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The Untouchable

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
September 15, 2022 12:01 am

The Untouchable

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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September 15, 2022 12:01 am

Why did God strike down Uzzah for what seemed to be a harmless mistake? Today, R.C. Sproul reminds us that even the slightest sin is cosmic treason against God.

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When King David recovered the Ark of the covenant he brought it home on oxcart when the oxen stumbled also reached out to steady the ark and godchildren. Modern theologians look at that event in antiquity and say see here is a crash example of primitive, na´ve, methodologically oriented people attributing to God, something that God would never do what is God punish his own children so severely for making what seemed to be harmless mistakes this week on Renewing Your Mind. We are concentrating on Dr. RC Sproul series the holiness of God. Many people question God's goodness when they see hard instances of his justice was God's grace that day when he killed us. Dr. Spruill answers this difficult question in the message entitled the untouchable.

As we continue our study of the holiness of God. We recall that in our last session we began to look at the problem of God's justice when it is manifested in ways that are difficult for us to understand and we considered. For example, the sudden execution that God gave to the sons of Aaron may dab and advise who, when they offered profane fire on the altar but that of course is only one such incident in the Old Testament where we encounter several events that show God's sudden outpouring of wrath on people. One of the most famous such incidences is the death of Hudson. You remember that story when after the ark of the covenant had been restored to Israel and have been in storage for a while.

David wanted to bring the ark back to a central place of prominence in the city and so he had this procession emerged, which in this triumphant parade. The ark was going to be brought back to the city and the ark of the covenant was being born by an oxcart driven by human beings and some folks were walking along beside this oxcart and most notable among them was a man by the name of Zach and something happened that ruined the parade something happened that rudely interrupted this sacred procession where everyone was celebrating and cheering the return of the throne of God to the city. Let's read the record about as we find it in first Chronicles 13 we read so that David gathered all Israel together from see who are in Egypt to as far as the entrance of famous to bring the ark of God from curious zero and David and all Israel went up to Bala to care just deuterium which belonged to Judah to bring up from there. The ark of God, the Lord, who dwells between the cherubim where his name is proclaimed, and so they carried the ark of God on a new card from the house of the Bennett dad and eyes and a Helio drove the cart and then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, were singing on harps on stringed instruments on tambourines on symbols and with trumpets when they came to cheat on his threshing floor. I was put out his hand to hold the ark for the oxen stumbled and the anger of the Lord was roused against as a and he struck him because he put his hand to the ark and he died there before God, and David became angry because of the Lord's outbreak against as a therefore that place is called Perez as a to this day, and David was afraid of God that day saying how can I bring the ark of God to me. So we see that in this instance, God again executes someone from the priestly line because of improper conduct with the handling of sacred vessels, but it seems astonishing to us that God would act in such a apparently arbitrary way you get the picture. The ark is being carried in procession on the oxcart and suddenly one of the oxen stumbles and the card is beginning to tip over and what is about to happen is that the most sacred vessel in all of Israel.

The ark of the covenant is about to fall off the card into the mud into the ground get covered with filth and to keep that from happening. I was, who spent his whole life in caring for the sacred vessels instinctively reaches out to study the ark, to keep it from falling into the mud and becoming desecrated, one would expect that at that moment the clouds would pardon the voice would come from heaven crying. Thank you. Instead, God strikes him dead.

This is another one of those incidents that I say modern theologians look at that event in antiquity and say see here is a crash example of primitive, na´ve, methodologically oriented people attributing to God, something that God would never do. Surely God wouldn't kill us for this action, which from our perspective really is and how heroic action. Probably what happened was because I had been so in all of the sacred vessels and sacred holy furniture and he had never in his life, presumed to catch any of these objects with his bare that when he did it. He was so terrified he dropped dead of a heart attack. That's the modern interpretation of what happened, but again, just as in the case of may dab in a buy who if we look back into the institution of the tabernacle and of the priesthood and that God had set apart a whole tribe of Israel.

The Levites who were to take care of the Temple and the matters of worship in the tabernacle, and with in the home or the tribe of the Levites. There were several clients there were the color sites. For example, who were one family among the Levites and the color sites responsibility as a family group was to take care of the sacred vessels put up the tent to take it down, and so on.

The transport these sacred pieces of furniture and they were also given explicit instructions on how they were to go about their particular tasks.

Now if you remember those instructions and the way in which the ark itself was built that at the four corners of this throne, the sacred chest. There were metal rings attached and the purpose of those rings was that the poet fights when they were to transport the ark of God.

They were to insert holes through these rings and then the color sites would put these poles on their shoulders between them and carry the throne of God on foot. There was no provision in the law whatsoever to transport the sacred ark and an oxcart to begin with. It was to be carried now.

You recall, it was returned to Israel by the Philistines on a cart that was drawn by Kyles, but Israel was to transport it on foot and the reason for these detailed instructions of using poles and so on was that the one in viable law was that no human being was ever to touch the ark of God. In fact, when the ark was appropriately situated in the holy of holies it can only be seen by one person and that was the high priest and even then on one day out of the year, the day of atonement, when that was the only day when the high priest was allowed to enter into the holy of holies, where the ark was to be and then he went in and sprinkled blood upon the ark, but even the high priest wasn't supposed to touch the throne of God. On this occasion when the oxen stumbled and the cart became unstable and the ark was about to fall onto the ground as a reached out and touched it is motive may have been righteous. He may have been thinking I want to keep the ark from falling on the ground but beloved in God's sight. It wasn't the ground that would desecrate this holy piece of furniture.

There's nothing polluted about the earth. The mud does what it's supposed to do in obedience to the laws of God.

