July 10

David and Uzza, Part 1

I Chronicles 13:5-12 So David gathered all Israel together… to bring the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim…. So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart…. And when they came to Chidon’s threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God. And David became angry because of the LORD’s outbreak against Uzza…. David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?”

At first glance, it might seem that David had every reason to be angry. He was trying to bring the ark of the Lord back to Jerusalem. That was a good thing. He’d even bought a new cart for the occasion. That, however, was a rash and thoughtless thing (more on that later).

Was David angry with God? If so, was it for ruining his celebration, or for hurting Uzza? Was he mad at himself? Perhaps he was angry with himself, but Scripture presents this as a quick reaction, not a thoughtful response of someone taking personal responsibility. Certainly David had a mess on his hands, and he was angry about that. While Scripture doesn’t say specifically that David was angry with God, there is no other object of anger than the Lord in this scenario if he wasn’t angry with himself. He knew the sovereignty of God, and knew that God was ultimately responsible for what was happening that day.

Have you ever been angry because of something God has done? How long did it last? What were your reasons? Did your anger include accusations at God? (Don’t be religious or polite here—we’re talking what’s coming out of our hearts.) The Bible doesn’t tell us why David was angry; it could have been for any number of reasons. So what things come up when you get angry at God? Are they the same things again and again? If so, there is something or some things that need His touch, your repentance, or both.

No matter if our reaction brings up something old or new, familiar or surprising, we really have no reason to be angry with Him. So a response of anger toward God is to be repented of, yes, but also something to be looked at and dug into. Bring those reasons out to the light, and bring them to the cross. The enemy may say they are too silly or too sinful to bring to the light, but that’s because he knows the power of God to minister, and he wants us to hang onto hurtful things.

The next time you find yourself angry with God, take a good look at what is coming to the surface. Bring it all to the cross, even the “silly,” embarrassing things. Release it all. Repent of what needs to be repented of, and cry out for healing and wisdom for the rest. This is redemption at work.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see why I get angry at things, and especially with You. If there are patterns, I want to see them, get healed, and learn from them. You died for everything, including all the things underlying my angry responses. May Your death not be in vain for them.

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