Week of October 7
The Right Way
By Skip Heitzig
When I was a teenager my greatest desire was to have an electric guitar. My Dad agreed to buy one for me if I would pull all the weeds in the lawn while they were away on vacation. The lawn was about an acre and a half, so I put it off until the day before they got back, and then I mowed the weeds down with the lawnmower. I thought I was being efficient, but it was the wrong way to do the job. Within a few days the weeds were coming back up.
In Second Samuel 6, David also did something the wrong way. He had just consolidated his reign over Israel, and he prepared to move the Ark of God into Jerusalem. But instead of moving it the right way (the way God instructed in the Law), David placed the Ark on a cart pulled by oxen. The result was the death of one of his men. Three months later he moved the ark the way God prescribed. David faced up to God’s principles and changed his actions according to them.
You see, godly people are teachable. Men and women who are after God’s heart will bend to His Word. The appropriate response to God’s discipline is to change, by the confession of your sins and the correction of your actions.
David learned some important lessons. He learned the holiness of God, and that He must be approached the right way. God isn’t remote, but He isn’t “our buddy who art in heaven” either! Jesus said, “I call you my friends,” but it was appropriate when Thomas fell at His feet and said, “My Lord and my God!”
David also learned the importance of details—that God wants what matters to Him to matter to us. If God cared enough to write about it, we should care enough to read about it—and to act on it. I’m not saying to be legalistic. I’m saying to live right. Find out what God said; be concerned about the fine print that God put in there. Legalism is being concerned with the fine print that God didn’t put in there, but somebody added on.
And he learned the substance of worship—what worship is. The ark was a symbol. If there’s no authentic worship of God, no real relationship, then the symbol is nothing. Many people worship their idols all week and then come to church on Sunday morning for the singing or the beauty of the stained glass windows. It’s like saying, “I want all the trappings of Your presence, I just don’t want You.” That’s symbolism without substance.
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