By Lloyd Nash
“The due order” . . . this phrase was uttered by David, one of God’s great servants. Let’s look at this statement and see what brought it on. David thought it good to bring up the ark of God again. He failed the first time because he sought it not after the due order. Although David was the second king of Israel, and a man after God’s own heart, he still had to follow God’s order.
In 1 Chronicles 13:1-3a:
And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. And he said unto all the congregations of Israel, It if seem good unto you, and that it be of the Lord our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren everywhere, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us: and let us bring agin the ark of God to us.”
They all agreed. It seems that they had not had access to the ark of God for a long time. So, David and all of Israel went up to Baalah; that is, to Kirjathjearim, to bring up the ark, and they carried it on a new cart (1 Chron. 13:1-7; 2 Sam. 6:30).
They all seemed to be very happy. But, this disobedience caught up with David. Uzzah lost his life because he put forth his hand to the ark. David knew who was to carry the ark: Kohath Levites. He also knew how it was to be carried: on their shoulders. This he knew all along. We can’t say that the Levites were not there, for we can see that they were. The second time David made preparation to bring up the ark, he did it in accord with the due order. He said none ought to carry the ark, but the Levites – for them God had chosen. He told them why he failed the first time. So, when he followed God’s plan, his joys were not turned to sadness.
Paul tells us, “for whatsoever things were written afore time were written for our learning.” So, being Christians, we should follow the Lord’s order in worship. This includes singing without mechanical instruments of music. Some say they don’t see anything wrong with musical instruments. David didn’t see anything wrong with carrying the ark of God on a new cart. But, God did (Rom. 15:4; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).
As members of the church of Christ, we must follow the due order. We preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified; one Lord, one faith, one baptism. We preach one gospel, and anything more than this is out of order. We pray. Paul said, “I will that men pray everywhere.” We pray as did our Lord that we all be one. We give as we prosper in accord with the order. This does not authorize pie and barbecue selling (1 Cor. 2:2; Eph. 4:5; Gal. 1:6, 8, 9; 1 Tim. 2:8; Jn. 17:21; 1 Cor. 16:1-2).
As Christians, we try to reach sinners so we can teach them about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. This with the hope that it will produce faith which will lead to repentance, confession of Christ, and then baptism for the remission of sins. Following the example of early Christians, we do not sprinkle sinners, baptize babies, or pour water on their heads. If we do these things, we would not be following the due order, for the act of baptism is a burial (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Acts 15:7; Heb. 11:6; Mk. 2:7; Acts 2:38; Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9-10; Mk. 16:15-16; Rom. 6:1-4).
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 11, p. 339
June 6, 1985