Abductive Columns

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Death of Uzzah--Contemporary or Confusing?

Have you ever though—how out of step for God to strike Uzzah dead for something as instinctive as steadying the Ark?

If so, Mary Evans has some helpful commentary.

"Uzzah's instinctive action may have given the impression that God needed to be protected by his people rather than the other way round. On the other hand, it may simply have been that touching the ark was seen as infringing on God's holiness. Our conviction that God is 'nice' and would never do anything that we might not like makes passages like this one very difficult for us. We perhaps need to grasp much more clearly what it means to say that God is holy. It is certainly important to realize that religious service and theological understanding must work in tandem. Knowledge of God and of his revealed purposes must form the background to action supposedly taken on God's behalf and to all worship of God. God in his great mercy often did not strike down the Israelites and does not strike us down, but passages like this force us to take seriously how strongly God feels...."
Mary J. Evans, The Message of Samuel, BST; Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 2004, pp. 191-92
Taken from Conrad Gempf’s Not Quite Art, Not Quite Living


At 7:01 AM, Blogger Steve said...

It still seems to me that Uzzah got a bum deal.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Keith Brenton said...

Of course, there are some who think the ark may have been a big electrical capacitor (purpose not clear), but if true then God would have been trying to protect people by forbidding them to touch the ark.

For whatever that's worth, too.


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