Treating the Holy Casually

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME

CONTACT

GOSPEL

COVENANT

FESTIVALS

TESTIMONIES

Q and A

Exposing Lies

 

Treating the Holy Casually

By Larry R. Lasiter

2001

After 26 years in the faith, I am convinced that the people of this nation and indeed the entire Christian community, regularly treat what Gods says is holy, casually. And I must admit that I find myself so often fitting neatly into this category.

Holy means to be "set apart." When God pronounces something or someone "holy", it means that He has made a distinction and set it, or them apart for a divine purpose.

For example, at creation week the very first thing God set apart and made holy was the seventh day. This is Saturday on our calendar not Sunday.

We are guilty of using Scriptures like Isaiah 66:2 to emphasize only our need to be humble while neglecting the passage dealing with the fear of God. Notice,- "But to this one will I look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word."

How many of us today truly "tremble" at God's Word? God is often thought of as a kindly old gentleman who wouldn't harm a fly. The Devil has been very effective in distorting the view of God.

Transporting the Ark of the Covenant

In the time of David's reign in Israel, the Ark of the Covenant was stored at Kiriath-Jearim, and had been there since the days of Saul.

Since David was a man who loved the Lord deeply, he wanted to move the Ark to its rightful place in Jerusalem. The Ark represented the Throne of God, the place on earth where His glorious presence would manifest itself above the mercy seat.

Notice,- "Bring up the Ark of God, the Lord who is enthroned above the cherubim, where His name is called." (1 Chron. 13:6)

Verse 7 says that they carried the Ark on a "new cart." We are not given all the details, but it is reasonable to believe that because the Ark was so revered that a special, new cart was made to transport it to Jerusalem. If true, it only stands to reason that only the finest materials were used in its construction. After all, by God's own command the Ark was overlaid with pure gold with the mercy seat and cherubim of solid gold.

I believe that in David's heart he was trying to honor his God by transporting the Ark on this new cart. And he was jubilant, dancing before the Ark as the musicians enthusiastically played songs to honor the God of Israel. Verse 8 says that "David and all Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all their might."

The Bible then says, "They came to the threshing floor of Chidon." A threshing floor is where the chaff is separated from the wheat. Where what is useful and acceptable is separated from what is useless and unacceptable. When the grain is tossed into the air the chaff is blown away while the heavier grains fall to the floor to be collected.


It was there at the threshing floor of Chidon that God determined to show that the method in which the Ark was being transported was not acceptable in the sight of God.

It was there that this new cart was almost upset by the oxen pulling it. The Bible doesn't tell us exactly what happened. Perhaps the oxen made an unexpected quick move to one side, or maybe they pulled the cart into a hole or grade which caused it to almost topple.

But when this happened a man named Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark that it might not fall and was suddenly struck down dead by the Lord.

The celebration stopped! The music and songs to the Lord were suddenly silenced. David and all Israel stood in fear and awe. Everyone knew now that in spite of all the celebration and praising, the Lord was not happy but was in fact, angry!

Then anger set in with David. "How could the Lord do this thing" " We were praising, dancing and singing songs to the Lord" "Uzzah was just trying to help, he was trying to keep the Ark of the Covenant from falling." There must have been many questions in the mind of David that day.

Along with the anger came the fear, notice,- "And David was afraid of God that day, saying, "How can I bring the Ark of God home to me?" So they left the Ark with a family in nearby Obed-Edom and went back to Jerusalem.

David, Israel and Uzzah experienced the severity of the Lord that fateful day. They would learn that details matter to God and that He will not tolerate the casual treatment of what He has made holy.

What Had David Done Wrong?

David now did what he should have done before he began the task of transporting the Ark, he inquired of the Scriptures to see how the Lord had instructed the Ark to be carried. "Then David said, "No one is to carry the Ark of God but the Levites; for the Lord chose them to carry the Ark of God." (1 Chron. 15:2)

David then told the Priests that because they did not carry the Ark the Lord made an "outburst against us, for we did not seek Him according to the ordinance." (Vs 13)

Notice that this happened because they did not seek the will of God first to ensure that they were in accordance with His instruction.

Let us consider that God could have sent a prophet to David at any time to warn him. We see that God let David build the new cart and even let him believe that He was happy with the jubilant celebration.

From God's perspective, it had been commanded and written beforehand, "My Priests shall carry the Ark of the Covenant on their shoulders with the poles through the rings of the Ark." They were not even to touch it.

David had treated the transporting of the Ark which was holy, too casually. He did not fearfully inquire the Scriptures before he undertook this task. He asked no counsel of prophet or priest, but acted presumptuously.

So with the Priests bearing the Ark on their shoulders it was finally transported to Jerusalem.

Notice,- Thus all Israel brought up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the horn, with trumpets, with loud sounding cymbals, with harps and lyres." (Vs 28)

So we see that the Ark was brought into Jerusalem with celebration, vs 29 says that David danced, leaped and made-merry in front of it as it went forth. And this time God was happy because it had been done according to His command.

Modern Parallels

In His Word God tells us to observe carefully what He commands us to do, and to not treat casually what is holy. He warns that we should not add nor take away from what he says.

We can learn from this historic account that God cares more about obedience than sacrifice and celebration. Samuel once told King Saul that God cares more about obedience than sacrifice. We see that we may hold lively worship services with hours of praising, prayer and sacrificial offerings and still not please the Lord.

Jesus once said, "These people honor Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me. But in vain do they worship Me teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men." (Matt.15:8-9)

There are so many in the Christian world today who honor God with their lips but never fearfully inquire the will of God through His Word. Like David, who was a man after God's own heart, vainly tried to honor God by carrying the Ark on a new cart, we can worship in vain if we do not obediently seek God's will. Carrying the Ark on a new cart was "man's" idea of how best to hold the glory of God but it was unacceptable to God. Likewise we can have a worship which is not acceptable to God. Jesus said that the Father is seeking "true worshipers" who will worship Him in spirit and truth. (John 4:23)

We must come to see that God does not want His glory transported on a "new cart." He wants us to carefully carry-out His will as He so carefully instructs in the Scriptures.

Consider these things which God proclaims as holy,

"Commandments", "Tithes", "Annual Holy Days-Festivals", "Sabbath Day."

How many Christians today treat these holy things casually?

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries