Tonight I read about a big uh-oh in 1 Chronicles. Let me share.
So, David is in the process of bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. For a little background, "The ark of God (aka The Ark of the Covenant)... the most sacred object of the Hebrew faith, it was a large box containing the stone tablets on which God had written the Ten Commandments..."
And in 1 Chronicles we read,
"When they came to the thresing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord's anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God."
Yikes. Uzzah died by God for touching the ark... something God said NOT to do. When God gives rules, we need to listen! I was kind of shocked at the severity of this punishment, so I looked down at the Life Application paragraph written for these verses. It read,
"Why did Uzzah die? He touched the ark, and that offense was punishable by death. God had given specific instructions about how the ark was to be moved and carrid...Uzzah died instantly for touching the ark, but God blessed Obed-Edom's home where the ark was stored. This demonstrates the two-edged aspect of God's power: he is perfectly loving and perfectly just. Great blessings come to those who obey his commands, but severe punishment comes to those who disobery him. This punishment may come swiftly or over time, but it will come. Sometimes, we focus only on the blessings God gives us, while forgetting that when we sin, "it is a dreafdful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31, (referring to those who reject God's mercy)). At other times, however, we concentrate so much on jedgment that we miss His blessings. Don't fall into a one-sided view of God. Aolong with God's blessings come the responiblity to live up to his demands for fairness, honesty, and justice."
This really made me think. Uzzah died for disobeying God. It was a huge offense. Yet, how many times do I disobey God? Just because I don't drop dead every time I disobey, that doesn't mean it's a good excuse for doing it next time or that it's not serious. Sometimes, it's easy for me to take lightly the times when I "slip up" and just brush it under the rug and say, "Oh well, better luck next time." Over time, that attitude builds up into a "I can get away with everything" attitude. Yet I need to realize that with God, I'm not getting away with ANYTHING. He sees everything that I do and don't do.
Sometimes, I realize that if my mom really were riding around on my shoulder all day, I would act so much differently. Then I chuckle to myself when I realize that Someone so much more important and powerful- GOD- IS with me all day, every day. He doesn't miss a thing. Am I pretending God isn't there or am I recognizing He is so that I can ask Him to lead me, isntead?
God is God. We should not disobey Him. If we are letting Him lead our life... which requires a conscious effort to ask Him DAILY, hourly, even by the minute to guide us and help us, then we won't want to disobey Him. And we will feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit when we do.
When I first started repenting, I felt guilty very often. I was really distraught about this, thinking that something was wrong and that I was a horrible person. After sharing this with my elder, he said, "Taryn, that is a very good sign. Do you know what that means? That means that the Holy Spirit is present and working in you to convict you for your mistakes."
When we feel guilty, that can be good! It means the Holy Spirit is at work within us, and that our hearts our soft enough that we are realizing our sin! Some have hearts so cold and hard that they are numb to guilt. They don't feel anything. They just go and do a please and do not even have a thought about the consequences. Sadly, some Christians who go astray can even end up this way if they are not careful. It's important for us to have a heart that is ready and willing for chastisement and correction.
Well, my reading on Uzzah sure made me blow up the story into a bunch of different directions. I'm not quite sure if I even came close to making it full circle, let alone half circle, but I'm going to stop here. I think that we can all learn something from Uzzah's severe punishment... if not only the fact that obedience to God is what we should be desiring and striving to daily! It's not something to treat lightly.
I love all of you! The big university is treating me pretty good. All of my classes look like they're going to be fun. Biking to campus these past couple of days has been GORGEOUS! I love God's beautiful creation, and great weather like this is a reminder of His amazing beauty.