We’ve got David standing here mad at the Lord, when, in fact, the Lord was angry at David. About now you might be thinking, Well, I thought you said he was a man after God’s heart. I did—or, rather, God did. Does that mean he’s perfect? It does not. Having a heart for God doesn’t mean you’re perfect, it means you’re sensitive. It means every detail is important. And when you see you’re wrong, you face it. You own up. You come to terms with it.
The problem was that David had not done his homework. We often get into trouble when we don’t do our homework—when we think we see pretty clearly what the Lord’s will is, and so in expediency or in convenience (usually in a hurry) we dash off to do it our way. And the Lord says, “Look, I’ve written a lot of things in My Book about that decision you just made, and I want you to take counsel from Me. That’s why it’s not working. If you want to have a heart for Me, then you check My Word, and you find either a precept or a principle then go according to that. When you do that, I’ll give you joy like you can’t believe. If you don’t, I will make you miserable.” In fact, in David’s case, the Lord said, “I’ll even take some lives.”
Centuries later, Ananias and Sapphira did very much the same thing. They presumed on the Lord and didn’t take Him seriously. We see Uzzah the same way, taken from the earth because he touched an ultra-holy article of furniture that was not to be touched, especially by a non-Levite. Who cares about Levites? God does. Who cares about little ringlets and little golden poles that go through ringlets? God does. If He didn’t care, He wouldn’t have said anything about it. And because He cares, we must also care.
That’s the whole point here. When we begin to care about the things God cares about, we become people after His heart, and only then do we begin to have real freedom and real happiness.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.