Secrets to Protocol

by Scott Hogle on March 31, 2024

But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.

2 Samuel 6:6-7

Good intentions aren’t enough at the highest levels of leadership; competency and protocol are required. Every leader has a way in which they like to be handled, including God. Every environment has a protocol that, when followed, creates success and, when ignored, creates failure. David, either out of ignorance or forgetfulness, failed to properly handle God and His presence when the Ark was brought up. There is protocol in your work environment, at church, and in the White House. Are you surprised that God has protocols? While there is grace for many situations, there are also consequences. Failure to learn protocol can cause offense, create missed opportunities, and separate you from people and environments you want access to. Are you aware of the protocols in the environments you enter?

With great responsibility comes great accountability.  David alone was responsible for the death of Uzzah. The law required the Ark of God to be carried on staves, not on a cart. Anyone touching the Ark would die. Scripture records David’s emotions going from anger toward the Lord for killing his friend to fearing God. When you enter a new environment, be aware of:

CULTURE: What are the nuances of the environment?

AUTHORITY: Who has the official say-so?

INFLUENCE: Who has the unofficial say-so?

BEHAVIOR: In what ways do you need to adapt to the environment and people in it?

MISTAKES: What are the big NO-NOs; what do they respect, honor, and hold sacred?

When you are dating someone you care about, it’s easy for you to adapt to their needs and become sensitive to the way in which they like to be handled. Doing the same for your employer and those in authority should come naturally. The most successful find ways in which to adapt to the environment and to authorities that control their future. Diplomats adapt, missionaries adapt, visitors adapt, and so can you. Becoming a student to what pleases or irritates those around you will advance yourself and your cause.


  1. Have you ever become aware of a misstep in the atmosphere where the room seemed to stop and look?
  2. Like going to another country, what else should you be aware of when entering a new environment?
  3. What do you believe is God’s protocol for entering His presence?

When you value what other people value, they see you as valuable.


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