David sought to bring the ark into Jerusalem but, because it was not handled correctly, “the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God” (13:10).
The Philistines searched for David in order to kill him. So, “David inquired of God, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Go up, and I will give them into your hand’” (14:10).
The Philistines made a raid and “David again inquired of God, [and] God said to him, ‘You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees.’ . . . And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer” (14:14,16).
Eventually, David summoned the priests, and they brought the ark up to Jerusalem in the manner in which God had instructed. David explained the reason the initial attempt was so disastrous: “Because you did not carry it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule” (15:13).
A string of events, here, reminding us of the importance of seeking God’s direction in all things and doing everything according to his good word.
Teach me, my God and King,
in all things Thee to see,
and what I do in anything,
to do it as for Thee.
If done t’bey Thy laws,
E’en servile labors shine;
hallowed is toil, if this the cause,
the meanest work divine. -- George Herbert (1633)