Daily Bible Reading – 2 Samuel 6; 1 Chronicles 13; Psalm 68; Matthew 17
Today’s Key Passage – 1 Chronicles 13:1-14
I read a story the other day about a man who wanted to get his children goldfish. He went to the pet store but found that aquariums are fairly expensive, so instead he found a used, dirty aquarium and purchased it for five dollars. He took the aquarium home, cleaned it up, and made it look like new before adding four new goldfish to his children’s delight. Sadly though, over the course of the next two days three of the four goldfish died. He called the pet store to find out what was wrong, and he quickly realized his mistake. He cleaned the aquarium with soap, which turned out to be toxic to the fish. The man had the right intentions, but when he acted on his intentions, he did not do it in the right way, which led to the death of the goldfish. In today’s key passage, we see a similar story of good intentions producing disastrous results.
For years the Ark of the Covenant was kept at a man named Abinadab’s house following its capture and return by the Philistines. Now that David was finally king, he wanted to bring the ark back to Jerusalem, so he conferred with his officers and went with a small army to retrieve it. When they reached the ark, they placed it on a new cart pulled by oxen and started the journey back to Jerusalem. At one point, the oxen stumbled and a man named Uzzah reached out and touched the ark to steady it and keep it from falling off the cart. In verse 10 we read, “The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God.” Upon first reading this, it may seem like a pretty stiff punishment from God, but we need to understand a few things. First, God provided strict instructions from the beginning that the ark should only be moved by the Levites (priests) using poles that held the ark by rings on the sides, and non-Levites should never touch the ark itself. David and his group did not follow these instructions and instead transported the ark on a cart in the same way the Philistines transported the ark years earlier. Secondly, we must realize that God is perfectly just and he cannot tolerate sin. While David had good intentions in bringing the ark back to Jerusalem, he went about it the wrong way and sinned. In addition, while Uzzah had good intentions in steadying the ark, he went about it the wrong way and sinned. While God’s punishment of these sins may be hard for us to read about, we always have to keep in mind that as much as God loves us he is still perfectly just and severely punishes sin.
Both of these illustrations teach us a valuable lesson about intentions. Having good intentions is important, but intentions alone are not enough. We must act on our intentions, and we must act in the right way. The best way to ensure we are acting in the right way is to seek guidance before we ever begin. If the father in the story above sought guidance before cleaning the aquarium, he would not have used soap and would not have killed the goldfish. If David sought God’s guidance before transporting the ark, he would not have used a cart and non-Levites and would not have killed Uzzah. Seek to know God’s will before you act on good intentions and you can avoid disastrous results.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.