Right Thing, Right Way – Man as Instructor

“And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn. - 2 Samuel 6:12-15 ESV

Canada's 100-meter sprinter Ben Johnson, arguably the fastest man in history, flew down the track in a world-record 9.79 seconds, only .13 of a second in front of 1984 quadruple gold medalist Carl Lewis of the U.S. At the finish line, in angry celebration and to taunt Lewis, Johnson thrust an index finger to the sky. Johnson later told reporters, "I don't care about the perfect race. I don't care what the world record is. I just wanted to beat Carl." Johnson's pursuit of shaming a rival brought shame upon himself. The Olympics' crackdown on illegal drugs, requiring post-race urine tests of all winners, revealed Johnson had taken stanozolol, a forbidden anabolic steroid. Within three days he was stripped of his medal and record and banned from competitive athletics for two years. He left Seoul like a criminal, hiding his face behind a briefcase as he was mobbed by photographers. A seemingly small decision to enhance athletic performance with an illegal drug set Johnson up for a life out of control.[1]

Johnson won the race, but he did it the wrong way. You see, men, God doesn’t just care about what we do, but He cares how we do it! Doing the right thing the wrong way has been a problem for ages. David learned this principle the hard way when he tried to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem his own way.  First, they loaded the Ark on a cart for transport.  Didn’t matter that it was a “new” one. God gave specific instructions about how the Ark was to be transported, and it was not on a cart.  It was to be carried by Levites (Num. 4:15).
 Second, this whole fiasco was made even more tragic when a Uzzah tried to steady the Ark and it cost the man his life (v 6-7). Again, the Ark was not to be touched (Num. 4:15).  It was not a mistake to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, but David did it the wrong the way, and it was a disaster.

Thankfully, David did not miss the fact that the Lord was displeased.  So apparently, David looked to the Scriptures for direction, and took the Ark to the home of Obed-edom, a Levite, for safe keeping, as the Lord prescribed.  When the Lord blessed the Levite, David felt like he had another chance to do it right.  This time he moved the Ark with fervent worship to the Lord through rejoicing, dancing, and sacrifices (v 12-15).  God looked with favor on David’s efforts and the task was completed successfully.

When we make a mistake and experience a defeat, then course correct and experience success like David did, that becomes an opportunity for us as Instructors to impart to those in our charge the wisdom gained from our experience.  The Lord has given me a timely verse to share from my own experience: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5-6 KJV).  When in doubt about how to proceed, trust the Lord and humbly ask Him for guidance.  He will never fail to direct your steps forward.
We learn from David that doing the right thing the wrong way can have devastating effects and even cause harm to others. However, doing the right thing the right way can bring great joy to our hearts and to those we love! Most importantly as men of God, we bring honor and glory to God... the right way! 

Have you ever done the right thing the wrong way? If so, what measures have you put into place so that it never happens again?  How are you imparting wisdom from your mistake? 
When we do things God’s way, we are blessed and those in our household are as well. How are you teaching this principle to those you are influencing with your life and example?
Ask God for teachable moments to share wisdom from your own experience and for ways to instruct those in your charge to do the right thing the right way – God’s way! 

[1] Jeanne Zornes, "Taking the High Road," Pursuit, Vol. V, No. 1, 1996, 13-15.