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Doctrine on Judgment of Believers and Unbelievers

(weekly I write a five minute “doctrine talk” based on the doctrine in the passage of scripture we are studying in “People of the Promised Land 1 – Bible Study Fellowship”)

2 Samuel 6:1- 9

David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand.He and all his men went to Baalahin Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God. Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 

Gods judgment for Uzzah’s sinful act was death.

Have you ever questioned why bad things happen to good people?  Of course you have, I do all the time.  But consider this…what is a “bad thing” and what is “good people”?  As we read this section of scripture on the outside without context we could say, “Wow, what a mean God.  The dude was just trying to help and carry the Ark, the oxen stumbled and he tried to catch it.  And God killed him?!”  But with some history here there important details to consider. First, there is no record that David sought the mind of the Lord in this matter.  Relocating the ark to Jerusalem seemed like a good idea but it doesn’t say that David asked the Lord for His direction.  Second, in verse 3 it says that they used a “new cart” drawn by oxen, this was the pattern of the pagan Philistines, not the pattern given to Moses on Mount Sinai.  Third, in verse 6 when “Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled” and was struck dead for that, the fact is he should’ve known better.  God had warned of touching the ark in Numbers chapter 4.  In fact, there is no evidence that Uzzah was even qualified to be near the ark let alone touch it since he wasn’t a Levite.  Hmmm…good person, bad thing….new perspective? 

So do you judge what is a bad thing or who is good people? Do we have all the facts in every situation to make that claim? 

God is the rightful judge of all people because God created all people and established right and wrong.

So what about you, what about me?  Are we under the judgment of God as believers? Jesus took our deserved judgment but that doesn’t mean we won’t experience consequences for our sins.

Believers experience consequences, not condemnation, now.

Hebrews 12 says that God addresses us as a father addresses his son in saying, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

He goes on to say that this is how we know we are legitimate, true sons and daughters of God our Father.  And that God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.

We can rest in the fact that God’s judgment is perfect.  He promised to judge all human activity and choices.  Some we see now, others with be in eternity.  Regardless, we know that for us the believer who desires to love and serve Him, God’s work must be done in God’s way if it is to have God’s blessing.  That’s the lesson I learned from Uzzah. 

Remember that Jesus took our deserved judgement and that should propel us to make our life count.  Does that mean we won’t be disciplined for our sins?  Not at all, as we just read in Hebrews 12.  God’s judgement proves that what we do matters.  God designed his universe so there is a consequence for every action.  He also delights in rewarding His people. 

Remember, God is the rightful judge of all people because He created all people and established right and wrong.  Consider studying the Bible to learn what is God’s definition of right and wrong, bad things, and good people.  Ask for His grace in obtaining that and know His judgment, consequences, and discipline are perfect and always in love.

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