REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on April 27, 2015, is written by Pastor David Son who pastors the Thrive Church in Taipei. He is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley (BA) and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.). Stay up to date with the church plant by following them here: https://www.instagram.com/thrivechurchtaipei/
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“I Was Only Trying to Help”
2 Samuel 6:5-8
And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day.
At 5 years old I was a very curious child. One of my earliest memories was when my father was fixing a broken VCR cassette rewinder (yup, VCR) in our house. He strongly warned me not to touch the electrical components. But being quite a smart child, I couldn’t help notice that the cord was unplugged! Even with my little knowledge, I knew that the cord had to be plugged in for the machine to work. And so, while my father was busy working on the machine itself, I went over to the electrical outlet, grabbed the two pronged plug, and confidently inserted it into the socket. WHAM! It all happened so fast, the next thing I knew, I was on the ground, seeing stars and an incredible pain was running from the tips of my fingers all throughout my body. I screamed and cried out in frustration and agony. What happened!? I was only trying to help!
Poor Uzzah. He was only trying to help! If we read this passage from the human perspective, God seems very unjust! How could he kill Uzzah?—his intentions were good! He was trying to prevent the ark from falling into the dirt, and he died for it. From this perspective, we can all understand why King David became angry with God, because of this seemingly unjust punishment.
However, to understand this situation more fully, we must acknowledge that God is supremely holy. So holy that nothing sinful can come into contact with Him and survive. This is not an issue of intentions! The fact is that not even the most well-meaning person can come into contact with the raw holiness of the Almighty God… and expect to live. Uzzahgrossly underestimated the holiness of God. Uzzah made the incorrect assumption that he was cleaner than the dirt of the ground!
What is our posture towards the holiness of God? Have you ever been angry at God for something in your life that seems unjust? Often, we need to take a step back and recognize the awesome holiness of God; only then can we act with true wisdom.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” -Proverbs 9:10
Prayer: LORD, You are holy, holy, holy. Help us to meditate on Your holiness today. Humble our hearts to see You as You are. If we have become irreverent, wise in our own eyes, or if we have somehow lost the fear of the Lord, we repent. Teach us how to live in the wisdom that comes from the fear of the Lord. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 37
Lunch Break Study
Read Isaiah 6:1-7: In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Questions to Consider
- What is Isaiah’s initial reaction as he enters the presence of God?
- Why do you think Isaiah reacted this way (as opposed to running to God and giving him a big hug?)
- How is Isaiah’s sin dealt with?
- Verse 6 indicates that there was a burning coal and an altar. What do you think these symbolize?
- Isaiah declares, “Woe is me! For I am lost…” Isaiah is basically saying, “I’m a dead man!”
- The passage indicates that in light of God’s holiness, Isaiah’s uncleanness certainly guaranteed his death.
- One of the seraphim touches Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal from the altar and declares, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
- Usually, when there is an altar that is on fire, there is also a sacrifice. We know that Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. We can safely infer that the act of atonement that happens here in Isaiah’s vision is a symbolic gesture of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ!
Today, let us take a moment and reflect on two things: One, the awesome holiness of God whom we must learn to approach with reverence and fear, a God whose holiness leaves no room for compromise and whose justice is beyond appeal. Two, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who washes away our guilt and shame so completely as to usher us into the breathtaking presence of God. Praise be to God!