Participants: Gordon Kainer
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000327
00:31 I want to welcome you to Faith
00:35 Chapel. I am Gordon Kainer, retired academy Bible teacher,
00:38 living in Santa Rosa, California. The title of my
00:42 presentation today is "Only a Touch."
00:46 I invite you to pray with me.
00:50 "Our heavenly Father, our world is filled with people
00:53 that become skeptical about you and your existence,
00:56 who've become distressful of your word and I pray today
01:01 as we open that word. Restore in us a faith,
01:05 a trust in your word, is my prayer in Jesus name. Amen."
01:14 I grew up in a farm in South Dakota.
01:17 And when I was about 10 years old,
01:22 I distinctly remember a time when my father
01:24 came home from working all day in the field.
01:27 And he approached the front of the home or a house,
01:32 and he noticed that our hired man was sitting
01:36 on the front porch and as my father got a closer look.
01:41 He noticed he was doing something here and he said,
01:44 Sam, what's the problem? And Sam said,
01:47 Gordon knocked my tooth loose today,
01:49 and I am trying to pull it out. Well,
01:52 on hearing this, of course,
01:54 my father got a little bit nervous about that to say
01:58 at least and so he came up to my room he said,
02:03 Gordon what did you do to Sam today?
02:07 And I said, I don't know what you talking about?
02:10 He said, well, Sam said he knocked his tooth loose.
02:13 I said, I know nothing about it. Well, I don't know,
02:18 I think my father believed me. So we went downstairs
02:22 and the three of us got together and this
02:24 story emerged. Earlier that day,
02:28 when I was about 10 years old at that time,
02:30 earlier that day, I was driving our little Ford tractor
02:33 around the farm yard and I was probably being
02:36 very reckless. And just kind of goofing
02:39 around and enjoying myself and Sam noticed that
02:42 and he was looking at what I was doing
02:45 and he was walking through the yard.
02:49 And he did look where he was walking
02:50 and he ran to a huge machinery right down the yard
02:53 and he nearly busted out his tooth.
02:57 Well, a few additional details changed the whole complexion
03:03 of that story. And not only
03:06 did we not have the complete story but I think
03:09 I escaped some severe discipline from my father.
03:14 Now I shared that story with you because all of us
03:18 have heard things of other people that have surprised us.
03:21 Now we might hear somebody have done something
03:24 and we say how could they do that?
03:27 Well, how could she say that? But then we make a wise
03:32 decision to withhold judgment until we hear as Paul Harvey
03:37 would say the rest of the story.
03:41 It is essential that we have all the pieces of the puzzle.
03:47 All the pieces of the story, it will undoubtedly save us
03:51 from unreasonable or unnecessary problems
03:56 and concerns. Now, the same principle
04:00 applies when we study the Bible, no story, no text,
04:08 no parable should stand alone to be interpreted by itself.
04:14 Now, the Bible tells us that there is no scripture of,
04:18 is of private interpretation and we need to get the
04:21 whole picture when we interpret it.
04:25 So, every troubling text, every story that,
04:30 that is perplexing to us, every difficult situation
04:34 that we read about in the Bible must be studied
04:37 within the immediate setting or context,
04:41 but more in that it must agree with the overall teachings
04:46 of the Bible. If allowed to stand alone
04:50 it will create problems, it will cause doubts,
04:55 and most importantly it will probably present God
04:59 in a bad light. There are numerous
05:04 Old Testament stories that at first glance don't present
05:10 a very complementary picture of God.
05:14 There are some stories there that when I read them I say,
05:16 why did God chose to put this story in the Old Testament,
05:20 but the truth is that almost in every case if we take
05:27 a closer look, a more thorough study
05:30 of that text or of the story, misconceptions,
05:35 misunderstanding'll disappear, and we can go on our way.
05:42 This brings us today to the perplexing story of Uzzah.
05:49 The man who dies just for touching the Ark.
