In 2 Samuel 6, David learned an important lesson – a humbling lesson. David was king. He had achieved great success. Israel and Judah were united. Jerusalem was the capitol city. And as the crowning act, the Ark of the Covenant, the very presence of God would be brought to the city. But God is sovereign and almighty – don’t forget that, David. Maybe he thought he was doing the right thing for God, but the Law handed down from God to Moses was very specific on how the Ark must be carried. When David saw God’s power unleashed, David became afraid. For three months, David kept the Ark outside the city and away from David. It was a time in which David learned the lesson of humility and a respect for God and what God wanted. Even when we think we are doing for God what we think would please God, have we really checked with God – have we searched the scriptures to determine what God wants?
In Matthew 17, the disciples have a humbling moment. They try to heal a child, but they cannot do it. They’ve watched as Jesus did it. In chapter ten, they were sent out by Jesus and were able to heal the sick. But this time, they failed. They had an important lesson yet to learn about faith.
“If you have faith as small as a mustard seek, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
The size of the faith is not important. What’s important is the God in whom you believe. The disciples were still not in tune with the true God who was calling them (and Jesus) to obedience and the way of the cross. Remember those times when Jesus would go off by himself to pray? Remember Jesus’ devotion to God? Who are we (the disciples) to think we can manage without such discipline and devotion to God? In the end, it is God who heals. The disciples had faith in their ability. They still lacked the faith found in the One who heals.