Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
An account of a good intentioned man, Uzzah, in the old testament sends shudders up anyone’s spine. New King David decided to bring the Arc of the Covenant up to Jerusalem to have the symbol of God’s presence present to worship God. It went terribly wrong, as Uzzah was struck dead. (2 Samuel 6:1-7)
A lady in our Bible study brought to attention the fact that God’s people placed the arc of God on ‘a new cart’. This was not some old shabby cart, for that would clearly be disrespectful to God. Surely this ’new cart’ would please God, right?
However, reading through the law of God, we find God had a specific procedure. He wanted the arc to be carried on poles, mounted in gold rings attached to the arc (Exodus 25:12-15). Gracious warning came to God’s people; no one should touch the Arc, or they’d die (Numbers 4:15). That would be taking His holiness lightly.
God’s people, united under David, wanted to have God’s presence with them. However, they approached it, the wrong way. So when the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out to steady the arc, He was struck dead by his irreverent act.
We have a promise, friends. God will never leave nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) Actually, this promise is not new. Israel had it also, when it came to entering the promised land (Deuteronomy 31:6).
But this history of Uzzah serves to remind us of God’s complete perfection — His inapproachable Holiness, which demands the uptmost reverence.
What kind of ’new carts’ are we using to try and drag the Lord’s presence along with us each day? Our position, our stability in relationships? How about our successes, good intentions, or good deeds for Him? Do we have any fear of the Lord? No one can approach God on their own merit. It’s not what we do that pleases the Lord, it’s who we are in Christ. That’s where we can rest in His love for us. Resting in His love, brings forth His good deeds through us. It’s not us, folks. His presence brings good deeds, not good deeds bringing His presence.
We can know God, and what pleases Him, by His Word. God’s not flippant as it may seem at first glance from this account. The way was clearly marked out for them. The Way, Jesus, is clearly marked out for us.
Uzzah died when the oxen stumbled. Thank-GOD, He picks us back up when we stumble!
Let God carry us with today’s verse… “those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength.”
Holy Father, by our own understanding, we fail. By our own strength, we grow weary. Yet, when we trust in You, Father, You are our strength and our everlasting hope. You hold us up, on wings like eagles. Let us seek You, Your strength, and Your face continually. ~Amen
Instead of going straight for what we think is best, LORD, help us always to Pray First!