I read someone’s comment on a blog post promoting gay marriage the other day. It was the typical “God is loving and love is the only thing that matters” type of thing that we are so used to hearing these days.
I can’t help but wonder if the person who made this comment ever read the Old Testament? Or the New Testament, for that matter! Ever hear of Ananias and Sapphira?? (Acts 5:1-11)
All through the Bible men reap serious consequences for their evil choices. God’s love never trumps His justice. Never. This is so clear throughout all of scripture.
And, if we are a believer reading the Word of God, even though we don’t always understand the harshness of God’s judgment or the seriousness of what we would call “minor” sins, we do get the cause and effect kind of logic. Most of us understand the need for punishment when there is blatant and intentional sin involved.
But today’s Bible Challenge reading (2 Samuel 6) holds a rather disturbing story.
This is the story of Uzzah–the poor guy who reached his hand out to steady the Ark of the Covenant and was killed immediately on the spot for touching it.
This just doesn’t seem fair, does it? The guy was just trying to help. He didn’t mean any harm.
We can go to Numbers 5:15 for help in understanding this:
And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die. These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry.
So perhaps Uzzah wasn’t ignorant, after all? God had warned them that touching the holy things could mean death.
And so it did in the case of Uzzah.
Perhaps, when it comes right down to it, there is no unintentional sin. We like to view our sinfulness as mistakes and diseases, but God has provided each one of us with a conscience that lets us know that we are sinning against Him (Romans 1:19-20) and we are held accountable to Him for this sin.
This is not the God that most people want to hear about today. This does not appeal to the commenter I mentioned above or to most anyone else–even those who call themselves Christians.
There is a massive war waging right now. It is the war of who is on the throne– God or man? This war is being fought on the battle fields of our minds, in class rooms, on church boards, and in court rooms across this land. People are in sinful rebellion against a God who would make them accountable.
This, in essence, is what keeps us from God.
And, so this battle is being fought fiercely and it would appear to us that God is losing.
But here’s what we need to remember–even though the snowball of the worldly system is picking up mass and speed at an alarming rate — you and I know who really wins. We know the ending. And we know the risk of disobeying God on such a massive scale.
No matter what laws are changed, what brainwashing is done in our schools, or how many news broadcasters and sitcoms promote the happiness agenda (happiness is the only thing that God cares about) we know that, in the end, it just won’t matter what man thinks or believes.
It will only matter what God says. This is the only thing that has ever mattered, matters now, or will matter in the future. And we believe that God has told us all we need to know in the Holy Scriptures– the Bible we hold in our hands and treat so casually.
But in the meantime, life is going to get very hard for us true believers.
Are you ready for this? We are going to be known as bigots, haters, evil, intolerant, and wicked. Some of us will have ruined reputations, be “set up” to take a fall, treated like we are in some kind of weird cult, and marginalized. We will be hated and we will be mocked. This will even take place in some of our churches, as the happiness agenda takes over there, too.
If you are reading through the Bible with me, I wonder if you, like me, are gaining much greater insight into the flaws of the happiness agenda? Are you, too, understanding that God just doesn’t care all that much about our happiness? He cares much more about our holiness.
Studying God’s Word makes all the difference in how we view God. For when we read stories like Uzzah and Ananias and Sapphira, we start understanding that God will not tolerate any sin–even unintentional sin (if there is even such a thing).
This is the whole reason Jesus died on the cross. He paid for our sins. Only when we understand our wretched sinfulness and rebellion can we understand the incredible grace and mercy of God in providing a way for us to be reconciled to Him.
So let’s keep reading and studying our Bibles. Let’s keep standing firmly on the Word of God. I am quite sure that we are going to need this anchor in the upcoming days more than we have ever needed it before.