June 25, 2017
for today: "Conflicting EmotionsĒ
2 Samuel 6:6-11
After the death of King Saul and
Jonathan at the hands of the Philistines, David becomes King of Israel and
tries to unite the nation under his control.
Concern over the legitimate location for worship prompts him to choose
Jerusalem. David has the Ark of the
Covenant brought to the city, but something unplanned and terrible happens
along the way. Today we look at a man
named Uzzah and his shocking death. We
will also examine our beliefs concerning a God who would strike Uzzah
dead. Finally, we will also consider how
much our emotions are conflicted when we attempt to do "the right thingĒ in a
The books of 1
and 2 Samuel do not portray David without struggles, moral failings, or family
turmoil. In other words, his life and
family are much like ours. We may know
little about our own family ancestry, but in terms of the Human Family, people
havenít changed much at all through the centuries.
portrayed as a very human, though very powerful leader. In the end, however, he cannot replace God as
the ultimate monarch of Israel, and as a human in need of Godís assistance and
protection. Do we recognize our
limitations and need for Godís guidance in our particular leadership role?
The Ark of the
Covenant was an extremely important symbol of Godís holy presence among the
Israelites. While the symbolism of Godís
presence in a particular place is important, do you see any danger in believing
Godís presence resided in a box?
When the Ark was
being transported, it began to fall off the ox cart. At this, Uzzah, a servant of the Lord,
walking alongside it, instinctively reached out his hand to steady the Ark, and
the bible says "God struck him there because he had reached out his hand to the
ark; and he died there.Ē What is
going on here? Does this sound like God?
Uzzahís story say about the way we handle the sacred things of God Ė for
example, Godís Word, or the Sacraments?
When was the last
time you were conflicted in what was the right thing to do? It is not always easy to decide "the right
thingĒ. Jesus also felt conflicted at
times. Recall his prayer in the Garden
of Gethsemane: "Father, if you are
willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.Ē (Luke
David was angry
at God for striking his servant Uzzah dead.
David was also fearful of keeping the Ark of the Covenant close by. He had it stored for three months in the
house of a man named Obededom. During
that time, Obededumís family was greatly blessed. What could this incident teach us about how
we handle the holy things of God?
Do you think
Davidís power corrupted him? Why or why
not? Why do we hold David in such high
esteem, even though he made many big mistakes?
Today: God of grace and power, like
David, we too, want to honor you with our lives. And yet, we forget who is really in
charge. Help us to get out of the way so
you can lead us, as we lead others. May
we handle the holy things of our faith with awe, respect, and greater
devotion. May we not be conflicted, but
devoted. In your Holy Name we pray.