The ark of God, brought into more public knowledge by the Indiana Jones movie, signified the presence of God to the people of Israel as well as to their enemies. When the ark was brought out in battle, the Philistines didn’t believe they had a chance in battle. When they, miraculously in their own eyes, captured the ark, they went through all kinds of troubles wherever the ark was and so they set it free. They placed it on a cart and the oxen pulling it didn’t stumble as they walked it back to Israelite territory.
When David came to power, he decided that the ark should be brought back to Jerusalem. So, with great fanfare, they went to retrieve the ark. “They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it.” (2 Samuel 6:3-4) There was a problem though. God had established a procedure for carrying the ark with appropriate reverence. Slapping it on a cart was not His way of doing things.
Sure enough, as the story continues, the oxen stumbled and it looked like the ark might fall. The ark was pretty heavy with all of the gold, and it probably made the cart a bit top heavy. Uzzah reacted naturally and tried to support the ark. In one of the more difficult stories to understand in the Bible, Uzzah died because he touched the ark. Given that David set up everything wrong for the movement of the ark, why would one of the helpers have to die?
We run into similar issues daily. Well, without the people dying part. We are fairly certain what God wants done and we seek to make that happen and everything fails miserably. The immediate reaction is to decide that maybe we didn’t understand what God wanted. Perhaps, instead, we need to realize that when God wants things to happen, He also has a plan for the process. We should seek God’s will not only for the results, but also for the steps along the way to achieve those results. In the western world we worry about getting the right results. What we fail to realize is that God is more concerned with our relationship with Him. We come before God and say “Look at all we did for You, Lord!” The response is haunting. “Depart from Me, for I never knew you.” God’s will is less about results and more about relationship.
Lord God, help me to seek You every step of the way. Help me to realize that You are more concerned about building relationships with me and those I see along the way instead of the end result. Help me to enjoy the journey along way as I serve You.