So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. (2 Samuel 6:15, N.K.J.V.)
David had a God-approved plan to make the city of Jerusalem not only the capital city of Israel but also its spiritual center. To accomplish that, he needed to get the Ark of the Covenant moved into Jerusalem from its sitting location in the home of a man named Abinadab (1 Samuel 7:1). Abinadab lived at a place called Baale Judah (also known as Kirjath Jearim), and the Ark had been stationed in his home for approximately twenty years, with his son Eleazar serving as a priest (1 Samuel 7:2).
David assembled 30,000 of the choicest men in Israel, including some priests, and led the grand procession to Abinadab’s home to fetch the Ark (2 Samuel 6:1-2; 1 Chronicles 13:1-6). He also had a beautiful cart built upon which the Ark would sit as it was transported to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:3-4; 1 Chronicles 13:7). All seemed well as the Ark was removed from Abinadab’s home and loaded onto the cart, and soon the procession was making its way up the road to Jerusalem, with David and scores of other musicians playing worship music on an assortment of instruments (2 Samuel 6:5; 1 Chronicles 13:8)). Two of Abinadab’s descendants, Uzzah and Ahio, drove the cart, which was pulled by oxen (2 Samuel 6:3; 1 Chronicles 13:7).
But then suddenly and without warning tragedy struck. As the procession approached a site known as Nachon’s (Chidon’s) threshing floor, the oxen that were pulling the cart stumbled, and Uzzah instinctively reached back and took hold of the Ark to steady it (2 Samuel 6:6; 1 Chronicles 13:9). While that might have seemed like a logical thing to do, as soon as Uzzah touched the Ark God became angry and struck him dead (2 Samuel 6:7; 1 Chronicles 13:10).
The quick, tragic turn of events made David himself angry enough to rename the place “Perez Uzzah,” which means “Outburst Against Uzzah” (2 Samuel 6:8; 1 Chronicles 13:11). It also threw a serious scare into him and he immediately shut down the entire procession and took the Ark instead to the nearby home of a man named Obed-Edom (2 Samuel 6:9-10; 1 Chronicles 13:12-13). There it would remain for the next three months as God blessed Oded-Edom, his entire household, and all his possessions (2 Samuel 6:11; 1 Chronicles 13:14).
It was over the course of those three months that David figured out what he had done wrong. He had either forgotten or hadn’t understood that God had specified in the Mosaic law that the Ark of the Covenant could only been moved by the Levitical family of Kohath (Numbers 3:30-31; 4:15; 7:9; 1 Chronicles 15:11-13), and even they could never touch it. If the Ark was moved, it was to be lifted by way of two poles that were inserted through rings on both sides of it. The Kohathites were to lift the poles onto their shoulders and walk the Ark to wherever it was being taken (Numbers 7:9; Numbers 15:2-).
Armed with this knowledge, David was now truly ready to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. So he put together a new procession, this one prominently featuring the heads of the priestly tribe of Levi, including specifically the members of the family of Kohath (1 Chronicles 15:1-13). He even had the Levites handpick the singers and musicians who would be included in the procession (1 Chronicles 15:16-24). To further assure that God was pleased with the transporting, David instructed the Kohathites who were carrying the Ark upon their shoulders to take their six openings steps and then stop. He then offered up an on-the-spot sacrifice of oxen and fatted sheep before the procession resumed its march (2 Samuel 6:13). This was a man who had learned that God’s work must be done in God’s way.
As you might guess, God was pleased with David’s second attempt, and the Ark of the Covenant was successfully transported from the home of Obed-Edom to Jerusalem. As the procession made its way into the city, David danced, leaped, and whirled about in a godly ecstasy as he played music (2 Samuel 6:14-16;1 Chronicles 15:27-29). The Ark was then placed inside the tent that David had specially erected for it (2 Samuel 6:17; 1 Chronicles 16:1).
Now, by way of application to your life, let me ask you something: Did you once pursue a God-appointed goal only to have that goal somehow derailed? Perhaps the derailment was your fault or perhaps it was the fault of someone else. Either way the end result was the same as your dream died somewhere on the road between your Abinadab’s house and your Jerusalem. For that matter, is some Obed-Edom right now enjoying blessings that God originally intended for you? If this description fits you, please hear what I’m about to say: Take the entire situation to God, let Him teach you what you need to know about it, and when the time is right GO GET YOUR ARK.
You say, “But it’s been such a long time.” Well, I’m not disputing that. You say, “And right now there are so many roadblocks to it happening.” Okay, ask God to remove the roadblocks. You say, “I’m not even sure that the goal is still God’s will for my life.” Admittedly, that is a valid concern. That’s why you need to begin your reexamination of your goal by asking God to teach you what His thoughts are concerning the situation as it stands right now.
And I’ll concede that perhaps that goal that was once approved of God for an earlier season of your life has now vanished, never to return again. Sadly, such things happen in this world of heartbreak and loss. But then again, maybe, just maybe, God is circling you back around to that goal, and He has had me write this post and you read it because He’s preparing you for that time when He’ll help you go get your Ark. That’s a possibility that, at least, merits considerable time in prayer on your part. After all, if God still has a potential blessing in play for you, the last thing you want to do is give up on it prematurely. Think about it.