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Monday, April 8, 2013

More Lessons From Uzzah

We're continuing our series examining the story of the death of Uzzah (2 Samuel 6). He tried to make sure the Ark didn't fall off the oxcart and God struck him dead. (See the previous posts for more).

Two of our initial points that R. C. Sproul brought out of the story were that Uzzah was assigned to carry the ark by holding only the poles--not to touch the ark in any way. Secondly, the Ark wasn't supposed to be transported on the oxcart at all. It was supposed to be carried by men who walked holding the poles. 

What do we have here? Disaster comes from a faulty foundation. A wrong beginning lays the groundwork for temptation and failure. Second Samuel 6:6 tells us, "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" (NASB).

Oxen weren't given the "job" by God to carry the ark, men were. Disobeying that led to trouble and death. 

You and I do the same thing when we reach out to take hold of responsibilities that were never given to us by God. Today it's called co-dependency and rescuing. Another sinful form is worry. Furthermore we make demands of ourselves or others that only God is supposed to fulfill. We believe that if we don't jump into action, God's work will fall over into the ditch and since God isn't performing to our expectations, we better hold up the ark. 

Wrong beliefs and ideas are the groundwork for disaster. Instead of never putting the ark on the oxcart, we depend upon lies. Some time ago, as I chatted with someone coming for soul care, she said things repeatedly like, "Well, so-and-so told me that as I grew up." Or "I learned that from my friend/mother/aunt, etc." But all those ideas weren't in alignment with the Bible and yet she didn't see anything wrong with them. Somehow because she'd believed them all her life, they were right. 

Only by examining ideas in light of Scripture will we know if our beliefs are right. Take the ark off the oxcart and have the right people carry it as God instructed! Stop believing lies like:

  • God doesn't answer prayer. OR God must say yes to my every request.
  • God helps those who help themselves.
  • My husband should read my mind.
  • If someone loves me he/she will know what I want.
  • God needs my help.
  • God is waiting for me to be good enough in order to love me.
  • I can't know until I die whether I'm going to heaven.
 What lies can you add?

Plus, notice the word "nearly." Uzzah assumed (there are those assumptions again!) the ark was tipping over for sure. Other translations are:
KJV: "for the oxen shook it."
Holman: "because the oxen had stumbled." 

In other words, it appeared the ark was going over or leaning over but it wasn't for sure! And more importantly, God could have righted the oxcart Himself. Uzzah acted on a premise that God needed him when that wasn't his job--and he had been warned specifically against it. 

Here are some questions to ask as we conclude our study:
1. Are you taking responsibilities that aren't yours? 
2. Are you sensing disaster or calamity and feel compelled to intervene though God hasn't given you that responsibility?
3. Does sensing the calamity fuel your worry--which comes from a lack of trust in God?
4. What faulty thinking and beliefs are laying the groundwork for distrust of God?
5. Can you trust that even if the challenge you face crashes to the ground, God can keep His promise that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28) and He intends to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)?

What have you learned from our study about Uzzah? That story was included so that we would learn from it. I hope we'll continue to allow God to speak to us through it.       

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