1 Chronicles – 13.5-10 – Vocation
Posted: 19 May 2011 in 1 Chronicles

So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim. And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it. 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 David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets. 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.

It must be admitted that the above appears to be a slightly strange story. But, further on it is said, or at least hinted, that the reason for God’s anger was that the levites alone had been commisioned by God to carry the Ark, and Uzza wasn’t a levite. So the moral for us, I suppose, is that we all have a vocation from God, and that it is for God – not us – to decide what that vocation should be. Uzza was taking it upon himself to fulfil a role which wasn’t his, and apparently God did not appreciate his presumption.

Naturally we like to think that our lives are ours to order as we like, even whilst we are paying lip service to the idea that we are God’s servants. However, it is not common for somebody to employ servants, and then allow each of them to decide for themselves how they will occupy their time. Instead he expects each of them to fulfil the role assigned to them. So God similarly expects each one of us to fulfil the vocation we receive from him, and to seek out his will in whatever way we can. Perhaps through prayer, and perhaps by discussing our intuitions of what God wants with others. It is probably important to have input from a third party, because it is likely that they can be more objective than we can in our own case. At the end of such a process we might not like what we hear, and we might feel tempted to do our own thing anyway. We shouldn’t of course, but we might, and it will be a test of our obedience.

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