Trust and Obey
Holy God, teach me to walk with You, to wait upon You, and to worship You. I bless Your name.
2 Samuel 6:1-23
Consider: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?" (1 Sam. 15:22). The words of the old hymn seems appropriate here: "Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey" (John Henry Sammis, 1846-1919).
David fought, but the battle belonged to the Lord. David subdued the Philistines from "Geba to Gezer" (5:25), which is like saying "from east to west." But the Lord's angelic armies defeated Israel's spiritual enemies in the treetops. Also, the ark of God that the Philistines had taken in battle from Saul as a war trophy had debilitated many Philistines with disease. This was another one of the Lord's victories over Israel's enemies. As Moses once said, "the Lord is a warrior" (Exod. 15:3).
The ark, God's traveling temple administration, was dangerous. With the unification of Israel and Judah, David must now retrieve the Lord's ark, where he "was enthroned above the cherubim" (2), and bring it to Jerusalem. After all, from the days of Moses, who commissioned and supervised the ark's construction, it had functioned as the Lord's portable temple so that he traveled in their midst. But no one was prepared for God to strike Uzzah dead when he tried to steady the tottering ark. God reminded his people who he was. When the Lord struck Uzzah, he showed David and the people that they must fear him, even in expedient situations like the ark tipping. Not surprisingly, David was angry with the Lord. But after a period of reflection, David's anger passed. The king then resumed moving the ark to Jerusalem. He even set it up in his back yard. No wonder the people were excited, David danced before the ark in jubilation. But the memory of Uzzah remained in the memories of all.
We may find ourselves wondering if the Lord's response to Uzzah was unlovingly harsh. If we do, then we need to join David, who, after a period of soul searching, determined to trust God. He acknowledged God's often-mysterious ways are beyond our complete understanding. Real trust moves beyond skepticism. Trust obeys.
Apply: What impressions of God do you have after reading this passage? How can you keep from taking God's holiness for granted?
Father, I want to serve You with all of my life. Please give me the grace to obey You, even when I do not fully understand what is happening.
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