God really cares about the manner in which we worship him. In today’s Old Testament lesson, David and the Israelites are celebrating before the LORD and having a whopper of a worship service. The reason for the big jubilation was the moving of the ark of God to Jerusalem. However, there was one problem: God was angry about it to the point of striking down Uzzah the Levite and killing him.
The issue that prompted such a reaction was that the LORD had given specific instructions in the Law about how to carry the ark – with poles specially designed for the task. But David and the Levites were transporting the ark not with poles, but on a cart. And God was not okay with it. The thing that is important for every believer and church to grasp is that when our pragmatism and human ingenuity trump the plain instructions of Holy Scripture, God’s anger is quite likely to be kindled. The fact of the matter is that David and the Levites should have known better – it was their job to know how to go about moving the ark. Their negligence cost a person his life.
We, too, have a responsibility to know how to worship the Lord our God. Worshiping God in whatever way seems best to us might make a lot of sense in our heads, but it just may offend the Lord. It would be a very good thing to re-examine the Bible on the subject of worship. In the current evangelical church climate of worshiping in whatever manner gets results, giving this biblical story a fresh examination in light of our own context is a place to start.
Holy God, who cares about how people approach you, lead your people into the proper way of worship to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that you might be pleased and glorified and your church blessed. Amen.