Read 2 Samuel 6:1-12; 1 Chronicles 13:1-14; 15:1-15
Learning From Mistakes
While there are many positive incidents in the life of David, and we can learn from the many godly actions and encouraging attitudes he often displayed, there are also some bad examples from which we can learn. There is great value in learning from your own mistakes, but if we can learn from the mistakes of others, isn’t that even better?
David said, “Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul” (1 Chronicles 13:3). He had a great idea but failed in the proper execution of it. He did not take the time to determine the correct procedures to transport the ark. “So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart” (1 Chronicles 13:7).
God had given specific instructions about transportation of the ark with specially made poles placed through engraved rings (Exodus 25:12-15; 37:1-5). These instructions were not followed. When the oxen that were pulling the new cart stumbled, Uzza reached out to steady the ark. He did not want it to fall. “Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God” (1 Chronicles 13:10).
Was David wrong in wanting the ark nearby, so that he could consult with the Lord before making big decisions? Was Uzza wrong in his desire to not see the ark fall to the ground? The intentions of these men were good; the execution of their intentions was wrong. God had spoken on the matter and they had ignored God’s instructions.
David learned from his mistake and admitted his error. In instructing the Levites later to transport the ark, he said, “For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult him about the proper order” (1 Chronicles 15:13).
David learned from his mistake, and we can learn from his mistake as well. When we seek to do something for the Lord, should we not consult His Word to be sure we are acting according to His will? Whether it concerns salvation, or worship, or everyday life, should we not strive to serve Him according to His wishes?