Seven Filters – Filter #3 Part 1 Are my methods correct?

Am I doing the right things the right way?

And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.” (1 Chronicles 13:9–10, ESV)

Sometimes all the good intentions in the world can still lead us to a disaster. Years ago, I had a job as a plant manager in a factory that printed paper. The printing press had cylinders upon which raised polymer printing plates were attached. The cylinders were driven by large gears which were designed to slide on the cylinder journals so the print position could be adjusted. One day, I heard something like large bells ringing in the plant. I discovered the sound coming from two employees swinging sledgehammers in an attempt to drive the gears onto the journals. In the process, they damaged the gears. They were driven on so tight that that the machine controls could not move them while trying to make necessary adjustments. The crew and maintenance department labored for hours to get the gears back off. The problem was that they did not follow the correct procedure to install the gears. They were to first inspect the journals and gears for damage, lubricate the journals, and then push the gears on to the journals by hand. To make a long story short, they were trying to do the right thing the wrong way.

This problem of trying to do the right thing the wrong way can be a major problem in life. For instance, someone wants to get married. They know that marriage is a life-long commitment. So, the couple gets the idea, let’s not get married right away. Instead, let us live together for a year to see if we are fully compatible. I have talked to many couples with this strange idea. The problem is that they have a noble goal but decided to pursue it in the wrong way. These types of ill-advised actions can lead to a disaster.

The text referenced here demonstrates an example from the Old Testament. David wanted to move the ark of God to Jerusalem. The put the ark on a new oxcart and with great fanfare proceed to Jerusalem. However, then the oxen stumble, and a man named Uzza touches the ark to stabilize it. The Scripture states that because of his actions, “the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.” Now from a human standpoint we cannot understand it. Israel was trying to do the right thing. They even used a new oxcart. Uzza was just trying to stabilize the ark. What’s the problem?

The problem was that they were trying to do the right thing the wrong way. The Law was clear. Only the Levites were to transport the arc, and this by putting poles through the rings on the ark and carrying it on their shoulders. Because Israel tried to do the right thing the wrong way, the celebration turned to sorrow and the ark’s journey to Jerusalem was delayed three months.

On the second attempt to take the ark to Jerusalem, things were different. David got things right and had the Levites carry the ark of God, just as the Law prescribed (1 Chr 15:2).

When you have a thought or idea that you think is from the Lord, run it through the filters. “Am I living like a spiritual person?” “Does the Bible say it is ok?” “Am I doing the right think the right (biblical) way?”

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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