Items posted on 4 October 2014
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1 Chronicles 13.2-10 – Doing God’s will.
Posted: 4 October 2014 in 1 Chronicles

And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the Lord our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us: And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul. And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people….. And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim….. And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart….. And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.

So, in the above passage David seems to nominally acknowledge that no action is good in itself, not even retrieval of the Ark of the Covenant, unless it is in accord with God’s will. However, in the following verses there is no hint that any attempt was made to determine God’s will – maybe by consulting a prophet, a priest, or in some other manner. Instead we read that “the thing was right in the eyes of all the people,” and so that was good enough. Uzza’s death was, as the narrator says, the result of his own presumption, but it may also be that God regarded the entire exercise as presumptuous, and Uzza was made an example of.

In Matthew 7.21, Jesus issues a warning which here seems relevant:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

So it is not for us to seek to please God with our pious actions. It is only for us to seek out the Lord’s will, and then to do it.

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