veryone had settled onto Doc Solomon’s porch. Each one was listening intently as Doc began to speak. “In the Middle Ages, a story was told about a man named Robin Hood. Supposedly, he stole money from the rich people in his country and gave that money to the poor. He wanted to help those in need but he became a thief. He may have had a good motive, but his actions were wrong. God says, ‘Do not steal!’ So is giving to the poor a good reason to steal?” Doc asked the kids who were sitting on his porch. “Is it right to do something you know is wrong because in the end something good will come about? God shows us the answer in His Word.”
“Not long after King David took the throne in Jerusalem, he decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the city. The Ark of the Covenant was a very special part of the Tabernacle of God. Inside the Tabernacle, the Ark was placed behind a curtain called a veil. One time a year, the High Priest could go into that part of the Tabernacle to place the blood of a lamb on the Mercy Seat at the top of the Ark. This was done to cover the sin of the people of Israel for the year. The offering was temporary and could not take away the punishment of sin. The Bible teaches that the punishment for sin is separation from God. That is why the Ark was placed inside the tent behind the veil.
“Inside the Ark of the Covenant, Moses had placed the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments and some manna. It was central to worshiping the Most High God. David felt it important to have the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant located in Jerusalem. David had the right motives. He wanted the Tabernacle and the place of worship for God to be located in the center of the country.
“Currently, it was located just a few miles away in the town of Kirjath Jearim. It had been there for twenty years. Now it was time for the Ark to move to a more permanent home. David took 30,000 men with him. Joy filled the air. Soon the Ark of the Covenant would be located in Jerusalem. They finally reached Abinadab’s house where it resided. They brought a new cart for the Ark to be carried back to Jerusalem. They lifted it onto the cart. As they were traveling along the road, the oxen stumbled causing the Ark to move. Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark of God and touched it. Only the High Priest could touch the Ark and then only after preparing to meet the Most High God. Uzzah hadn’t been prepared and immediately he died. Uzzah’s action, even though it was with good intentions, caused him to die.
“The mood immediately changed from jubilation to sadness. David took the cart with the Ark on it to Obed-Edom, who lived nearby. The Lord blessed Obed-Edom during the three months that the Ark resided there.
“In his zeal to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, David didn’t find out the right way to move it. ‘How can I bring the Ark to Jerusalem?’ David questioned. Very precise instructions for transporting the Ark had been written in the law. He researched the right way to move the Ark. He found that it should never have been placed on a cart. It should have been carried by six priests with poles to hold the Ark so that no one touched it. He had tried to do something for the right reason, but the wrong way.
“With all the correct procedures in place, David went with a great number of people to Obed-Edom’s home. It was time to bring the Ark to Jerusalem – the right way. First, six priests carried the Ark. Then after six steps, David stopped everyone. He offered a sacrifice of an ox and a sheep to the Lord. Afterward, everyone played music, sang, and danced. It was like a parade. David led the way, dancing and playing the harp with all his might. He was caught up in worshiping the Lord.
“Twirling and whirling through Jerusalem, he passed his own house. Michal, his wife, watched as he passed. She couldn’t believe the way he was behaving. But that didn’t stop David from worshiping the Lord. He continued to enjoy the day. After the Ark was placed in the Tabernacle, David offered more sacrifices to the Lord. He blessed the people and gave everyone a piece of raisin cake. It had been a good day. Through this experience, David learned a valuable lesson. It is important to do something for the right reason in the right way.
“Uzzah lost his life because David moved the Ark in the wrong way. Even with the right reason, there were consequences for the wrong actions. Many people do the same thing today. They want to go to Heaven, so they think that if they do enough good things, then God will overlook their bad actions. However, that is not what the Bible teaches. It reads, ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23) and ‘The wages of sin is death…’ (Romans 6:23a). This means that if you have sinned even one time, your sin payment is death or separation from God. Romans 6:23b reads, “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” A gift is something freely given and not earned.
“You cannot be good enough to go to Heaven. But you can accept the free gift that God has already given to you – eternal life. How can you receive it? First, realize that you are a sinner. Second, believe in what Jesus Christ did for you, how that He took your punishment on the cross with Him, and then believe that He arose from the grave three days after He died. The Bible teaches in Romans 10:9, ‘If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.’ So the third step is to confess or tell God what you believe concerning Jesus.”
Doc looked at each one on his porch, “What about you? Are you going to follow God the right way for the right reason?”