Keep your hands off of Gods Stuff

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A sermon preached by the University Pastor 

I Chron. 13:1-14

  Then David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. 2 And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you, and if it is of the Lord our God, let us send out to our brethren everywhere who are left in all the land of Israel, and with them to the priests and Levites who are in their cities and their common-lands, that they may gather together to us;3 and let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul.”4 Then all the assembly said that they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.5 So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor in Egypt to as far as the entrance of Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim.6 And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, to Kirjath Jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God the Lord, who dwells between the cherubim, where His name is proclaimed.7 So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart.8 Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.9 And when they came to Chidon’s threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled.10 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.11 And David became angry because of the Lord’s outbreak against Uzza; therefore that place is called Perez Uzza to this day.12 David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?”13 So David would not move the ark with him into the City of David, but took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.14 The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that he had. [1]

Introduction:

Every now and then in our bible reading, we come across those passages where the Anger of the Lord surprises the reader. I think that sometimes as believers we can take for granted His presence and forget just who it is that is accompanying us on our journey. Even when doing what pleases Him and doing what we know He would require, we can sometimes become casual to a fault about how we deal with the things of God.

  1. Today we see Israel in the center of Gods will, doing the right thing, but doing it the wrong way.
  2. In order to get the country’s attention, God Kills a man, so that men would learn not to get over familiar with His presence, his commands, or his words and iniatives.

“Keeping your hands off of Gods stuff” will help you with your carnality and your overwhelming desire to think you can do whatever you want with God stuff. This text reminds me to be careful how I handle the things of God and to be sure and follow his every-instruction on this journey with the saints of the living God.

  • Israel’s Position

2 And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you, and if it is of the Lord our God, let us send out to our brethren everywhere who are left in all the land of Israel, and with them to the priests and Levites who are in their cities and their common-lands, that they may gather together to us;3 and let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul.”

Note:

The textual background suggests that it’s a new day for Israel. Saul is dead, and David is the new king. The enemies that once surrounded them have all been dealt with. The southern and the northern kingdoms have come back together and now there is peace among God’s people.

Application:

  • It’s a good thing when there are no division among the saints
  • It’s a good thing when the people of God are on one accord
  • It’s a good thing when His people love each other and are willing to work together to see YAWEH elevated in the earth.

In verses 2-3 we see a clarion call of King David summoning the best and brightest of Israel from all over the kingdom. He calls them in consultation for advice regarding “The spiritual formation” of Israel.

  1. The kingdom had gotten away from God under King Saul
  2. When he lost the war to the Philistines they captured the ark of the covenant from its place of worship (I Sam 4:17-18)
  3. The Philistines understood that the Ark had power, and when they tried to capture it Gods wrath broke out amongst them, (I Sam. 6:4-6) so they banished it to the outskirts of their country.
  4. However, when David conquered them, the Ark was rescued and brought to the outskirts of Jerusalem where it was taken care of in the home of one of the Levites.
  5. So when we come to this text Israel is interested in worshipping YAWEH again, and the question is asked “Shall we go down and bring up the Ark at this time.

I like this passage of scripture because it reveals that David confides in his leadership and it reveals that Gods people trust in the vision of their king. It also notes that they asked the question about the Ark because it was dangerous to have around! The philistines had great wrath to fall upon them because they tried to keep it amongst them. The rumor of this calamity was a well known fact in the region of Palestine. David wanted them to count the cost of bringing back the Ark into their possession.

The ark was made in the days of Moses. It was constructed of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, and with two golden cherubim standing at each end.

  • Its solid gold cover is called “God’s throne,” the ‘mercy seat’, where forgiveness or ‘atonement’ is granted for sins.
  • Inside the ark are the stone tablets on which are engraved the Ten Commandments.
  • Inside of the ark was a bowl a manna that signified how God would provide for his People.
  • Inside the ark was the Rod of Aaron that grew buds miraculously, signifying that Aaron was the chosen one for the priest hood.

The ark of the covenant was a physical symbol that revealed God’s presence among his people. The Ark in Israelite history was to use to travel ahead of them into battle, as a guard when they crossed the River Jordan, and it was important to the worship of YAWEH. It was ultimately a reminder of the Holiness of God! When David thinks that it is a good thing to go and get its presence, all of Israel agrees that it is time for the God to be in the center of their community.

6 And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, to Kirjath Jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God the Lord, who dwells between the cherubim, where His name is proclaimed.

Here is an important factor to consider: After David picks the date and times all of Israel processes together to get the ARK.

  • This is a national movement!
  • The media is there, the army is there, the national orchestra is there, everybody who is somebody in the kings palace is in this procession!