05:55 It sounds a lot like Lot's wife who apparently died
05:58 just for looking back, just a glance, only a touch,
06:06 but it can often be misunderstood to the point
06:09 where some people just ignore it, they don't,
06:12 they don't want to even look at it anymore,
06:16 and the reason for the misunderstanding
06:18 is they don't have all the facts.
06:19 They don't fully understand what has happened?
06:22 How often we may struggle with a disturbing story
06:26 or a troublesome text to the point where we just don't
06:32 want to read about it anymore. So today, we are going
06:36 to discover what caused Uzzah's death.
06:42 And we're going to find out that it must not be seen
06:46 as an unsolved mystery or a dark dilemma,
06:50 but instead we will see that it teaches something
06:54 very important about the gospel, the necessity
06:58 and the complete sufficiency of Jesus.
07:03 So let's begin our study. When the Israelists
07:07 first took over the land of Canaan the sanctuary
07:10 was set up in a small little town called Shiloh.
07:15 It remained there for almost the entire time period
07:18 of the Judges. Now the Judges was a time period
07:20 of about 300 years. That's how long the
07:23 sanctuary remained in that little town.
07:25 All of this changed however. During a particular battle
07:30 that occurred during the childhood days of Samuel
07:34 who was the last judge of Israel. Now in this battle
07:40 the Israelites found themselves losing to the
07:43 Philistines and then someone got a bright idea;
07:48 let's get the Ark and let's bring it here
07:51 to the battle field. There is no way we can lose
07:55 this battle if we have the Ten Commandments
07:59 in our midst. But you know, having the Ten Commandments
08:04 in your midst is not the same as having
08:07 it in your heart. In some way that illustrates today
08:13 a problem that we are facing in our country today.
08:19 There are many people who believe that having the
08:21 Ten Commandments edged in some cement slab
08:25 in front of a court house or posted on a public school wall
08:29 or on a street legislature wall will turn the tide of
08:34 the battle. But the answer is not found
08:39 in a state directive, but rather in the Spirit's
08:43 power implant God's laws on the fleshy tables
08:48 of our heart. Sure evidence that religious deterioration
08:53 has taken place is when people turn to things
08:56 which are tangible, things that they can touch
08:58 and see and hear, rather than to live by faith alone.
09:04 Well, what happened in that ancient battle
09:07 when they got the Ark? Let's read about it
09:10 in First Samuel chapter 4, verse 10 and 11.
09:16 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated
09:20 and every man fled to his tent.
09:22 There was a very great slaughter, and there fell
09:26 of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.
09:29 Also the Ark of God was captured; and the
09:32 two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
09:38 Now Eli was the judge of Israel and he was 98 years old
09:43 about at this particular time. And when he hears
09:47 what has happened, he is so jolted by it,
09:51 he falls off the chair, breaks his neck and he dies.
09:56 The wife of Phinehas was pregnant and then she hears
10:00 her husband has died and the Ark has been captured,
10:03 she goes into labor immediately. She dies in the ordeal,
10:10 but just before she dies she names her little boy Ichabod,
10:15 which means "The glory has departed
10:18 from Israel." It truly was a dark day
10:21 for God's people. Well, the Ark of the Covenant
10:28 is taken by the Philistines and taken into their own land,
10:33 but it turned out to be a real headache for those people.
10:38 When they put the Ark into their own temple,
10:40 the temple of Dagon the next morning they discovered
10:44 the Dagon had fallen off its porch
10:46 and had fallen apart. When it happened
10:49 the second day they have had enough
10:52 and so they took the Ark and took it to a town
10:56 after town after town and why the different places
11:00 because every time they went into a new town
11:02 the people became deadly sick.
11:06 Well, finally, the people had enough, I mean they decided
11:10 to get rid of the Ark and they confirmed
11:13 with their wise men as to what they should do?
