Realizing our mistakes and returning to glorify and honor God is a great virtue. Therein lay His blessings and the courage to serve Him. The key to be in His presence and please Him is to seek Him according to His decrees. It is not okay to serve Him in a manner we deem as okay. The reason He gave us decrees to serve Him is to avoid the pollution of the flesh, which is the result of sin; for He alone is holy. Many deem that to serve Him with any good intention is honoring Him and desire to do so, but incur His anger or stillness. For example, when we worship Him, it must be in an orderly manner, i.e. without confusion, as prescribed in the Scripture. It must be with spirit and truth that is guided by the Holy Spirit. When we make a mistake in serving Him, the Lord lets us know that we return. But the most important point to note is that He does it only to those whom He called and chose. Not all that call themselves His children are His children. But if we are sure of His grace upon us, He makes us realize our mistakes so that we return to Him. David said, “Because you did not carry it at the first, the LORD our God made an outburst on us, for we did not seek Him according to the ordinance” (1 Chron. 15:13).
The Israelites were defeated by the Philistines and in course of their defeat lost the Ark of God too. The Philistines could not keep the Ark too long, since the Lord struck them repeatedly. So, they sent it away toward the land of Israel on a new cart hitched with two milch cows. And the Ark of God eventually ended in Kiriath-Jearim in the house of Abinadab. Later when all Israel called upon David and made him king, David had the good thought of bringing the Ark to Jerusalem so that they could seek it having ignored it in the days of King Saul. David gathered the captains, leaders, priests, Levites and all Israel to bring the Ark. At this juncture David made the mistake of ignoring the ordinance of God in carrying the Ark; so did the leaders, priests and the Levites. They mounted it on the cart and when the cart nearly upset the Ark, Uzza put his hand to hold the Ark. The anger of God burned against Uzza. He struck him and he died. David was angry with God for His outburst on Uzza, but from that day on was afraid of Him greatly. So, He left the Ark at Obed-Edom’s house for a period of three months. The Lord blessed Obed-Edom’s house.
After the three month period David realized that God was with Him; for He made him a house, established him as king over Israel and highly exalted his kingdom. God fought his wars and helped him defeat the enemy. David took strength and this time decided to bring the Ark according to God’s ordinance. He ordered the Levites to carry it. All the turmoil, vexation and loss could have been avoided if they followed God’s decree earlier. But human nature took precedence and the undesired happened. God too allowed it, for it was the duty of the king first and then the Levites to revere His decree. Yet, when they failed He did not cut them off. For His namesake He made them realize their mistake and led them to serve Him. As men in the flesh, we are vulnerable to ignore God. Often He forgives us and does not let consequences fall upon us. But there will be a time or two where He acts to show who He is. When we return, He takes us into His arms and blesses us abundantly. It is only those who are His elected that have the privilege of returning to Him so that they could say, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban” (Job 29:14).
God desires righteousness and justice dwell in us. Our mistakes are a hindrance to His works in and through us, but He is able and willing to bear them. More than the pain our hindrances cause Him God greatly rejoices in our returning to Him; for it is a defeat to sin and the one who owns it. What the devil does to destroy God does greater and holier things to build. The corrections we receive will serve us for the greater works we are to do for Him. The Psalmist says, “The LORD loves the gates of Zion More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob” (Ps. 87:2). So, returning to Him to glorify and honor Him according to His decrees is a great virtue. Our aim is to have a continual intimacy with Him. Of all the places Jacob dwelled from the time he was born to his death in Egypt, the Lord did not love one. He chose Zion, the dwelling place of His Ark; for His people served Him there. Because He loves His people and loves His ordinances for them, He makes them realize their mistakes that they return and are not cast away.
So, on that front His mind toward us is gracious that though He subjects us to realization, He is still for us. “Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice And haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel!” (Isa. 37:23). The enemy, whatever he or it may be, will not have their hand raised on us forever. God will deliver us from any situation, person and eventually from the Adversary. Whoever says or does anything against us, God takes it personally. He deems it an insult and reproach against Him. He saves us the green pastures. But for those who call themselves His people and are not, He has a different mind; for they never consider His ordinances. He said, “The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob, ‘Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds’” (Amos. 8:7). These act against Him by the pride of the Adversary in them, though they profess to be His people. He remembers their deeds. By this He shows those that are His and those that are not. He forgets our deeds by making us realize the election He made through obedience. That election stands forever. Great is the advantage for us then; His judgment never falls upon us. God only adds to us, to our works and to our purpose, because we are again made strong to do His will. “Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents” (Matt. 25:28). That which He takes away from others He adds to us.
Nevertheless, one thing must be noted by those under grace. When we make mistakes, sometimes the time needed to come back to the Lord may not be according to our liking. It may not be according to our will and schedule. It belongs to the Lord. The wise thing is try avoiding committing mistakes. And the best way for it is to “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). And it is also better to do it even after committing a mistake that we do not further enter into temptation. Though we may not evade all mistakes by the weakness of our flesh, the Lord will let us know of them, remind us His ordinance and if needed corrects us and will bring us to Him. Praise be to Him for perpetually saving us!