They go to the place in southern Judah as one body to worship God. The ARK came to Kirjath Jearim by divine order!

  1. The Ark in King Saul’s day, was left with the enemy….while in Ashdod of the Philistines The Ark of the covenant Killed Dagon, the god of the philistines. (1 Sam 5:1-10)
  2. He punished the Philistines with tumors.

They got afraid of the Ark and sent it to Gath. While in Gath the Lord struck that city with Tumors. The Philistines then again decided to send the Ark back to Judah where it came from. The philistines afraid of God put the ark on a new cart, attached two nursing cows that had never been yoked, separated them from their calf’s, tied the ark to them and released it from their country! The bible says that they “Lowed-cried” as they went… “They turned not to the right or the left” “The cows took the ark straight to Beth-Shemesh!” [These cows became sacrificial cows who would never return to their offspring, they were the servants of the Lord that would ultimately give all for the pleasure of YAWEH.

When the Israelites saw it coming, they rejoiced that it had come back to them. The men of Beth-Shemesh took the Ark and made a sacrifice to it, but in the process of their rejoicing they looked inside of it, and God killed 50,070 men for this trespass against Him. They were never supposed to handle the ARK in this manner. Only the priest could Handle the ARK. It was Beth-Shemesh that called to the Levites in Kirjath Jearim to come and get the Ark, because they too were afraid of the presence of God. So when David and all of Israel come to Kirjath Jearim they come to the house of Abinadab “THE LEVITE”. The Ark has been kept in his home for nearly 20 years where it has been looked after. As the Ark rested in Abinadab’s House it was residing in the outskirts of Israel.

  • Abinadab was not a priest but a Levite by clan.
  • The community trusted him, and followed his leadership.
  • As a Levite this would have been a big responsibility to look after the Ark.
  • Levites only work with the things of the Temple, they would have never been approved to handle the Ark.

So when David comes to get the ARK, this would have given Abinadab and Boys National recognition!

  1. The King was coming to His House!
  2. The people of to Kirjath Jearim would have to take notice of Him and His boys because they were taking care of the ark of God.
  3. They would also have been chosen to help the king to carry the ARK back to Jerusalem
  4. These men would have been national heroes, men with stature, prominence, pomp, and position in the Israel
  5. They would have also gained great notoriety because of their family name.

7 So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart.

8 Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.9 And when they came to Chidon’s threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled.10 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.

There are several amazing facts in this passage!

  1. The King is involved with leading the procession to bring back the Ark.
  2. The people are following his lead in this kingdom iniative!
  3. The most horrifying thing of all is that all of these things are done out of order! They are worshipping God in an overfamiliar way.
  4. They have been without his presence so long (20 years) they have forgotten what they could do and what they could not do!

Observation:

  1. They are right for bringing the Ark up from Judah back to Jerusalem
  2. They are wrong for how they brought it up and who brought it up.
  3. The King was right to participate in the worship experience, he was wrong for trying to lead it, This was the job of the priest!
  4. The Ark was to only be handled by the Priest!
  5. The Ark was to be only transported by Pole (There were 4 golden rings attached to it) It was never supposed to be on a cart. God intended for his chosen men to handle it while never becoming overfamiliar with it.
  6. When they put it on a cart they it brought it down to the pagan gods of the region…Dagon the half –fish half man was carried on a cart…
  7. Abinidab and His boys never transferred the Ark from its pagan cart, and left YAWEH on the status and level of a false God! [they were in experienced, and should have never been left in charge]
  8. The seventh thing that is wrong the king was leading the procession! The Priest were the spiritual leaders of the community, they were supposed to be leading the procession. However because they didn’t lead and they followed they took the Ark into a place where it should have never gone into. [Chidon’s threshing floor,]
  9. This transport should have never went thuis deep into the country. “Threashing floor” was a place where the wheat was sifted after being gathered by the farmer. It was a symbolic location where God would teach them a valuable lesson!
  10. Because they took where it should not have gone, and they carried it like it should have never been carried, and they were playing the role of the priest when they were not called by God or appointed by God to do so, trouble came upon them.

Uzzah whose name means strength or one who is strong. And Ahio,[ay-yo] whose name means brother, was leading from the front and “He who is strong Was driving the cart (from the rear)

Observation:

A.D Wilson said….It’s my opinion that as the orchestras played and the King danced UZZAH the strong one “might have begun to show off a little bit, as he was driving the ark from the rear.

  • Perhaps he got distracted and hit the ox more than one time with the goad.
  • The bible says that as they were crossing the threshing floor, [that AHIO] took them across thee threshing floor the oxen kicked against the Goad, and nearly stumbled.
  • When this happened, because Uzzah was in the back of the procession he reached out his hand and tried to catch the ARK from Falling! When He did, The Anger of the Lord was Kindled, and God killed Him on the spot.

