"And they set the ark of God upon a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart...And when they came to Nacon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled and shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for touching the ark, and he died there by the ark of God. David was grieved and offended because the Lord had broken forth upon Uzzah."
II Samuel 6: 3-8, Amplified Bible
"Mad At God"
"Many refuse to accept the reality of a personal God because they are unwilling to submit to His authority."
Have I ever found myself angry with God because of some occurrence in my life I blamed Him for?
Have I ever said to myself, "Why didn't God fix this relationship or heal this person?"
"Many men (and women) owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties."
C. H. Spurgeon
"Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them."
C. H. Spurgeon
The great hymn writer, Isaac Watts penned the words to a song which is not frequently sung, yet has an extremely encouraging message: "God is the refuge of His saints, when storms of sharp distress invade; before we can offer our complaints, behold Him present with His aid."
The words to this hymn were based on Psalm 46."The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge" (Psalm 46: 7 Amplified Bible).
Hymn writer and poet Isaac Watts was only 5 feet tall with very sallow skin color. After reading the poems and hymns he had written, a woman who admired him from afar, came to see him, hoping to marry Mr. Watts. However, when she looked at him, although he deeply loved her, she found his outward appearance so unappealing, she wanted nothing to do with Isaac Watts. A few years later he had a massive stroke that made it impossible for him to write. However, he was still able to speak so he had a secretary take the dictation for some of the 600 hymns and over 52 other works he composed.
I share this background with you because there are many individuals, who like Isaac Watts, have battled through the narrow halls of affliction in their lives, yet it was from these hallways they emerged to do their most effective work for God.
This is an appropriate lesson for all of us today as we continue our study on the glory of God for we find that out of a story of extreme affliction, came a heavenly blessing to all God's children.
Originally, the Ark of the Covenant, during the time of Moses and at the construction of the Tabernacle in the desert, was to be placed in the Most Holy place by the priests. In fact, if you want a lesson on the specifics God had for His dwelling place here on earth with His children, I encourage you to take some time to read through the chapters in Exodus 25 - 30. God's house wasn't thrown together without thought. This was a "House for the Lord of Hosts," designed by God to be the residence of His glory. God's instructions were fully complete with the details on how every item of furniture in the Tabernacle was to be placed, as well as exactly what the priests were to wear.
However, somewhere down through time, the respect, that once was shown for God's sacred home and the Ark, that at one time in the desert was the place where the "mercy seat" and God's glory resided between the two cherubim, no longer existed. While years earlier, through Moses, God had given instructions on how the Ark was to be transported, David ignored these words. Even though no one but the priests were to touch the Ark or for that matter to even look upon it when it was uncovered (Numbers 4: 15), these instructions were also not followed.
While David's intentions were good, his lack of obedience in following God's instruction resulted in the death of Uzzah whose father's house had "stored" the Ark. And this is where we find the Bible says David was upset with God whom he felt was not being just. God certainly does not appear loving in this story. And David didn't like the view of God he got from this situation. Many of us may not, either. Especially those of us who have faced unexplainable pain, heartache and affliction in our own lives. For it is often during our struggles that we find our view of a loving God is clouded by the tragedies that blur the picture of our Father the most.
I remember reading the promise in Psalm 34: 19, 20. "Many evils confront the righteous, but the Lord delivers her out of them all. He keeps all (her) bones; not one of them is broken." But when I looked at my busted-up body with over 36 broken bones and literally hundreds of fractures, my picture of God became blurred. And if you just lost your job and are losing your home, your picture of a loving God may be blurred a little as well. Or if you have found out your spouse is leaving you for a girl he met at work half your age, you may also be looking at a blurred picture of God's kindness.
It's the afflictions of life that blur the reality that we live in a world where sin and disobedience doesn't just affect those who are evil, the consequences also touch the lives of the innocent.
How grateful I am that through these tough times, when we may hurt and even become mad at God for what has happened, His love for us never wavers and He promises that through every affliction He will be right here with us and will show us the purpose that even the most desperate times have in each of our lives. As Abraham Wright so eloquently stated, "I am mended by my sickness, enriched by my poverty, and strengthened by my weakness." Today we see the result of disobedience. Tomorrow we will see the results of God's healing.
"I asked the Lord that I might grow,
In faith and love and every grace.
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.
It was He who taught me thus to pray.
And He I trust has answered prayer.
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He'd answer my request.
And by His love's constraining power,
Subdue my sins and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel,
The hidden evils of my heart.
And let the angry powers of hell,
Assault my soul in every part.
Yes more with His own hand, he seemed,
Intent to aggravate my woe.
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
"Lord, why is this?" I trembling cried.
"Will You pursue this worm to death?"
This is the way." the Lord replied,
"I answer prayer for grace and strength."
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.