Enthusiasm ≠ Obedience

Posted by Phil

Earlier this year, American missionaries tried to take Haitian children out of Haiti and into the Dominican Republic where they were setting up an orphanage. The problem? The missionaries didn’t have the required documents to take the children from the country. No matter how good their intentions, they weren’t properly obeying the laws in Haiti, and it cost them greatly.

Read 2 Samuel 6:6-11. See what happened in verses 6 and 7.

Why did Uzzah reach out and grab the ark?

What happened to Uzzah when he reached out and took hold of the ark of God?

Why does the Bible say the Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah?

What does it mean to be irreverent?

What did Uzzah’s disobedience cost him?

Think back to a time in your life when you were disobedient to God. What did it cost you?

The fact is, David didn’t properly follow the instructions found in Exodus about how to move the ark of the covenant. Instead, he followed the Philistine’s example and moved the ark on a cart. David’s reason for moving the ark was understandable; he simply wanted to bring the ark, a revered, holy object, to Jerusalem. He wanted to honor God and the ark by putting it in a place of prominence. But God had very specifically laid out how the ark was to be moved, and David didn’t follow God’s directions. Because of this, a man lost his life.

God is serious about His holiness. He calls us to respect that holiness and to live a certain way because of it. David was enthusiastic about moving the ark and wanted it to be in a place of importance and prominence, but he wasn’t obedient. We can do the same thing when we’re enthusiastic in our worship of God, but we don’t obey Him. Enthusiasm is never a substitute for obedience.

When they came to Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out to the ark of God and took hold of it because the oxen had stumbled. Then the Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and God struck him dead on the spot for his irreverence, and he died there next to the ark of God. —2 Samuel 6:6-7

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