11:17 Well, here is the advice the Philistines
11:20 got from their wise men. We'll read about it
11:22 in First Samuel 6, verse 7. Now therefore make a new cart,
11:29 take two milk cows which have never been yoked,
11:32 and hitch the cows to the cart; and take
11:36 their calves home, away from them.
11:41 Well the Philistines put the Ark into this cart
11:47 and watched to see what would happen.
11:49 Under normal circumstances you can expect
11:53 a couple of things, one these two cows
11:56 have never been yoked together and they just get wild
11:58 and starting running over the place or since
12:01 they had just left their calves behind that
12:03 they would sort of amble around in that area,
12:06 not wanting to leave their calves.
12:10 But instead what happened. These two cows yoked
12:14 to this cart walked straight down the road
12:17 to the first Israelite town. Well, that convinced
12:20 the Philistines that the bad things that have happened
12:23 to them was not a coincidence,
12:26 but it was definitely connected to the Ark.
12:31 Well, the Ark was eventually placed
12:33 in the house of Abinadab. A man, we know nothing
12:36 about nor do we know why his home was chosen.
12:42 But the Ark stayed in that home for 50 years.
12:45 Well, when David was crowned King over the land
12:49 one of the first major battles over
12:53 which he led out was to capture of Jerusalem
12:58 from the Jebusites. And David now made plans
13:02 to make Jerusalem the capital and he wants the Ark
13:07 brought there. And this brings us
13:11 now to Uzzah. Well, David consults
13:15 with the leaders. They talk about it.
13:18 He gets their approval and then plans were made
13:21 to transport the Ark from Abinadab's home
13:25 where it had been for 50 years to Jerusalem,
13:28 which is probably about 9 or 10 miles.
13:34 This event is described in Second Samuel
13:37 chapter 6 and verse 3. So they set the Ark of God
13:43 on a new cart, and brought it out of the house
13:46 of Abinadab, which was on the hill;
13:48 and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab,
13:51 drove the new cart. Now, let me ask you a question.
13:57 Where did the Israelites get the idea to transport the Ark
14:03 in a new cart? They got it from the Philistines.
14:07 They remembered 50 years earlier that's how
14:10 the Philistines had transported it
14:12 and they chose to do the same thing.
14:14 Now nothing happened to the Philistines
14:18 when they transported the Ark contrary
14:21 to God's instructions because you see
14:23 they were unaware of what God had said about
14:27 transporting the Ark. They were not held accountable
14:30 for something they didn't know.
14:33 It reminds me of the Apostle Paul when he was speaking
14:35 to the listeners on Mars Hill.
14:40 And he says, in chapter 17 of Acts he said,
14:44 in times of ignorance God overlooked,
14:47 or winked at the evil that was sometimes done
14:51 by people. Now just because the unbelieving world
14:57 does not recognized something as sin does not
15:00 excuse God's people. The Bible tells us
15:04 to whom much is given much is expected.
15:13 Well, what were the directions that God gave
15:15 to the Israelites regarding the moving of the Ark?
15:20 After the sanctuary was first built in the wilderness
15:24 they moved it from place to place and God
15:28 commanded only the high priest could enter
15:32 the most holy place to cover the Ark.
15:35 And then the Levites were to lift the Ark
15:38 by the staves put that on the shoulders and that's how
15:42 the Ark was to be transported. And God give this warning.
15:47 In Numbers 4:15, and when Aaron
15:53 and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary
15:56 and all the furnishings of the sanctuary,
16:00 when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath
16:03 shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch
16:07 any holy thing, lest they die. Well, now let's go back
16:13 to the story of the transporting of the Ark
16:17 in the wrong way that we have talked about
16:18 a little earlier. Let's read about
16:21 that in First Chronicles chapter 13,
16:25 and we're gonna read from verse 7 through 10,
16:31 so they carried the Ark of God on a new cart
16:33 from the house of Abinadab,
16:36 and Uzzah drove the cart. Then David and all Israel
16:40 played music before God with all their might,
16:44 with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments,
16:47 on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.
