Sunday, September 11, 2016

doing the right thing the wrong way -- part 2

The Word for today:
1 Chronicles 15:1-16:6
The ark of the covenant is one of the most all-encompassing symbols in scripture.  Stand in the Rain previously (August 26, 2015) addressed the topic of the ark itself.Today we conclude what we began yesterday--the cautionary tale of Uzzah, who died as the ark was being transported to Jerusalem.
mark this: 1 Chronicles 15:12-13
David said to them, "You are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule."
You know a lot of Johns, Williams, Michaels, and Roberts--but do you know any Uzzahs?
It's kind of a trick question, so here's the answer: You know hundreds of Uzzahs. The world is filled with them, billions of them.
Uzzah was a well-meaning person. You can bet that he was living an exemplary religious life, that in his own way he was reaching out for God.
In his own way.
The story of Uzzah is the story of many people who are doing the right things in the wrong way. Despite their good intentions they will never attain God's presence, because they fail to approach God in the way he prescribed.
There is no man-made way to reach God. There is only the God-made way.
God couldn't make another way. He had a lot of wood left, and he had a lot of nails left, but he had only one son. He could make a lot of crosses, but there's only one Jesus.
The story of Uzzah teaches us what that single cross means.
Without the forgiveness purchased at the cross, God's holy nature bursts forth and consumes sin:
Our God is a consuming fire. (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29)
The story of Uzzah teaches us what repentance means.
The essence of repentance is not about being "good"--Uzzah was being good when he died. Repentance is to agree with God to go his way, this way:
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father but by me. (John 14:6)
Repentance, at its core, is to go God's Way, Jesus Christ. It is nothing more, and nothing less.

No comments:

Post a Comment