“When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.” 2 Samuel 6:13 NIV
This verse is the second attempt of David to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. You see here the care that he took this time. After six steps they stopped to make a sacrifice! It was a very different attitude than the first time they attempted to move it.
When the Presence of God comes, it comes on His terms, not ours. God’s Presence comes when His commands are revered, hearts are clean and confession is made.
The first time David attempted to move the Ark, it was met with tragedy. The Ark had been loaded onto a cart. Not carried by the poles as God had instructed. No sacrifices were made to signify the repentance and cleansing necessary to honor the Presence of God. In their harried and haphazard approach in moving the Ark the first time, Uzzah reached out to keep the Ark from falling off the cart. Touching the Ark signified disrespect for God’s instructions. And Uzzah was struck dead. In these actions, the Holy became humdrum. The sacred became second-rate. Commands were exchanged for convenience. *
David became fearful of the Lord. The mission was aborted. Big changes were adopted the second time around that reflected the honor and reverence the Presence of God commands.
It made me ask, “How do I honor the Presence of God?” In time with Him. Praising Him and acknowledging all His power and glory. Inviting Him to deal with my heart, washing over me and tenderly showing me where and when my heart needs an adjustment. In that intimate space, I find His Presence. I experience the peace, joy, renewal and refreshment that only He can bring.
Father, I pray that I welcome Your Presence properly, in obedience, with a clean and repentant heart.
*Adapted from “Facing Your Giants” by Max Lucado