16:51 And when they came to Chidon's threshing floor,
16:54 Uzzah put out his hand to hold the Ark,
16:58 for the oxen had stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord
17:01 was aroused against Uzzah, and he struck him
17:04 because he put his hand to the Ark;
17:06 and he died there before God.
17:12 This was to be a very festive and joyous occasion.
17:16 There was to be much celebrating with music
17:20 and singing and heartfelt rejoicing. This was a high day
17:24 for these people. But it serves as a reminder
17:29 that when we fail to obey God's directions
17:33 in our worship of him all our singing,
17:39 all our celebration, all our whatever
17:43 we are involved in, in that particular moment,
17:47 that it does not correct or compensate for our failure.
17:53 The Bible tells us we have to worship God in Spirit,
17:56 yes, but also in truth. Now the Ark had been
18:02 in the home of Uzzah and his brother
18:04 for a long time. As it said, their parents home
18:08 for 50 years. From the reading of the account
18:11 it seems that Uzzah was sincere in stretching
18:14 forth his hand to steady the Ark
18:17 when the oxen had stumbled. Now is there something
18:20 we aren't aware of that would help us to understand
18:23 why Uzzah died? Let me just grasp
18:25 for just a moment. My students were always
18:28 troubled with this story, and they wondered,
18:31 you know, this is something we don't understand
18:33 here in this situation. Did familiarity
18:36 with the Ark greeted him a spirit
18:38 of a reverence or carelessness.
18:40 Did he cherish some secret sin which we don't know
18:43 anything about? The Bible says
18:45 that David became very angry because he didn't understand
18:49 either why this had all happened.
18:53 So the celebration ended very abruptly and the Ark
18:56 was taken to the house of Obed-Edom.
19:00 Of where it remained for three months.
19:03 Nobody wants to get near that Ark during this time.
19:05 It was a time period of great uncertainty and David
19:09 spent much time searching the scripture
19:11 as well as reflecting on his own soul.
19:13 In his studies he discovered the terrible mistake
19:17 they had made as to the right way to transport the Ark.
19:22 He seriously considered the possibility that his own heart
19:25 may not have been right with God, and that he feared
19:29 God's judgment might also fall on him.
19:33 But there was something else that David thought
19:37 about and that was the people's loud celebration
19:40 and singing and imposing display, in the new plans
19:45 for transporting the Ark a choir was assembled
19:49 and it was accompanied by fewer and more
19:52 subdued instruments. And it's quite likely
19:55 that David himself composed Psalms 24,
19:58 just for this occasion, sung by the choir
20:01 in the processional. Let's read a couple
20:05 of verses from Psalms 24. Verses 3 and 4,
20:12 who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
20:15 Or who may stand in His holy place?
20:18 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
20:21 who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
20:25 nor sworn deceitfully. This Psalm seems
20:29 to suggest us that Uzzah may not have had clean hands
20:34 or a pure heart when that tragedy occurred.
20:39 But in all of this, there is something far
20:42 more series at stake which points I believe
20:45 to the underlying reason why Uzzah died
20:48 for touching the Ark. You see the Ark
20:51 which housed the Ten Commandments
20:53 represented God's government. It was a symbol
20:57 of God's presence in the midst of the people.
21:02 Only the high priest could rightfully stand
21:06 in God's presence in the most holy place and touch the Ark.
21:14 Now a question, who did the high priest represent?
21:19 He was an earthly type of Jesus Christ.
21:23 As our mediator Jesus enters into God's presence for us.
21:27 Only he can touch God in our behalf,
21:34 there's a kind of brightness that rested above the Ark
21:36 represented the glory of God. Sin are so offensive to God
21:41 that no sinful person can stand in God's presence
21:45 or in his glory and live. But more than that,
21:50 in to this world no human hands are ever clean enough.
