I have re-read through the story of King David (1 Chronicles 10 thru 16), his coming to power and his desire to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. I won’t go into details (you know the story), but the Ark was lost during the days of Eli the Judge and Prophet and his two corrupt sons. It was when Samuel was just a small boy and the Philistines captured it in battle. After they were afflicted, they returned it to Israel where it came to rest in Beth-Shemesh (a priestly town) but 70 men there were struck down for looking into the Ark and so they sent it on to Kiriath-Jearim where is came to rest at the home of of the family of Abinidab.
The Ark stayed there throughout the reign of Saul and into the beginning of the reign of David. One of David’s first desire was to bring the Ark back to a more central area of his kingdom and his new capital, Jerusalem. You remember that he sent 30,000 men to “fetch” the Ark (ironically, the number of men who died when the Philistines defeated Israel and captured the Ark) and they failed costing Uzzah his life (because he dared to touch God’s holy Ark). The Ark was then turned aside and placed at the house of Obed-Edom and God blessed his family.
In the next couple of months, David learned a great lesson. The Philistines attacked him on two different occasions and in the same way each time. David, wisely, inquired of the Lord both times, “Should I go war against the Philistines?” and the Lord replied that he should but gave him different strategies and marching orders for each encounter. (See my last blog post) David saw that the battle belongs to God and that obedience to God’s direction is always better than man’s strategy. Therefore, he renewed his quest to bring the Ark to Jerusalem but this time, he inquired of the Lord as to the Lord’s plan. And…you know the rest. God honored David’s request and brought His presence back to Israel.
Long story, clear lesson…
There are ways that seem right to man but in the end, it is always best to hear God and follow His plan.
I pray that truth for all of us. I pray that we look to God for our marching orders, not to ourselves or even what makes sense to us as individuals. I pray that we see Him clearly and what He is doing among the helpless, hopeless and hurting of the world and I pray that we look to Him and hear Him clearly on how He wants us to align ourselves with His will to join in that great endeavor.