Sometimes the old ways are best. In September 1969, the government set off a 40 kiloton nuclear device in an 8,400-foot deep hole eight miles southeast of Grand Valley, Colorado. It was part of Operation Mandrel “which explored peaceful engineering uses of nuclear explosions. The peaceful aim of Project Rulison [part of Operation Mandrel] was to determine if natural gas could be easily liberated from underground regions.”  The experiment was a success! The explosion released natural gas; however, none of it could be used because it was radioactive. The Department of Energy began a clean-up of the site in the 1970s and completed the project twenty-some years later, in 1998. “A placard, erected in 1976, now marks the site where the blast took place. It is accessible via a gravel road, Garfield County Route 338.” Although a Houston company applied for a permit to drill for natural gas there, none has been recovered.
The Bible is full of examples of people trying to improve on God’s ways, probably with good intentions. “Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD” (Leviticus 10:1 – 2). They were both priests and had been carefully instructed in how to offer the incense. So why didn’t they follow the instructions? Perhaps they weren’t paying attention, or they may have thought they knew a better way to do it. However, the result was deadly.
Likewise, when David tried to bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, the results were disastrous! God gave specific instructions about how to transport the ark. It was to be carried on poles, but instead, the priests decided to use a wagon.
“And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God” (2 Samuel 6:5 – 7).
Sometimes the old ways are better. For example, I’m not saying 8-tracks tape players or Princess phones are coming back, but God expects us to take his commandments seriously.