In I Chronicles 15:13 is a statement made by David that should be considered very seriously by all who desire to go to heaven. This statement was made in reference to the failure in moving the ark of God as God had directed. The failure in following God's instructions also resulted in the death of Uzza when he touched the ark. David gives the reason why they failed in moving the ark and why God smote Uzza. David said in verse 13 "for that we sought Him not after the DUE ORDER." Yes, God is a God of order and man had better behold the pattern. The message is, it makes all the difference how we attempt to please God. The idea that is so popular today is, that it does not make any difference what one believes religiously as long as he is honest and sincere. This idea sounds good, but it is the Devil's lie. If you could ask Uzza, "Does it make any difference how one serves God?", what do you think his answer would be?. The truth is, no matter how honest or sincere we might be, that is not the standard as to whether a thing is right or wrong. The guideline in matters of religion is not our feelings or sincerity, but the word of God.
As far as transporting the ark of the Lord, God had given specific instructions as to how it was to be done. God had also given instructions as to who would carry the ark when it was to be moved. The Levites were to "bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the Lord", I Chron. 15:15.
In I Sam. 7:1, 2 it says the ark was brought into the house of Abinadab in Kirjathjearim and stayed there twenty years. It was from the house of Abinadab that David and all Israel attempted to move the ark, which resulted in a failure and the death of Uzza. This failure was not because of ignorance, but a lack of reverence and respect for God's Word.
Now notice the attempt to move the ark as recorded in I Chron.13:7. "And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab; and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart". One might wonder why they did not follow God's instructions in moving the ark. One also might wonder why so many preachers and teachers today do not follow God's instructions as to how to be saved, or what is acceptable worship. Is it because that man thinks he can improve upon God's way? After all, putting the ark on a new cart and letting the oxen pull it, would save a lot of work. Man would not be burdened to have to carry it and as long as it reached its destination, that was all that mattered. Maybe that is the way they reasoned in their hearts. But the fact is , they totally disregarded God's Word, and God completely rejected their service.
Or maybe they were thinking like so many today think, "God never said it would be wrong to carry the ark on a new cart". Well, let us bring it a little closer to home, concerning playing musical instruments in worship. Those who try to justify such practice will often say, "the Bible does not say anywhere that it is wrong to play musical instruments in worship". But neither did God say anywhere it was wrong to carry the ark on a new cart pulled by oxen. In both cases though, God has made it known what he does want. The kind of music God has commanded in worship is vocal: Eph. 5:19, "Speaking to yourselves in psalm and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord".
Friend, the question is not what God wants concerning music in worship. The question is are you willing to respect and honor God's word in this matter and be content in doing just what he says. Man cannot improve upon God's Way and God will also reject any attempt to do so. Listen to Jesus in Mark 7:7, "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men". Playing musical instruments in worship is a commandment of man because it comes from man. It is not from God either by a direct command or by a example of the early New Testament church using them. And because it is not following after the "due order" of God's Way, he will reject those who use it, just as he did those in David's day who followed not his commands. This principle applies not only to the kind of music God wants but to all aspects of our worship and service to him.
Back in I Chron.13:8 during the moving of the ark on the new cart it says, "And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets". Sounds as if they were all fired up, full of zeal, sincere and feeling good about moving the ark doesn't it? But there is an important principle here, that we need to make note of.. One's feelings about what is right religiously is not the guideline; what God says, is the guideline. David and his company felt good about their service to God at this time, but the fact was, they were wrong and God rejected their service. Now when they "came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzzah put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark; and there he died before the Lord" I Chron.13:9,10.
There are two things I want to mention concerning what we can learn from this lesson. First, man could avoid many awkward and dangerous situations by doing what is right to begin with. As in the case with Uzzah, if only they had followed God's instructions in moving the ark, he would never found himself trying to steady the ark with his hand.
Second, it is of utmost importance to serve God as he has directed. The importance of David's words in I Chron.15:13 cannot be over emphasized when he stated the reason God rejected their service. He said, "For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order".
Sadly, many today attempt to serve God but not according to "the due order". Mankind needs to know that our God is a God of order, and he has an order or pattern as how one becomes a Christian. He has a pattern concerning the Church, an order of worship which must be followed according to the truth, John 4:24. Let us all study God's word to be sure we are following him according to "the due order".