It’s amazing how we can tie what we read in the Bible to everyday life. The following story was linked to my recent visit to Sharon Springs, NY. (images below)
The Old Testament depicts a God with human characteristics. Fortunately, our concept of God can evolve into a God of care and creativity. For example in II Samuel I read about King David, and a group of choice colleagues, who brought the ark of God out of the house of Abinadab.
The King wanted to bring it to the city of David, but while in transport (remember they had no gasoline vehicles and smooth roads, but it was a bunch of guys guiding oxen on dirt roads, pulling a cart on which the ark was perched) the ark started teetering. So Uzzah puts “out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.” (II Samuel 6:6 NKJV)
Rather harsh reaction on God’s part here, I think. Even King David was miffed by God’s outbreak and called the place Perez Uzzah, or Outburst Against Ussah.
It reminds me to hold my tongue from an outburst or from striking someone down. Of course, practicing this ideal is harder than just remembering to do so, but outbursts of anger do have a lasting effect. They go down in history.
We can reverse that trend.
Biblical accounts show that we can stop focusing on a humanlike God with the idiosyncrasy to strike someone down in a temper tantrum. We can advance in our understanding to know a God of peace and forgiveness, using power to promote healing.
I recently visited Sharon Springs, an upstate New York village. It went from a hub of activity in the 1800’s to a dilapidated area, as if it was struck down. However, appealing to a higher power of intelligence and creativity, people are refurbishing the village to attract others interested in a tranquil place to come and rest, eat, and shop.