"DOING THE RIGHT THING IN A WRONG WAY"
I. THE DESIRE TO BRING THE ARK OF THE COVENANT TO JERUSALEM WAS A RIGHT THING.
A. David knew that the strength of a nation laid in it's relationship to God.
1. He knew that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin was a reproach to any people.
2. David wrote, "Happy are the people whose God is the Lord."
3. He desired to bring the consciousness of God, and the importance of keeping the law of God to the heart of the nation.
4. He knew that God had said:
And it shall come to pass, if you will hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
5. God had said concerning the kings that would rule over the people,
And it shall be, when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write a copy of this law in a book.
And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, [to] the right hand, or [to] the left: to the end that he may prolong [his] days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
a. David had been reigning over the tribe of Judah for seven and a half years in Hebron when this movement came to make him king over all of Israel.
b. One of his first actions was to bring the Ark of the Covenant and place it at the center of the place of government.
c. David knew the law of God.
6. David wrote:
Blessed [is] the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate day and night.
7. David loved the law of the Lord. He wrote, O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.
8. From his study and meditation on the Law of the Lord, he knew the promises of God's blessing on the nation that would walk in the ways of the Lord. For God had said in the law:
And it shall come to pass, if you will hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, and observe and do all his commandments which I commanded you this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if you will hearken unto the voice of the LORD your God.
You will be blessed in the city, and in the field.
Your children will be blessed, and your crops, and your cattle and your herds.
You will be blessed with an surplus of food.
You will be blessed when you come in and when you go out.
The LORD shall cause your enemies that rise up against you to be smitten before your face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before you seven ways.
The LORD shall command the blessing upon your storehouses, and in all that you set your hand to do. He shall bless you in the land which the LORD your God has given you.
The LORD shall establish thee as a holy people unto Himself, as He has sworn unto you, if thou will keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
And all people of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of you.
And the LORD shall multiply your goods.
The LORD shall open unto you His good treasure, the heaven will give the rain unto your land in its season, and will bless all the work of your hand: and you shall lend unto many nations, and you shall not borrow.
And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail; and yo shall be above and not beneath; if you will hearken unto the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them.
You shall not go aside from any of the words which I command you this day, [to] the right hand, or [to] the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
9. These are promises that God makes to any nation or group of people who will band themselves together to serve the Lord.
10. There however is the other side of the coin.
But it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you:
You will be cursed in the city, and in the field.
Your children will be a curse as well as your land and your cattle and herds.
You will be cursed when you come in, and cursed when you go out.
The LORD will send His curses upon you and you will be rebuked and vexed in everything you endeavor to do, until you are destroyed and perish. This shall come upon you because of your wickedness in forsaking Me.
The LORD shall cause pestilence to beset you until you have been consumed from off the land.
The LORD shall smite you with viruses and wars until you perish.
B. David knew that bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem the capitol of the nation would help establish the people as the people of the covenant. It would be a reminder that they were one nation under God, indivisible, we liberty and justice for all.
1. Within this box called the Ark of the Covenant were the two tables of stone upon which God had inscribed the ten commandments.
2. In the past when they had kept the law of God the nation had prospered, but when they forsook the law of God they suffered.
3. David is desiring to bring the nation back to God, back to the roots by bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.
4. David's desires were good and commendable.
II. WHAT DAVID WAS DOING WAS RIGHT, BUT HE WAS GOING ABOUT IT THE WRONG WAY.
A. In the book of the law there were specific instructions on how the Ark of the covenant was to be transported.
1. When the Ark was constructed, they had golden rings attached to the corners, and gold plated rods that passed through the golden rings.
2. When it came time to move, Aaron and his sons were to cover the holy vessels and then the priests were to come in and carry the Ark between them putting the golden staves on their shoulders. These were the instructions.
And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp moves forward; the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch [any] holy thing, lest they die.
3. Note that David had made a new cart to carry the Ark of the Covenant.
4. When the Ark of the Covenant had been captured by the Philistines it became such a curse to them that they decided to send it back to Israel. In sending it back, they put it on a cart, and had the cart drawn by a couple of cows.
5. David is copying the ways of the Philistines rather than the ways of the Lord.
6. There are many churches today who are guilty of the same sin. They seek to copy worldly methods to try to draw people to church. They look to Madison Ave. for guidance and methods rather than to the Holy Spirit.
7. To seek to get more people interested in going to church is good, But like David, they are seeking to do a good thing, but they are doing it in the wrong way.
B. And as with David, the endeavor often ends in tragedy.
1. As the Ark was being carried on the cart, the oxen stumbled and the cart lurched. Uzza who was driving the cart, reached out to steady the Ark, and as he touched the Ark, he died.
2. Suddenly this moment of great revelry turned into a somber occasion. The singing and the dancing suddenly stopped, and the procession toward Jerusalem ceased, and David was displeased, and he greatly feared God, and said, "How can I bring the Ark of the Lord home to me?"
3. The Ark was left right there at the house of Obed-Edom.
C. Doing the right thing is important, but of greater importance is that I do it in the right way, and with the right motives.
1. Many of the works that men have done ostensibly for the Lord will yield no eternal reward.
2. They did a good thing, but they did it with the wrong motive. They did it to receive the praise and applause of man.
a. Jesus warned us to be careful how we did our righteous deeds, not to do them to be seen of man, (Don't let that be the motive, for if so, we already have received our reward.)
b. Many enter the ministry to fulfill some psychological need in their life.
c. The Bible encourages us to examine ourselves and judge ourselves, for if we judge ourselves we will not be judged by God.
d. Why am I doing, what I am doing for the Lord?
III. THIS SHOULD SURELY PUT TO REST THE QUESTION OF, DOES THE END JUSTIFY THE MEANS?
A. In God's eyes, evidently not.
1. David was seeing to do the right thing, but he was doing it in the wrong way, and suffered the consequences.
2. God indeed wants me to do the right thing, but there is also a right way to do it.