Sunday, July 10, 2011

The God Who's Not Safe part 1

There are three stories told in this chapter. One is from 2 Samuel, the other is from The Chronicles of Narnia, and the last from Judges.

In 2 Samuel the story of Uzzah is told. Well, it's not really all that long and you really have to understand the law to understand God's reaction. David is kin of Israel, the Ark is brought to Jerusalem and he is dancing before it and worshipping. But the Ark starts to fall off the ox cart and Uzzah, the priest, reaches out and stops it. Then he's dead. Yup, dead! God struck him dead for what?

Well, God told them exactly how to carry the Ark. They were supposed to use poles that priests would lift up and carry the Ark. Notice in the story the Ark starts to fall of the ox cart. Oh, so they weren't following the direction of the Lord. When Saul was king the Philistines captured the Ark and after they kept dying from having it in their town they decided to send it back. They placed it on an ox cart and sent it back. So Uzzah must have thought that was a more convenient way to transport the Ark. The priests didn't have to do any hard work they could just walk beside the Ark.

That is why he was struck dead. Because he decided that the directions, the law, of the Lord was inconvenient and he could do better. The Israelites wanted to be like other nations, remember they want a king like everyone else. Uzzah thought that the Philistines had a better idea then God did so he made a new tradition.

That is one thing that we humans do we make traditions. We get caught up in the traditions or the trying to be innovated, like everyone else around us that we forget to look to and dive into God. We are like Uzzah, who tried to protect the Ark of the Lord from falling and hitting the ground. We make traditions to make God look good. We focus on His mercies, and he is merciful, but we don't focus on His justice. We don't focus on a God who sent His Son to die. I never thought of it this way until a few weeks a go when Clayton King preached at church, but he said God killed His Son. Yes, He killed Him. I can't wrap my brain around that. That doesn't seem like the God I should want to follow. Isn't a safe God better?

No, he's not. That god doesn't give us anything and doesn't ask anything of us. He never brings us to our knees in desperate prayer. He never makes us bold enough to dance or sing or shout or do anything for anyone else. He only tells us nice things, sweet things. He doesn't ask us to give up anything or to even grow up. He likes us stuck in the muck, in the pit, in the borderland.

The second story is from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The children are with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and they tell them about Aslan:

"Is-is he a man? asked Lucy.
"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion-the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh," said Susan, "I thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver, "don't you hear what Mrs. beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the king, I tell you."

I am thankful that my God is not safe, but He is good.

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