simpler with form following function. Television technology was improving such that the “inner workings” of a television were becoming smaller and smaller and the screens bigger and bigger. We weren’t at the digital stage back then but it was the beginning of the audio/visual revolution that has led us to where we are now with flat panel TVs, with digital screens, and blue tooth audio in surround sound that in some cases can rival anything a movie theatre has to offer.

But back in the 90’s the revolution was just beginning. Entertainment centers became the rage. A place where you could place all your audio components for your stereo system in addition to housing your new, sleeker line of TV sets. That was the thing. Entertainment centers depending on how much money you spent could cover a whole wall. That way you could have you audio components and your wife could decorate it so that it would not look so…functional only. And this is where my story for today begins. Back in those days I was a much more impatient person and a more prideful person than I am now. My first wife and I joined the rage of the times. We bought one of these newer sleeker television sets. We already had a pretty bangin’ stereo system, with all the individual components (as was the rage) with speakers that were about half my height (back then in order to have great sound the speakers had to be big!). So, now we needed an entertainment center!

We bought one unassembled and trudged it home. I opened the box and began putting it all together. The pieces that fit together all seemed pretty logical. Who needs the assembly instructions!!! I posited that I was a smart, young strapping dude. I could do this! And yeah for the most part you would not have needed the instructions. It was pretty self evident as to what pieces went together. So I am working feverishly for a couple of hours late at night and I get the whole thing put together in say maybe 3 hours. I had it laid out on the floor in the living room/den of our home. It was late at that point. So, I was proud of myself. I met my self-imposed deadline of getting it assembled before I went to bed that Saturday night. So, assembly complete. Time to raise it up and put into place against the desired wall. That’s when the realization hits you.

As I raised up the assembly to its upright position, I found that at the base level of the entertainment center I had installed two of the compartment dividers backwards – where the rough, untapered edge of the wood was facing outward. Not toward the back of the entertainment center as it was supposed to. And it was at the bottom of the entertainment center. Not at the top. In order to fix it, I would have to de-construct the whole entertainment center. That’s that moment where you just want to kick something, mainly yourself. Three hours wasted. And that’s when you come to that sudden realization, “maybe, I should have read the instruction book!” Ever been there? Ever done that?

Since that moment of my life, I read the assembly instructions from beginning to end before I start an assembly project and then follow the steps one by one as I am in the middle of the assembly process. That night back in the early 90s taught me a lesson about reading the instructions so that you do not go astray when you are putting something together. That mistake back some 25 years ago is what immediately came to mind as I was reading through 2 Samuel 6:1-11 today. Let’s read through it now and see how that mistake in the assembly of an entertainment center ties together with this passage:

Chapter 6

1 Then David again gathered all the elite troops in Israel, 30,000 in all. 2 He led them to Baalah of Judah[a] to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,[b] who is enthroned between the cherubim. 3 They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart 4 that carried the Ark of God.[c] Ahio walked in front of the Ark. 5 David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs[d] and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.

6 But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. 7 Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this.[e] So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.

8 David was angry because the Lord’s anger had burst out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means “to burst out against Uzzah”), as it is still called today.

9 David was now afraid of the Lord, and he asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of the Lord back into my care?” 10 So David decided not to move the Ark of the Lord into the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath. 11 The Ark of the Lord remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and his entire household.

In this passage, we see that Sinful men cannot get too close to a holy God. No wonder Uzzah was struck dead for having laid hands on the ark. The ark was holy. It could not be touched by that which is unholy. Anyone who touched it would die. By using poles, men could transport the ark without touching the ark itself. And these men, walking in step with each other, gave the ark stability. Putting the ark on that ox cart made it susceptible to the movements of the cart and less stable, and thus more likely to fall off the cart. The only way to keep this from happening was to grab hold of the ark, as Uzzah did, and to die, as Uzzah did. David and those involved in transporting the ark erred in several ways. First, they had already lost the awe and reverence one should have for the holiness of God. Second, they had forgotten the clear instructions God set down in the law for the transporting of the ark.

Just as I went headlong into assembling my first entertainment center back in the early 90s without understanding the importance of reading the instructions, so too did David and his men fail to read God’s instructions, God’s Word, concerning the transportation of the Ark. As God manifest his pure and holy presence to man in those days at the Ark it had to remain holy and clean and pure and untouched by sin. Therefore, in reading God’s Word, any person could see why God required this special care. Nothing sinful can exist in God’s presence. Nothing impure can exist in His presence. For He is a holy and righteous God. If exposed to God’s pure holiness on our own, we will be consumed because of our imperfections. We cannot even come into His presence without purification. Our purification now comes through Jesus Christ. He makes us holy so that we can exist in God’s presence.

Sometimes, we want to take a shortcut around God just as I wanted to take a shortcut around the assembly instructions for my entertainment center. I thought I knew better. I thought I could do it without “someone telling me what to do and how to do it!” That’s what David and his men did wrong here. They thought they knew what they were doing – on their own. They did not need God’s Word. They said to themselves, “we got this!” Aren’t we all that way before we meet Jesus Christ as our Savior. We think we got this! We think that we don’t need God’s Word. It’s all antiquated especially the Old Testament. With all that smiting going on, it just ain’t for me. All those rules that God has. I just want to live my life the way I want to. We then go off assembly our lives in the manner that we see fit without consulting the instruction book of life, God’s Word. Then one day we find that we assembled it all wrong and we want to kick something, especially ourselves. One day, we figure out that all our bluster and independence from God has brought us to this point where we have to deconstruct our lives and seek assistance from Jesus Christ through God’s Word.

The instruction manual for the assembly of that entertainment center was not there to restrict me. It was there because the manufacturer knew the best way, step by step, and piece by piece for that entertainment center to be assembled. It is the same way with God’s Word. God’s Word is not there to restrict us but protect us from the ravages of sin. It might seem silly to be obedient to God’s Word when you think you are da man but God loves us so much that He gives us His Word to protect us and to show us how to live godly lives and to lead us to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It’s not to hold us back. It’s to protect us and guide us toward a holy life where we can one day live in his holy presence for all eternity through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen and Amen.

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