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    updated 8.29.11

    We do what we do as missionaries supported by people like you.

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Remembering What We Do

I’ve always been a little troubled by 2 Samuel 6.

It’s a pretty wild story, really.  The Ark of the Covenant – the gold-encased box containing the greatest prophetic artifacts of Israel’s history, and in a very real sense, the presence of God – was being escorted back to Jerusalem after having been held by the enemy for some years.  King David worshiped with such reckless abandon that his wife, Michal, considered it scandalous.   Israel would once again host God in a government way…and in the middle of all of this, a scene that would give an OSHA inspector fits.

Uzzah, along with Ahio, were driving the oxcart that held the Ark, and along the way, the oxen stumbled.   Uzzah, in a sudden reaction, no doubt, reached out to steady the Ark on the cart…and God struck him dead.

As short stories go, it leaves one a little wanting for resolution.

Admit it.  It’s never seemed fair to you.  He was trying to help.  It was his automatic reaction.  He was just steadying the cart.  Was he struck dead for trying to help…except that nothing is as simple as it seems.

Uzzah didn’t die for trying to help.  He died for losing sight of what he was doing.  The rules against reaching out at touching the Ark were clear.  He would have seen this on his pre-flight checklist.  Do not beat oxen.  Do not hit curb.  Do not reach out and touch the presence of God casually.  Uzzah died because his ministry of ushering in the presence of God had become so casual that it was more like driving an oxcart…something he could do without any thought.

I’m troubled by 2 Samuel 6 not because Uzzah was unfairly punished…but because it’s so easy to lose sight of what we’re doing in ministry and act out of our natural reflex.

Whatever we put our hands to do today, may it be what God has ordained for us to do…and if He hasn’t ordained it, may He have mercy on us for the repercussions.

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6 Responses

  1. This post was perfect timing for me, just perfect. Blessings.

    I hope you are all feeling better.

  2. Ouch.

  3. LOVE this post. LOVE it. I agree – the story has always left me thinking, “Seriously God? KInda harsh!” but I love the point you made. There is nothing casual or everyday about the presence of God. Great reminder for this stay at home mom.

  4. Hey man it is kinda of early to get slammed like that in the morning. Grt post Grt points

  5. Randy,
    Wonderful post. Again. I was out in Seattle at a church planting “boot camp” and that was the one consistent point I heard in all the sessions and breakouts; “it’s always all about Jesus, nothing else, not programing, not aesthetics, not about coolness factor.”
    So many times I was guilty of this as well (you can read my confession here: http://tinyurl.com/ck9fdl). I spent weeks trying to find the perfect backdrop for the stage.
    I was leading a church much like one would drive an ox cart. I still find myself fighting my reflexes (most of my reflex actions involve appeasing critics and co-workers) in order to do whatever it is that God really wants us to do.

    Good post again.

    -Don-

  6. Holy! Holy! Holy!

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