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Immerse: Chronicles Week 2

Holy Proximity

The ark was the representation of God’s holiness. It was the closest humans would ever get to the glory of God until Jesus remedied that through His blood shed on the cross. The latest reports from our Chronicles reading repeated and summarized the event of Uzzah’s death when he moved the ark on David’s command. We learned in Kings the reason he died was because he mishandled the ark and ignored God’s clear commands for how it should be handled. On top of Uzzah’s death, David got upset that he didn’t accomplish what he wanted to do… and gave up. When we understand the ark was what represented the holiness of God, we can see how grave the danger is when it is handled incorrectly or inappropriately.
Do you view God as holy?
If you do, you know it means you need to approach Him with intention, with care, and with knowledge of His power. And now that Jesus has bridged the divide between us and God, our sin no longer separates us from God’s holiness like it did before He came to be THE sacrifice for all our sins. Jesus has been declared the High Priest of the New Covenant, and His Holy Spirit resides in us.
Do you act like it?
This story got me thinking: have I mishandled the holiness of God? Do I treat my meetings with Him like the latest attraction at Disney World: waiting for the newest revelation, the most profound quote, the latest verse to put on my bathroom mirror to make myself feel better? Have I been treating my meetings with God’s people in the same way? Do I just come to church to sport my latest spiritual accomplishment with the hopes of turning people’s eyes away from my own imperfections? Or worse yet: do I look down on other’s struggles, imperfections, or mistakes and use them to puff my own righteousness up? Or even worse: do I treat my meetings with His people like the “thing” I’ll do if I don’t have anything else planned that day?
Are you in proximity?
The purpose of meetings in the Old Testament Temple remains the same as the purpose of those meetings in the New Covenant: To be in proximity to the Father, to repent of our sins, and to restore our hearts to Him. Aside from repentance – which He never had to do – Jesus habitually sacrificed His proximity to people in order to be in the presence of His Father. In turn, He also repeatedly gave up His personal time to heal, forgive and restore others to God. If we are not on mission to do just that – restore ourselves and others to God – we are mishandling the Gospel and disrespecting the sacrifice of Jesus on our and the whole world’s behalf. We might as well be Uzzah, who believed checking the box and moving the ark from point A to point B was enough.
Do you ask God?
We learn just a few chapters later (after Uzzah’s death), David tries again to move the ark. Three months later, and this time he chooses to do it right. He gathers the appropriate people (Levites) and admits his mistake: “We did not inquire of him [God] about how to do it in the prescribed way” (page 28). Even if it’s been a long time since you feel you have approached God in the right way, look to David’s story. He made mistake after mistake, and in this case, it took him three months to correct it. Friends, God has already paved the way for you to try again, and again… and again. He grants forgiveness freely to those who only need to ask for it and runs to meet us at our repentance. Let’s do as David did (the second time) and ask God how He wants us to approach Him. He wants us in His proximity. It’s what we were created for! Let’s do it right.