If At First You Don’t Succeed!

II Samuel 6:1-14 “Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the Lord of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perez-uzzah to this day. And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me? So David would not remove the ark of the Lord unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household. And it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness. And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.”

Text II Samuel 6:9 “And David . . .  said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me?”

The quickest way to be a failure is to stop trying to succeed! David and the chosen men of Israel went down to bring the ark of God back to Jerusalem. David’s first attempt was not only a failure, but a man’s life was taken in the process. Moved by fear and shame, David abandoned the project short of his intended goal. Failure could have been the end of the story, but David made a second attempt “and brought up the ark of God . . . into the city of David with gladness.” Success can be achieved if we will consider two things. “Am I doing the right thing?” There is no question that David was trying to do the right thing! The ark of God belonged in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle in Jerusalem; that’s a fact. David did not fail because he was trying to do the wrong thing. Your failure could be attributed to attempting something that you know is not pleasing to the Lord. Secondly, “Am I doing it the right way?” David’s problem was trying to do the right thing the wrong way; move the ark on a cart! God had a select group of men that were to bare the ark on their shoulders. There may not be anything wrong with the goals that you have set; you failed because you’re not doing it God’s way. Paul said that we can’t expect to succeed “except he strive lawfully” (II Timothy 2:5). Rather than quit and allow his life to be defined by failure, David discovered the problem and succeeded in the second attempt. If we will attempt the right thing in the right way, God promises success!