He had Good Intentions!

The anger of the LORD burned against Uzza, so he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark; and he died there before God. (1 Chronicles 13:10)

Why did God take the life of Uzza, when he was only trying to do good, to keep the ark of God from falling off the wagon?  Okay, yes. they weren't doing it specifically the way God had instructed that the ark be transported.  But his heart was in the right place, wasn't it?  Why are God's instructions to his people so specific?  And why are there such stark penalties for disobedience?  Has God simply given commands to test the people as to whether they would follow them?  Isn't there a kind of arbitrariness to God's instructions?

God instructions are always purposeful; they are never designed to be simply arbitrary tests of the people's willingness to comply.  All of God's commands are designed to set people free from the bondage of sin and to bring them into the joy of fellowship with God himself.  Since God is perfect in every way and since there is fulness of joy and pleasures forevermore in his presence, the best thing he can give us is the privilege of being close to him.  God could not give us anything better than himself, so that is exactly what he has offered to us.  He invites us to draw near to him.

If God allowed us to go our own way, we would have a world that is as bad as it could be — death and destruction would be rampant.  This is what happened before the flood.  Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)  There would be absolutely no opportunity for mankind to experience the marvelous joy and pleasure of the presence of God.

So, for those who are willing to humble themselves, carefully obeying God's instructions and confessing their failures with genuine contrition, God offers the joy of holiness.  The scriptures implore us: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)  When we come to God in this way, with humility, he promises to lift us up.  What could be more uplifting than the exaltation of sharing God's presence.  This is the reward that awaits those who do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God (Micah 6:8)

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