Unifying a Nation
Wow. Verse 1 reads that David consulted with the captains of the thousands and the hundreds and with every leader.
What a way to transfer power. They all had a chance to speak with him in person. And it says he consulted, not just spoke to. It wasn't meet and greet- it was listen. That explains how they were able to subdue their enemies and take back their nation. Only by the power of God, of course.
Then he points out that Saul did not bother to bring the Ark to the capital, since they couldn't take it to the abandoned tabernacle and it was just sitting with a priest. He also wanted to assemble all of the people for the move. It seems like he wanted them united in purpose for the military, but wanted the whole nation united under God, via the Ark.
All of the people agreed.
Good goal; but poor execution- as we know in hind sight.
Moving the Ark, Take One
See also, II Samuel, Chapter 6
So all of the people assembled and they went to Kiriath-jeariam, where it had been settle after it had been taken by the Philistines and brought back on a new cart. So David also used a new cart, even though that was the Philistine's example and not what was clearly written in the word of the Lord.
They celebrated. (If I remember the scene in II Samuel, David was busy celebrating too.)
Then the Ark almost fell because the cart tipped, which is why that isn't how it is to be transported. Uzza reached for it; and God's anger burned. Uzza was slain.
Then David became angry and then afraid. Then hopeless and confused. So he dropped the Ark off with a priest and went home.
David is a doer. He has good instincts and a good heart. "A man after God's own heart."
These are good things, except...when he relies on them solely. He met and listened to the leaders. He wanted the Ark with him to give God a respectful location. He wanted the people unified. All good goals. But, unlike many other times in his story, the scripture does not say that he took these goals to God for guidance.
We all rely on our strengths, and those strengths are what we often abuse. Smart people begin to think that everything they think is correct- much to their harm at times.
David learned to trust his instincts and his heart; but he should have confirmed his instincts with the Word. He had the Word. We know he had his own copy as king. And he had many advisors, who knew the Word. There are specific rules about how to transport the Ark; and just because the Philistines got away with doing it the wrong way (as part of God's own will), David shouldn't have assumed the same.
So, in conclusion, be in the Word. Know the Word. Refer to the Word. And consult God and the godly advisors he provides to you. Lean not on your own understanding.
It's unlikely that I'll be asked to supervise the transport of God's Holy Ark in my lifetime. Very, very unlikely. But I do have a situation coming up this weekend about which I feel conflicted. The world offers me a new cart to handle the situation. And I could easily rely on good intentions as my defense for choosing the way of the Philistines. But the Word is clear about how God feels about it. I've got a choice to make. And I don't want to end up like Uzza--a cocktail of good intentions and being struck down because I knew better and angered God.