Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fearing God

In 1 Chronicles 13, King David decided that the time had come to restore the ark of the covenant from exile and bring it to the tabernacle. All Israel assembled to join him and they went to the place where the ark had been kept; as they brought it up they celebrated with loud and passionate abandon. But then, in the midst of all the hooplah and hosannas, tragedy struck. Uzzah who was helping bring up the ark, reached out and grabbed it so it would not fall off the cart. He did this with the best intentions, but his actions were still sinful. No one was to touch the ark, and God struck Uzzah down in wrath. "David was angry because of the LORD's outburst against Ussah, so he named that place Outburst Against Uzzah, as it is [still named] today. David feared God that day, and sait, "How can I ever bring the ark of God to me?" 1 Chon. 13:11-12.

That's what I feel like from time to time, and today is one of those times. I think of my sin and I wonder; how can I ever be close to God? How can I be in God's presence? How can I be God's friend. The story doesn't end there, though. God shows his love to David in a myriad of ways. He gives him political support (14:1-2), a family (14:3-6), and victory over his enemies (14:8-17). After God did these things for David, David's heart turned towards bringing up the ark again, and this time he did it right. God's blessing rained down on the Israelites as they abandoned themselves to worshipping the LORD. David praised God with a psalm, and said, "Search for the LORD and for His strength; seek His face always." (1 Chon. 16:11). David's mourning was turned to dancing as he came to understand that he could draw near to God, and that God would draw near to him.

We can be close to God, we can be in God's presence, and we can be God's friend because he has shown His great love to us while we were still sinners. And since we are still sinners, we can still know that God loves us. Let us draw near and search for Him and seek His face.


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