21:55 No heart is ever pure enough to go into God's presence
22:00 and to approach the almighty God.
22:06 David writes again in psalm 24, verse 7 and 8,
22:11 where he says Lift up your heads, O you gates!
22:15 And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
22:18 And the King of glory shall come in.
22:21 Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty,
22:25 The Lord mighty in battle. Now as we said earlier,
22:32 it seems as though this was a Psalm that David wrote
22:38 for the express purpose of being sung when the Ark
22:41 was taken up to hill, to the place where they wanted
22:46 the Ark to be. Well, we need to remember something else,
22:50 that I think is even more important. This was the song
22:54 that was sung by the Angelic choir when Jesus entered
22:59 the heavens at his ascension. We're told that the choir
23:05 that accompanies Jesus, sang lift up your heads
23:09 O you gates, and be lifted up you everlasting doors
23:14 and the King of glory shall come in.
23:18 And there is another choir surrounding the throne
23:20 and they answered who is this King of glory?
23:26 And the first choir responds, the Lord,
23:28 strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.
23:36 When Jesus enters the presence of God
23:38 at his ascension he waves back the angelic host.
23:42 He accepts no praise, no honor.
23:46 He raises his scarred hands before the Father
23:52 and he tells him I have finished the work
23:56 that you've given me to do. And then the Father
24:00 reaches out and he embraces his son.
24:04 He embraces Jesus and with that embrace
24:09 he embraces all of us who are in Christ,
24:13 in accepting Jesus the Father is accepting us.
24:19 I'm reminded of Daniel 7, where the curtains
24:23 of heaven are pulled back and we're given
24:24 a glimpse of the pre-advent judgment
24:28 and we see the Ancient of Days sitting there,
24:30 that's God and he is surrounded by an angelic host
24:34 and then the books are opened, then its an ominous scene,
24:39 but then everything changes with one event.
24:41 Coming with the clouds of heaven,
24:44 is one like the son of man, that's Jesus.
24:48 Who enters into the presence of God for us,
24:50 thus we can according to Hebrew 4:16 come boldly
24:55 to the throne of grace, where we may obtain mercy
25:00 and find grace in time of need. When Uzzah touches
25:06 the Ark it was a presumptuous attempt to come
25:12 into God's presence apart from Jesus as his mediator.
25:19 In this Act, he was attempting to engage
25:22 in relationship up with God apart from grace,
25:27 apart from Jesus as his divine substitute.
25:33 In the incarnation, Jesus took upon himself
25:36 a divine human nature that serves as a connecting link
25:41 for humanity and divinity. No other religion
25:45 in the world, be it Hinduism,
25:48 Buddhism or Islam believes in a savior
25:52 from sin or a mediator. It is their belief
25:59 that they can approach God directly.
26:03 They can approach him with prayers that apparently
26:07 please him or with good works that will please,
26:13 and I had to emphasize this to my students often that,
26:16 that sets Christianity apart from all other religions,
26:21 that we have a mediator. We have a righteous
26:25 substitute who can approach God. Who can touch God
26:31 in our behalf and that sets apart Christianity
26:35 as a truly redemptive religion. Granted as his touch
26:43 that brought forth death was an act of disobedience
26:49 to the command of God, but more importantly Uzzah
26:52 is a symbol of all those who died rejecting the saving
26:58 work of Jesus. Now Jesus put it this way in John 3:15,
27:03 "For God so loved the world that He gave
27:06 His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
27:10 in Him should not perish." In John 3:15,
27:18 you have a full context that too bad Uzzah was unaware of.
27:25 In contrast to Uzzah, we see the woman reach out
27:28 in faith to touch the helm of Jesus garment
27:31 and it brings her life. It brings her healing
27:38 just a touch. It can either represent
27:41 you're reaching out in disbelief and dying in your sin
27:46 or reaching up in faith and receiving
27:49 the gift of eternal life. The choice is yours.