When Good Intentions Go Awry

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2 Samuel 6:5-8 "David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums, and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, 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. Then David was angry because the Lord's wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah."

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Anointed king over all of Israel, David dominated two crucial battles. He, more than anyone, was fully aware that His success was a result of God’s blessing. He was now more powerful than ever and feared among other nations, so he wanted to use his  influence to bring glory to God.

After conquering Jerusalem, he chose to reside there and make it a central place of worship for all of Israel. He decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the city because it signified God's true presence and glory among His chosen people. He made plans for it to be a festive day of celebration, but he did not take care to follow God's law regarding how to handle and transport the Ark of the Covenant.

The day of festivities was interrupted by tragedy when Uzzah reached out and touched the Ark. Even though his intentions were good – he wanted to keep it from falling – his disobedience resulted in judgment. Uzzah fell dead, and the Israelites came face to face with God's holiness. They were again reminded that true worship doesn't come from good intentions but obedience.

We can fall into the same trap. We can rationalize, "What God really meant to say was…." Or "I'm sure God wouldn't mind in this case if I…" We justify our decisions by our circumstances and feelings. We hope that our "good intentions" will excuse our disobedience. But, we must remember that God is God, and we are not. He is holy, and obedience is always the best form of worship. And when we worship Him with our obedience, we will experience His blessing.

Pray

Lord, I'm so thankful I can approach you as a loving Father, but I also worship you as a holy God. Guide me towards obedience as I seek to live out Your will. I want to honor You in all I do! Amen.