A daily devotional by Dr. K. Neill Foster
for July 17, 2019
|Doing the Right Thing in the Wrong Way|
Text: "When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God." 2 Samuel 6:6-7
Is it possible to do the right thing in the wrong way? Apparently, it is. David did it. He wanted to do something for the Lord-- his goal was to bring back the ark of God from the Philistines. Good intent? Yes! Obedience to detail? No!
First problem-- David did not have the Levites carry the ark, as was the protocol. Second problem--the appropriate sacrifices had not been made.
After irreverent Uzzah's death, David determined to do it right. The Levites carried the ark (1 Chronicles 15:1-16). After every six steps, a bull and a fattened calf were sacrificed. At least one major commentator believes that for every six steps over several miles back to Jerusalem another bull and another fattened calf were slain. (We also know that seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed. 1 Chronicles 15:26)
The road for the ark of God back to Jerusalem was a bloody one. What's more, David lost Uzzah, a good friend, because he had been careless. Alas, he had done the right thing in a wrong way.
"Dear Lord, when there is a right thing to be done, help me to do it the right way."