Facing Your Giants - Chapter 13
Max begins with the story of Uzzah. The ark of the covenant is a very holy item commissioned by Moses. It contains a gold jar of unspoiled manna, Aaron’s walking stick and the precious stone tablets that God engraved with his finger. These were used by the priest to worship and honor God. No one was to touch the ark except the priest at the holiest of times. David wants the ark of the covenant brought back to Jerusalem in a parade of people rejoicing. He puts Abinadab, a priest in charge of the move. Abinadab tells his two sons, Uzzah and Ahio, to load the ark on an ox-driven wagon and start the journey. It was only about a seven mile move and thought to be safe but one of the ox stumbled and Uzzah reached out to keep the ark from falling. God struck Uzzah dead for touching the ark!
Max continues: “This will dampen a parade real quick. Everyone goes home. Deeply distressed, David returns to Jerusalem. The ark is kept at the home of Obed-Edom while David sorts things out. Apparently, he succeeds, because at the end of three months David returns, reclaims the ark, and resumes the parade. This time there is no death. There is dancing. David enters Jerusalem with rejoicing.”
“Uzzah’s tragedy teaches this: God comes to us on his own terms. He gave specific instructions as to the care and transport of the ark. Only the priests could draw near it. Uzzah should have known this because he was a priest.”
God killing Uzzah for righting the ark seems totally unfair, but the ark was to be transported by using poles only with priests carrying it. God was angry because they totally set aside his instructions and did what they wanted not what he commanded.
But did God really have to kill Uzzah? Max reminds us: “God comes, mind you. BUT HE COMES ON HIS OWN TERMS! He comes when commands are revered, hearts are clean, and confession is made.”
“God’s greatest gift is himself. Sunsets steal our breath. Caribbean blue stills our hearts. Newborn babies stir our tears. Lifelong love bejewels our lives. But take all these away and we still have reason to be happy. Because God is with us.”
“God loves you too much to leave you alone, so he hasn’t. He hasn’t left you alone with your fears, your worries, your disease, or your death. So, kick up your heals for joy.”
“Uzzah’s lifeless body cautions against his irreverence. No awe of God leads to the death of man. God won’t be cajoled, commanded, conjured up, or called down. He is a personal God who loves and heals and helps and intervenes. He doesn’t respond to magic potions or clever slogans. He looks for more. He looks for reverence, obedience, and God-hungry hearts. When he sees these, he comes.”
Facing Your Giants – Max Lucado – 2006 – Thomas Nelson Publishing – Used by Permission