According to the Rule
1 Chronicles 15:13 (ESV) – “Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.”
Super Bowl 57 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles ended in controversy. The game went to the final minutes. Both teams played a good game and had their moments. But in the waning minutes of the game, as Kansas City drove the ball downfield, the referee threw a flag on the Eagles defensive back, not only giving the Chiefs a first down, but sealing their ability to run out the clock and kick a winning field goal. The Chiefs did just that.
The controversy during and after the game was not on whether the call was holding, but whether it was the right time to call it. It wasn’t really a debate about the call being accurate. It was about the call being appropriate in that moment of the biggest game of the year. People’s responses vary.
Our passage today hits on something similar. In 1 Chronicles 15:13, we read, “Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.”
This passage records David’s words to the priests as they prepare to move the ark of God. The last time it was moved, David and some other men carried it and one of them, Uzza, touched the ark out of instinctual reaction to steady it and he died. That scared everyone. David tells them that the reason for God’s response against them was “they did not seek him according to the rule.” The rule was the commands God had laid out previously for transporting the ark, and for not touching it. These were recorded in Scripture. They did not seek Him according to the rule.
This passage teaches us that God upholds His Word. He does not give us the right to change His statutes and commands to our whims. His Word never changes or fails. David and his men learned this first-hand with the ark. We should understand it too. God doesn’t shift with the times and seasons.
Simply because something has grown out of fashion with the world, doesn’t mean God has moved one inch. In fact, He doesn’t. Let’s stay with Him and live according to the rule.
Reflection & Journal:
- How did David and his men learn the lesson about the ark being carried properly?
- What does this passage teach us about how Uzza’s death affected David?
- Why should this passage warn us today about thinking we can create our own ways of living without consulting God’s way?
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