“The poles…are not to be removed.” Ex 25:15 NIV
The ark of the covenant represented the presence of God in the midst of His people. When the Philistines captured it, they were smitten with tumors. When they placed it in their temple, their god Dagon fell to the ground (See 1Sa 5). The moral of this story is—don’t mess around with the things of God! Even if you are not prepared to serve God, at least be wise and reverence Him.
When Israel conquered the Philistines, David decided to bring the ark, the symbol of God’s presence, back home to Jerusalem. Now, when God designed that ark He put rings on the side of it, and poles through those rings, saying it must only be carried on the shoulders of special priests. But somebody thought up “a better way,” so they put it on a new cart pulled by an ox. And that’s when everything went wrong. When the ark started to slip off the cart, a well-meaning bystander decided to steady it. And he died for it! You say, “That’s pretty extreme.” There’s a lesson here for those who want to package God’s presence, market it, and “take it on the road.” Who is qualified to carry God’s presence? Only believer-priests who have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, are washed by the Word at the laver, who fellowship with God at His table, who worship Him at the altar of incense, and who walk in the light of truth represented by the seven-branched lampstand. Away with newfangled carts! “The Lord added to the church” (Ac 2:47 NKJV). If we are going to carry God’s presence and build His church, we’ve got to do it His way.