A Call To The Remnant

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Familiarity breeds contempt

Posted by appolus on May 31, 2019

And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. (2Sa 6:6-7)

I think that when most Christians read this scripture, at least for the first time, they are astonished that Uzzah is killed on the spot for touching the Ark. Now if we look a little closer we can see just what a debacle this is. First a little background. The Ark had been kept, for a long time, in the house of Abinadab. Uzzah and his brother Ahio were the sons of Abinadab. Living in the same house as the Ark they were truly familiar with the Ark. It was a common thing for them to see it every day of their life. So, when the time came to bring it to Jerusalem we see that it is placed on a cart with Uzzah at its side and Ahio out in front clearing the path ahead. Now consider this. “And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Num 4:15)

Now Uzzah was a Levite, he was not a priest. And even if he was a priest, if was still forbidden to touch the ark, rather “And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.(Exo 25:14) You see, there were poles wrapped in gold that would be used to carry the Ark aloft by the priests without touching it. Yet here we have the Ark, not on the shoulders of the priest being held aloft above the people, but rather it is riding just a few feet above the ground on a cart being moved by common beasts. The glory of God was being obscured by blatant disobedience to the written word.

Can I suggest that in almost every church up and down the land we have grown familiar with the things of God and therefore we have grown disobedient to His instructions. We have contempt for the way the Lord laid out for us to gather as a congregation and because of this we have lost the glory of God. Ask yourself this pastor or congregant, do you see the glory of God and His majesty manifested by His presence when you gather on a Sunday morning? Does the manifest presence of God come down? Is it possible now that there is more than one generation that has never experienced the glory of God? His majesty, His glory, where we tremble in His presence. Where holy hands are lifted up to God and heads are bowed down low by an unseen holy heaviness. Where every part of you is penetrated by the unadulterated light of God. Where tears run down the faces like the oil that flowed down the beard of Aaron. Where suddenly how good and how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity. Where new life emanates from deep within. Where the secrets of men’s hearts are revealed so much so that they cry out “surely God is in this place.” A place where one saint stands up, heart racing out of his chest at the unction of the Holy Spirit, and begins to sing a song that one second before he had not been thinking about and suddenly a new wave of God’s presence flows down like a mighty river of gold.

A place where a royal priest, following the same unction from the same Holy Spirit stands up and begins to read a scripture in a way that is like being penetrated by a fiery sword and that sword begins to do its work in the hearts of men and women. A place where a saint stands up and cries out aloud “Glory to God in the highest,” and everyone else shouts out in agreement “glory to God in the highest. And another wave of glory rolls over them. A place where something truly remarkable is taking place. The Holy Spirit Himself is orchestrating, quite untouched by human hands, a service that is glorifying and magnifying God. A place where the name of Jesus is being magnified and the people cannot remain silent in the glory. They must stand and testify, they must stand and give thanks, they must shout out with a voice of triumph that our God reigns!!! This is what it means saints to be unfamiliar with the things of God. Our familiarity and the contempt that it inevitably breeds comes from the fact that it is we ourselves, in our own power, that orchestrate what happens on a Sunday morning. We know fine well that it is not by might or power but it is by His Spirit alone, yet for some remarkable reason, we as Christendom have lost the glory. Oh what a tragedy has overtaken us. How can we ever recover the glory of God and His presence among us again?

When David gets over his anger at the death of Uzzah and with the passage of some time, David comes to his senses. Now he will recover the Ark only this time he will do it right. The glory pf God represented by the Ark would be elevated above men in the fashion prescribed by God Himself. Great sacrifices would be made, indeed every six paces sacrifices would be made of oxen, perhaps beginning with the very oxen that had been used to move the Ark in the first place. We dont know how many but we might presume tens of thousands of beasts were sacrificed just as Solomon would later do. No longer was King David taking anything for granted. And so sacrifice was very important and it will take much sacrifice from us if we are to recover the glory of God. It seems that one of the first things that was sacrificed on this journey was David’s dignity. He stripped down to his underwear and leapt and danced before the Ark. His wife was horrified at this, such was her pride. Here was a King, one of the most powerful men in the world with all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with it, stripped down to his underwear with his only concern being glorifying God. From that day forth his wife would be barren. Pride brings death.

How much of the tragedy that we have seen unfold in the congregations all throughout Christendom is due to pride and traditions and the fear of man? How simple the instructions laid out to carry the Ark, how simple the instructions laid out in 1 Cor 14 but they are not carried out and somehow we expect that despite that, God will still come down in all of His glory. He will not. Not while men handle the glory, not while me usurp the Holy Spirit and His instructions to us. We can expect nothing less that Ichabod to be pronounced over the lintels of our doors.

1Co 14:27  If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

1Co 14:29  Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 

1Co 14:31  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 

1Co 14:39  Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 

1Co 14:25  And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 

When the glory of God comes down the secrets of the hearts are revealed and men fall down on their faces and worship a Holy and a mighty and glorious God. Does not your heart burn within you as you read these words? Is this not the longing of your heart to see God move in such a fashion once again? That a new generation would discover the majesty and the glory of a God that is High and lifted up yet deems to fall down upon a humbled, broken and contrite people who have realized that they have offended a Holy God by their familiarity. Would to God that this kind of move would break out all across Christendom and that His name, the name of Jesus our Lord would be lifted up above us, glorified and magnified and reverenced and when that name above all names finds its proper resting place, on the thrones of the hearts of men then all men will be drawn unto Him.

3 Responses to “Familiarity breeds contempt”

  1. Robert Taylor said

    Brother Frank….This subject is very deep. You have done a great job of pointing out, no doubt, the greatest error the church is indulging in today, and that is simply, taking God for granted. Good word brother. The very word that I needed today. God bless you and your family today.

  2. Scott Price said

    Hi Brother Frank. I whole heartedly concur. The elders of the church have a role in the church but not the one of domineering the assembly and meeting. What do you see the shepherding role to be in practical church life in conjunction with the ministry by the saints to each other? How does equipping and bringing to maturity work from your perspective?

  3. Thank you, brother, for delivering the heart of God! May these words pierce and penetrate many unto repentance. The root of resistance to God HImself in the church runs very deep. May God raise up a remnant!
    Blessings!

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