After The Due Order

By Steve Hudgins

There is a very interesting admission made by David, a very thought provoking statement in 1 Chron. 15:13. In speaking to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests and to six Levites who should have attended to the moving of the ark from Kirjath-Jearim out of the house of Abinadab to Jerusalem, 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.” God had given complete instructions as to how the ark was to be prepared for moving, how it was to be moved and who was to move it (Num. 4:5, 6, 15). The priests were to cover the ark, first with the covering veil, then with a covering of badgers’ skins and finally with a cloth of blue. The priests were to place the staves in the side of the ark and then the sons of Kohath, descendants of Aaron, were to come and bear it upon their shoulders (Num. 7:9; 2 Chron. 15:15). Though the Levites carried the ark they were not to touch it under penalty of death. Instead of following this order that God had appointed, the ark was loaded on a new cart drawn by oxen and accompanied by two sons of Abinadab, Uzza and Ahio. When they came to Nachon’s threshing floor the oxen shook the ark and Uzza put forth his hand to steady the ark and God smote him dead. He no doubt meant well but he violated God’s command and died for it (1 Chron. 13:7-10; 2 Sam. 6:1-7).

David confessed that they had not followed God’s due order and now commanded Zadok and Abiathar, the priests and six sons of Kohath to prepare and move the ark according to the way God commanded Moses (1 Chron. 15:13-15). This incident should serve as a lesson today to all who claim to believe the Bible. God means what He says and says what He means. Man’s sincerity and good intentions do not take precedence over God’s specific commands. Man is not to substitute his own ways-his “good” judgment, no not even in an emergency, for what God has commanded. God’s due order is to be respected and observed.

Consider a few other examples of respect and lack of respect given to God’s due order. Abel followed God’s due order regarding sacrifice while Cain did not and, as a result, God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and rejected Cain’s (Gen. 4:3-7; Heb. 11:4). Noah followed God’s instructions concerning the ark by which he and his family were saved From the flood (Gen. 6:14-16, 22; Heb. 11:7). How well Noah followed God’s due order is shown in Gen. 6:22, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” This is the proper way for observing God’s due order-do just what God commands and in the way He commands. Nadab and Abihu were not so particular in doing all’ that God commanded them which resulted in their destruction by fire (Lev. 10:1, 2).

Does anyone have any reason to believe that God is any less concerned today about His due order being followed? Can we all learn something from David here? God has a due order for the saving of mankind from sins. His order requires faith, love and obedience (Matt. 7:21; 1 John 5:3; 2 John 6; John 14:15, 21,23,24; Heb. 5:8, 9; Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 2:38). Millions are ignoring God’s order and are following man’s order of “faith only.” God’s order for baptism requires a burial in water for the remissions of sins, to be saved, to get into Christ (Col. 2:12; Acts 2:31; Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21; Rom. 6:1-5). Multitudes are not willing to bow to God’s way but satisfy themselves with being with the majority who deny that baptism is a condition of salvation and say the “form” does not matter. God’s order for the church calls for one body with one Head and under divine authority (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 4:4-6; Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22, 23). God’s order is rejected for man’s many ways and personal choices (Isa. 66:1-4). The proper way of acceptable worship has been set forth (Acts 2:41; Eph. 5:19). The popular idea of “anything in the way of worship as long as one is sincere” is preferred by most.

The same thing that caused the breach in David’s time has caused division in the church today-a failure to follow God’s due order. Sermons stressing God’s pattern and the need for following it have been replaced with the popular sermon topic, “Where There Is No Pattern.” The idea seems to be that we have been too strict in insisting on following patterns set forth in the scriptures-that God has left some things up to our “good” judgment and common sense. Just as God has a due order for salvation, baptism, the church and worship, He has a due order for the work of His church. He has furnished us completely concerning that order (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 1 Pet. 4:11). We need to respect that order, abide in the doctrine, and stay with the patterns set forth in God’s word. It is safe and scriptural to do what God commands. Bible examples show that when God’s due order was followed the people were blessed. They did not add to, take from, nor substitute for what God told them.

Truth Magazine XXIII: 11, p. 188
March 15, 1979