Prayer for the day
Make me understand the way of your commandments, that I may meditate on your marvelous works.
Scripture for the day
Why does it seem that following God has to be so hard sometimes. Not only do we have to do the right things, but we have to do the right things the right way and at the right time. Shouldn’t there be some kind of “well-meaning” scale by which we can shortcut these strict requirements?
In our First Testament story, king David wanted to do the right thing. He wanted to bring back the Ark of the Covenant in order to ensure that the people of Israel were following the will of the God they were supposed to serve.
Yet in bringing the Ark back, David does not seek God’s will in HOW to bring it back, and so God is displeased. In fact, Uzzah is killed by YHWH because the Ark is supposed to be holy and he reaches out to steady the Ark, not wanting it to fall.
These kind of restrictions and requirements seem to us to be nit-picky in the extreme. Why doesn’t God allow a little bit of leeway in the treatment of His Ark?
Jesus provides us with an answer with his statement to his brothers that he is unwilling to enter the city during the festival at a certain time because the time is not yet right for him to be fully revealed. Jesus shows an awareness of the means and timetable of God, a supernatural ability to align his action with the purpose and timing of God.
The purpose of this “nit-picky” requirement of God is simply that God knows what is best. God’s standard for action, timing and means, is not difficulty in the First or Second Testaments because in both God gives clear-cut directions and guidelines. He is mysterious, yes, but largely the scriptures show us that God is clear in his desires and requirements. He is to be worshipped and served in a certain way, and communicates that way to his people when they inquire of him.
Glory be to God!