Trusting God in the Hard Places
Day: 37 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel
Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 6
2 Samuel 6:7 (NIV) “The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.”
Today we study a difficult story. One where God’s actions seem senseless and cruel. When I encounter passages like this, I pray for wisdom and understanding. So, as we begin, I’m praying for the Lord to give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we can understand why God put this chapter in David’s life and what we can glean from it personally.
As one of his first acts as king, David sought to restore the ark of the covenant, stolen decades earlier by the Philistines, to its rightful place in Jerusalem.
Why did David want the ark? It was where the very presence and power of God dwelled, and he wanted it back in Jerusalem. David set out to do a good thing for God and the people, but he went about it in the wrong way.
Because of its sacredness, God had set forth specific instructions on how to transport the ark. (Numbers 4) Most specifically, it was to be carried by poles on the shoulders of priests from the family of Kohath. (Numbers 7:9) But, rather than consult God or the priests on how to transport the ark, David took an entourage of young men to collect the ark, using only oxen and a cart.
This method of transport became an issue when the oxen stumbled, causing the ark to shift and a Levite named Uzzah reached out to stabilize the cart. The moment he touched it, God struck him dead because he was not a priest. God’s law forbids anyone except the priests to touch the holy things. If they did, they would die. (Numbers 4:15)
First anger, then fear, overcame David. He delayed bringing the ark to Jerusalem. But when he learned of the blessings poured out upon the family who housed the ark, David decided to again transport the ark. Except this time, he determined to do it God’s way.
The Kohathites properly carried the ark on their shoulders; David even directed the priests to offer a sacrifice along the way.
And what follows next is beautiful. David set aside his kingly robes and danced alongside the ark, with abandon, through the streets of Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 6:14-15) Imagine the joy that filled his heart as he brought the presence and glory of God back to Jerusalem and the people of Israel.
David may have never fully understood why God took Uzzah’s life. But he trusted God. Rather than remain angry, David humbled himself, once again. He waited on God, approached God, and walked in obedience to God’s instructions. Then and only then did the blessings flow and the celebration come.
Are you in a hard place? Do you wonder what God is doing? Take courage. The one who God called a man after His own heart struggled too. Press into God for understanding.
David’s life teaches us that it’s in the unanswered questions that we gain depth of faith. We come to know more … not about our circumstances … but about our God.
Give God your anger. Give Him your fear. Give Him your questions. He is waiting to come alongside you and bring you to the other side … to a place of understanding, healing, wholeness, blessing and even celebration.
Prayer: Father, I confess that sometimes I don’t understand why You allow what You do in the world and in my life. I struggle with, and sometimes even question, Your goodness and faithfulness. Help me process my questions and doubts with faith and not emotions. When circumstances tempt me to doubt that You are good and trustworthy, enable me to remember that You are moving and accomplishing Your plans, and no matter what I see with my eyes, I can know those plans are good because You are good. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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