"Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the Lord had chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister to him forever. And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place, which he had prepared for it…Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites… and said to them, "…Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. Because you did not carry it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.'" - 1 Chronicles 15:1-3, 11-13
The first attempt to bring the Ark of the Covenant to David’s fortress in Jerusalem ended in disaster when one of the men driving the cart that carried the Ark touched it to steady it and was struck dead for His irreverence. David was shocked, dismayed, and frightened. He had meant well; why had God done this? How could he expect to draw near to God who struck people dead for well-meant but misguided actions?
David went prayerfully back to the Bible to find the answer, and he found it: the Lord had specified how men were to draw near to Him, not on our terms, but on His. God makes the rules. God is holy and those who would draw near to Him must be holy; which means we do it God’s way.
God has established a way of salvation, by which all who will can be saved. He calls us to repent and put our faith in Jesus, the Savior He has provided. And He has told us, “There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Now as then those who would draw near to God must come in the way that God has graciously provided. Good intentions, well-meaning human ideas of how to go about it won’t cut it. Only the way that God has established is accepted because He is God; He is Holy, and He makes the rules. Attempts to go around the Door and climb into the Sheepfold by some other way just prove that we are thieves and robbers. They prove that the rebellion in our hearts is still there; we want to make our own rules. God in His infinite grace and mercy has provided a way of salvation; just one, but He has provided it, because He loves you. Don’t miss it! Lord, forgive my rebellious heart. Forgive my irreverent, self-centered, self-worshipping attempts to be the one who makes the rules. Change my heart to reverent fear, love and trust in You, my Lord and Savior, for Jesus’ sake, amen. Pastor Dan Giles