“So here’s what you tell them; here’s what I want to see: Men, pray wherever you are. Reach your holy hands to heaven—without rage or conflict—completely open”. 1 Timothy 2:8
“For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy”. 1 Peter 1:16 (AMPC)
When I got saved, I didn’t understand why people lift their hands when they sing in church…(the use of my hands could only go as far as clapping – that was just enough for me) These bretheren would lift their hands with so much passion that some would stare up as if staring at something only their eyes could see, ‘cos I didn’t see anything “out of the ordinary”. Fast-forward a couple of years (yes, it didn’t happen overnight when I was sweetly sleeping on my bed); and I’m doing the very same thing….mmmhhh (His sufficient Grace “in earthen vessels” – 2 Corinthians 12:9). How did I get to this…?
Personal experience as it was, that I can speak of “what I know” (word has it that “you can’t give what you don’t know”). The Holy Spirit is the Greatest Teacher of the Word of God and that, in a nutshell, is how I got to THAT!
In 1 Corinthians 6:19, the Bible says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (the very Presence/dwelling place of God (the OT’s Ark of the covenant). To this, let’s consider 2 Samuel 6:6-7 (Amplified Classic): 6 And when they came to Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled and shook it.7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for touching the ark, and he died there by the ark of God”.
When this happened, even King David was afraid (who wouldn’t?), that he was no longer willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him…(verses 9-10). The very David Samuel called “a man after God’s own heart” didn’t see himself worthy to keep the ark with him. WHY in the world would God struck Uzzah in such a way…so sudden…for all to see!; with no injury…but DEATH!? This turned out to be one of those “awkward moments”…and the celebration came to an end! But then who would continue celebrating with a corpse lying on their feet?
- Uzzah’s (and Ahio) irreverent attitude/act towards the ark.
When the ark was recovered from the Philistines, it has been in Abinadab’s household (2 Samuel 6:3). They’d probably grown up with it around them all this time that it became commonplace to them; and “lost its worth in their hearts” – so much that Uzzah felt no hesitation in reaching out his hand to steady it. He doubtlessly thought, “Look, I got this!; this ark’s been in my father’s house for so long….” but God knew the undeserving status of his heart…and his hands! God didn’t need Uzzah’s help in studying the ark. Even though the oxen stumbled, He was going to make sure the ark stays sturdy…but no, Uzzah thought otherwise.
- David’s failure/disobedient to follow God’s specific instructions.
All the singing and rejoicing…etc, cannot replace being obedient “for obedience is better than sacrifice”. Even though he was the sweetest singer; doing everything in worship with good intentions, it wasn’t blessed because he failed to obey. God’s biblical instructions specifically mandated that ONLY Levites must carry the ark. 1 Chronicles 15:2(MSG) 1-2 After David built houses for himself in the City of David, he cleared a place for the Chest and pitched a tent for it. Then David gave orders: “No one carries the Chest of God except the Levites; God designated them and them only to carry the Chest ofGod and be available full time for service in the work of worship.”
David learnt of his error the hard way, but with time, he made sure he corrected Uzzah’s “fiasco”
WHOSE HANDS THEN, ARE HOLY (WORTHY TO CARRY HIS ARK), ACCORDING TO GOD?
Let’s consider Psalms 24 & 15 respectively:
3-4 Who can climb Mount God?
Who can scale the holy north-face?
Only the clean-handed,
only the pure-hearted;
Men who won’t cheat,
women who won’t seduce
Psalm 15: 1-5 (VOICE)
1 Eternal One, who is invited to stay in Your dwelling?
Who is granted passage to Your holy mountain?
2 …the one who lives with integrity, does what is right,
and speaks honestly with truth from the heart.
3 The one who doesn’t speak evil against others
or wrong his neighbor,
or slander his friends.
4 The one who loathes the loathsome,
honors those who fear the Eternal,
And keeps all promises no matter the cost.
5 The one who does not lend money with gain in mind
and cannot be bought to harm an innocent name.
WHAT DOS THIS MEAN FOR US TODAY? = OBEDIENCE!
- All the good intentions & emotional display we might have CANNOT replace the simple act of obedience to what God has called us to do. Worship expresses itself in obedience.
- As we become busy with “details” of planning & rehearsing, etc, it’s easy to “get the details”, but “miss the boat”. None of us is exempt from the temptation of taking the things of God for granted.
Written by Ndivhuwo Matodzi Guest Blogger