Fear can make us do some pretty interesting things. I have known people to fear insects, reptiles, people, situations, germs, and clowns. These types of fears can create a cowardice affect in us. Instead of being brave and courageous, we shrink to acting like a child. We shriek and scream and run without knowing where we are going or what we are running to. Or we may be frozen in fear. A personal fear that creates a cowardice effect in me is the crunch of a cockroach. Yeah…I know, it is a very legitimate fear. The scene at the end of Men in Black is almost unbearable to watch (in case you want to watch it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9puHtVcU5o)! It just gives me the creeps thinking about it. As a result of this fear I have purchased an electric bug zapper so that I may electrocute them instead of crunching them. Fear is everywhere and has affected some great men in the Bible. Look with me at one today.
Last week we looked at a story that is slightly mind-boggling to be honest (click here it read it). We touched on one character in the story found in 1 Chronicles 13 where a man dies from trying to save the Ark of the Covenant from hitting the ground. Today, let’s take a look at what happens after God strikes Uzzah dead on the spot. We will focus on David, the newly appointed king of Israel.
After Uzzah dies right on the spot, I can imagine all eyes go directly to David. David, after all, was a man after God’s own heart. He was chosen by God to take over as ruler of the people of Israel. He wrote heartfelt songs that resonated with all people and our relationship with God. Surely he will know exactly what to do!
1Chronicles 13:11-12 “And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzza [breaking out against Uzzah] to this day. And David was afraid of God that day, and he said, ‘How can I bring the ark of God home to me? So David did not take the ark home into the city of David, but he took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.”
David was in fact a great man. There have been few, maybe even none besides Jesus, which have been a better king for Israel. Luckily for David and all of us, God looks not on the outward appearance, but the inward heart. We see here that David made a cowardice decision based upon anger and fear.
He was angry with God because, in the moment, he could not see that the method in which they were carrying out the mission was wrong. He believed God to be acting rashly. But as we know, God had kept his anger and wrath from the group up until this point. God did not strike down each person within the party for participating in wrongfully and disgracefully transporting the ark back to Jerusalem; although he would have been completely right to do so.
The anger that David felt quickly turned into fear. Within this story we see David acting out of that fear. This fear was so aggressive and invasive that it caused him to cease the mission on which they felt not only God’s blessing but the blessing of the people of Israel as well (1 Chronicles 13:1-4). This was not a fear that caused him to stop doing daily activities around the palace. This was a fear that over-took the mission on which God had placed him. That’s huge! David had faced armies, literal giants, even his own king trying to kill him. Yet he was in a moment of fear and searched for a quick way out.
Instead of going to God and admitting the wrong which they had done, he sought the quick-fix by dropping it off at Obed-edom’s home. “Sure, no problem, you can store the Ark of the Covenant that just caused a man to die on the spot for touching it and put a crazy amount of fear into the king of Israel!” But more about Obed-edom next post. We come to find out that he actually leaves the ark there for 3 months!
Has fear ever had this kind of control over you? Maybe not in the same way, but I’m sure we have all been affected by fear. We have at least been convinced to “go no further” in what we are doing or where we are going as a result of fear. It may have been only for a moment; it may have been for 3 months; it may have been longer.
Have you let fear derail you from the mission that God has called you to? There is hope. There is recovery. The ark does get to Jerusalem. David worships and God is pleased. This incident may have caused David to act against God in the moment, but God is love. His mercy is never-ending. He gives grace freely to those that associate themselves with him through the blood of Jesus.
Cling to Jesus. He can sympathize and encourage us in our fears.
Dealing with fear on a regular basis? Check out Psalm 27. Study it and put it to memory.
In Christ’s Love,