Why?

I Chronicles 13:7-14

7 So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart. 8 Then David and allIsrael played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.

9 And when they came to Chidon’s[a] threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. 10 Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God. 11 And David became angry because of the LORD’s outbreak against Uzza; therefore that place is called Perez Uzza[b] to this day. 12 David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?”

13 So David would not move the ark with him into the City of David, but took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 14 The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that he had.

“If there are a thousand steps between us and God, He will take all but one.  He will leave the final one for us.  The choice is ours.”

–Max Lucado

          Such a story seems so unfair at first glance.  Even King David was angered by the death of Uzza, as represented in verse 11.  Why, Uzza was only trying to help!  He was only protecting God’s precious Ark of the Covenant – originally referred to as the Ark of Testimony!  Why would God be so hateful and unkind to do something like this?  Why would He dare strike a man who was only steadying the Ark from a damaging fall on a rickety cart pulled by a stumbling ox?  Especially after the people had played their instruments and sang “with all their might…” as we see in vs. 8. This surely is not fair!  What was He thinking?

I am reminded of the teenagers that I’ve worked with.  There is never a moment-never an instant- in which one of them is not thinking something along the lines of, “This isn’t fair!” In fact, most of the time they will shout it out to make sure that those around them know that they have been wronged by someone, something, somehow or somewhere.  It can be over the smallest things, too. For instance, one may not be able to sit by their friend.  One may not have the money to buy a drink when he is thirsty.  One may stump their toe or get sun burned.  However, many times they feel that life is not fair over real issues; some that seem larger than life itself. Their parents may have gone through a nasty divorce.  They may have a broken heart over a friend who has turned their back on them.  Sometimes they may have even been the victim of abuse.  They come to a realization, that indeed… life is not fair.

Notice that this beautiful Ark, which was hand crafted by Bezalel (Ex. 37) to God’s exact specifications, had very direct orders on how to be moved.  Only the sons of Kohath, from the tribe of Levi, had God’s clearance to move the Ark about (Num. 4:1-17) and only using wooden poles.  It is here that we find the complete root of the problem!  When God gives instructions, He expects them to be followed.  He is not worried about convenience or the easier path of least resistance.  How much easier it is to cart something around than to carry it on foot!  He simply expects us to do what He said for us to do.  It is that simple.  Why?  Because He said so.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  So why is it so hard for us to follow His directions.

Well, we tend to want to write our own directions, assuming that we can do a better job than the Father.  See, even in Uzza’s attempt to be helpful, he forgot two key elements.  First, God doesn’t need our help.  God is omnipotent and mighty enough to part the sea, turn the Nile to blood, and to think this world into existence; do we honestly think He needs our help to keep the Arkfrom a 3 foot fall?  Secondly, Uzza forgot that God had already instructed the Ark to be moved on foot, by the sons of Kohath. Sure this way was faster, simpler and more convenient, but it also proved fatal in the end.

We must be very careful in our “fast service” lives that we do not cut corners on God’s way or His plan.  His way is the only way that He approves of.  We must slow down and acknowledge the fact that He has something to say about how we walk through our daily lives.  We would also be very wise to understand that if we do not, we stand on shaky ground in His sight; a place where we do NOT want to be.

You see, it has absolutely nothing to do with fairness.  The things we feel are unfair, whether they be the result of our impatience and selfishness or the result of sin, such as disease, divorce and abuse are all products of living in a dying world that will one day be turned back over to Him.  David’s anger made no difference to God.  David had to get over it.  Also, the fear that David had of God afterwards was so foolish.  We have nothing to fear if we will respect God and his way for our lives.  This is plainly evidenced in verse 14 of our passage where the Ark was placed in the home of Obed-Edom.  This was a man who obviously followed God’s instructions and never touched the Ark.  God then opened up rivers of blessing upon Obed-Edom and all of his possessions.

I’d love to be a minister in a church setting, but it is obvious that God doesn’t share this desire.  So I have to just deal with it and learn to minister wherever else He may put me.  My job even keeps me out of church half of the time.  What can I do?  Six months ago I considered being in a church vocation full time. Now I may not be able to go hardly ever.  NO FAIR!- really? Do I like it? No. But does that matter? No. May God teach us that He has a plan for us.  May we see that His plan may not always match our own personal desire.  May He teach us to listen, seek out and follow his Word and His Way!

By the way, aren’t you glad that God doesn’t give us the true fair wages that we have earned?  If we received the fair price for our lives we would all be in Hell. After all, the cross wasn’t exactly fair either.  Thank the Father above that many times throughout our lives He is unfair!

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~ by Scott Herrin on November 7, 2011.

2 Responses to “Why?”

  1. Great post, thanks for sharing. I used to feel that was kind of unfair in this as well. Then God revealed that it was the people He has chosen and blessed who were unfair. He had given them clear and very specific instructions on by whom and how He may be approached and they ignored them and had placed the holy ark on “a rickety cart pulled by a stumbling ox”. The final insult was when an unclean and unprepared man touched the holy ark. “Enough of this.” I can picture God saying from heaven. “I Am holy and will not be treated as common cargo and touched by unclean hands.” Can you imagine?
    I think you have found your pulpit, my friend. It’s about vocation (what God has wired us to do) and less about occupation (what God uses to provide our material needs).
    Enjoy the journey, keep smiling…

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