Why? Because Uzzah became self-sufficient!

  • He thought he could handle the things of God in his own strength!
  • He thought he was man enough to handle God!
  • He thought he could keep the wrath of God from coming to Israel!
  • He thought he that much power that he could re-do what lil brother Ahio had done!
  • He had led Israel wrong
  • He had led the ARK wrong
  • HE had led the family wrong
  • He was the wrong leader for the right time
  • He was all carnal and he was overfamiliar
  • Perhaps for 20 years he had watched this ark in his home, and thought that gave him permission to do what he wanted to do

Perhaps because he saw it every day he thought he knew it better than anyone. Uzzah…He thought he was with the man, and as long as he was the man, he could do what he wanted.

Uzzah’s flesh was in control!

Because he didn’t follow the covenant of God he was killed as an example to everyone else trying to do things Gods way.

Note:

  • Uzzah wasn’t the priest, he had no business touching the ARK
  • He was not a priest he had no business doing what he done! The Law of Moses prohibited this type of leadership. BUT WHEN THE PEOPLE FORGET THE LAW THE CONSEQUENCES OF IGNORANCE MUST TAKE PLACE
  • He was not to follow the king with the Ark, the Ark was Holy and this act or breach against it was holy.

12 David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?”13 So David would not move the ark with him into the City of David, but took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.14 The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that he had. [2]

Note:

A good scholar said: “13:12 David was afraid of God and despaired of restoring the ark to the City of David. He needed to learn that there was a proper way to carry out God’s will. When David and the people went to get the ark, the excitement of the moment and the sense that they were doing God’s will gave the event a festive atmosphere. This very excitement gave them a sense of familiarity with the things of God that became unhealthy, and they neglected to give the ark the respect God demanded. David, in his fear, came back to sobriety about this issue.

Application:

  • The whole incident reminds us that even our enthusiasm for God can cause us to forget the holiness of God and the need to fear him.
  • Doing what we believe to be God’s will in a way that violates God’s Word is wrong and displeases God.[3]
  • Lets be careful in the house of the Lord
  • Lets be mindful of whose house it is
  • Lets be mindful not to put worship on a new cart
  • Lets be careful not to handle the word any kind of way
  • Lets be care about what we think and say in here
  • This is a holy place,
  • This is a holy time
  • This is set aside to bring him worship and praise
  • Lets make our lives vessels fit to carry the Holy things of God
  • Lets not get before the Word, Lets not get before the will of God, lets not get before the work of God

Conclusion

  1. This very excitement gave them a sense of familiarity with the things of God that became unhealthy, and they neglected to give the ark the respect God demanded.
  2. David, in his fear, came back to sobriety about this issue. The whole incident reminds us that even our enthusiasm for God can cause us to forget the holiness of God and the need to fear him.
  3. Doing what we believe to be God’s will in a way that violates God’s Word is wrong and displeases God.

13:13–14 The ark was lodged in the home of Obed-Edom, the Gittite (man of Gath), for three months. Blessing came to Obed-Edom’s house as a result. While a question may be raised about the propriety of lodging the ark with such a man, it is to be noted that in 15:18, 21 there is mention of an Obed-Edom, who was a Levite and a gatekeeper.[4]

Note:

13 So David would not move the ark with him into the City of David, but took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 14 The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that he had. [5]

As we close we see a miracle in the text! There was a man in the CITY OF DAVID whose name was Obed-Edom! [SERVANT OF EDOM]

  1. God chose to dwell in a place where the servant had a heart for the things of God
  2. God chose a place to dwell where the servant of the house was in awe of the things of God
  3. God chose to dwell in a house where he would be worshipped
  4. As a result of the Ark being OBED’s house, His family was blessed for three months!

Where the Lord is honored, where the Lord is praised, Where the Lord is feared, where the lord is obeyed, Where the Lord is not taken lightly or put on a new cart, He will blessed those that inhabit that place! A proper attitude toward the things of God brings blessing while a cavalier spirit brings divine displeasure.[6]

 

[1] The New King James Version. 1982 (1 Ch 13:1–14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] The New King James Version. 1982 (1 Ch 13:1–14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Thompson, J. A. (1994). Vol. 9: 1, 2 Chronicles. The New American Commentary (129). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Thompson, J. A. (1994). Vol. 9: 1, 2 Chronicles. The New American Commentary (129). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] The New King James Version. 1982 (1 Ch 13:1–14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Merrill, E. H. (1985). 1 Chronicles. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), . Vol. 1: The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (605). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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