It is the law of God, that when you mix earth with water it becomes mud. There's nothing sinful about the thing that was not allowed to touch the ark of God was the hands of me. The only thing you could pollute the ark at that moment was not the ground but as a it was as his hands that were profane and it was the hands of man that God said must never besmirch his holy throne and passive forgot and he paid for it with his life. Jonathan Edwards once preached on the sin of presumption and the sin of arrogance and he used as his chief illustration for the human sin of presumption. This episode in which an unclean on holy man presumed to touch the holy Ark of God. Now, had God never prohibited. This kind of action, and then he executed somebody who performed such an action. We could then reasonably raise questions about the justice of God. But again, what is the did was in clear and direct violation of the law of God. And so God executed him, giving him the penalty that I was a and every co-with light new was the law of God that it was a capital offense touch that ark, but we still may be left with the question, but is there not mercy in God, maybe the Lord did stipulate that it was a capital offense. To do such a thing. But isn't that in itself cruel and unusual punishment. I remember a few years ago reading in time magazine about an incident that took place in the state of Maryland where a truck driver was arrested for disorderly conduct and when the police came to arrest him. He became verbally abusive to the arresting officers. He didn't get physical with them but he called him every name in the book and in the course of his cursing against the policeman he uttered all kinds of blasphemy. So when they brought him before the magistrate and arrested him for his disorderly conduct. The judge at that point had at his disposal. The most severe sentence that he could throw at him to throw the book at this man who was so abusive was to put them in jail for 30 days and find him $100.

That was the maximum penalty allowed by the law, but the judge also made use of a law that was on the books in Maryland that prohibited public blasphemy and so the judge added on another 30 days in jail and another hundred dollars because in his disorderly conduct. The truck driver had committed public blasphemy and the whole point of this article in Time magazine was to voice the outrage of the magazine against this cruel and unusual punishment by using an antiquated Penal Code for public blasphemy. So what kind of a culture we live in. That would sentence somebody to 30 days in jail and find them $100. All because all they did was blaspheme the name of God publicly when I read that I thought that truck driver would certainly be happy to know that he didn't live in Israel because if he did what he did in Maryland.

In Israel he wouldn't of gotten 30 days in jail.

The hundred dollar fine it up and put the death for such an atrocity against the holiness of God. But we thought it was atrocious that he would even be find it all because we live in an unholy age and an unholy culture that has no regard for that which is sacred and so when we read the Old Testament, the breeze and lives and moves in an atmosphere of awe and reference in respect before the majesty and glory of God were offended when God moves to demonstrate his zeal for his own holiness, not just as a match is made evident by but if we look at the Old Testament we see that there are over 30 crimes that are listed in the Old Testament as capital offenses and we think that the Old Testament is harsh in its injustice on skirting the Roman Catholic theologian once made the insightful observation that there is such a contrast between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Inasmuch as in the New Testament there is only one, if any, that we can find capital offense and that's murder whereas in the Old Testament there were multiple crimes, all of which were punishable by death in the sacred commonwealth of Israel, and so by comparison. We think that the Old Testament is harsh and he said we overlook the difference between creation and the Mosaic covenant and Cohen reminds us that in creation. Every sin is a capital offense that sin itself according to creation is worthy of death, the original justice of God was this that the soul that sins shall die and not only shall the soul die. But this death sentence is to be imposed immediately. We remember the warning to Adam and Eve on the day in which you eat of it you shall surely die. But God in his graciousness, reduced capital offenses from the almost infinite number of possible capital crimes down to 30 some and also he tempered his justice with mercy by allowing guilty human beings who have sinned and profaned.

God to continue to live in his mercy, and so we see that all of that grace is there but Cohen says we get so accustomed to that grace, that we begin to take it for granted and so his theory is from time to time in various moments where God is forbearing and being patient and long-suffering with the consistent sins of his people. Every now and then in Cora's rebellion in the flood.

For example, in the death of Nate and a buy who in the sudden execution of ossa and even in the New Testament with a similar experience with the sudden killing of Ananias and Sophia, God reminds his people of the law of what ultimate justice is about and that each one of us could be justly executed at any moment. Behind God for the transgressions that we have committed. I once received the book in the mail that was a book on quotations and I had no idea why the publisher and sent that to me and I started leafing through it and I saw quotations from George Washington and from Emmanuel Compton from Shakespeare and from all these people. I was absolutely astonished to find a quotation from me and I thought what if I ever said that was with Dorothy to be cited in a book of quotation and I looked at the entrance and it quoted something that I've said on one occasion, which was these words that sin is cosmic treason. We forget that that in the slightest and the smallest peccadillo when we sin against God. We are attacking his sovereign we are putting our authority over his. We are usurping his right to rule.

Indeed, in each sin we commit. We are involved in treason, we revolt against our we undermine his holy because he is characteristically some kind, patient stinks, that's helpful perspective is in it. God's kindness and patience does not mean that he ignores her sin. We always need to look to God on the throne, the one who make sure that justice is accomplished we heard a message from Dr. RC Sproul series the holiness of God today on Renewing Your Mind everything. Dr. Strohl did have the aim of equipping growing Christians whose lives are being transformed by the gospel and this teaching on the holiness of God is at the foundation when you contact us today with a donation of any amount. We will send you a beautiful 25th anniversary edition of Dr. Strohl's book the holiness of God.

It's a handsome hardback edition, finished in silver and would you give your donation we will send you not only the book but a digital download of the complete series were featuring this week.

15 messages in all you can go online to make a request to give your gift@renewingyourmind.org or you can call us at 800-435-4343. It was so easy to become discouraged by all that we see around us today to the spirit as evil seems to prosper, but we need to remember that God's people have always faced difficult circumstances this week were learning that God is supreme and holy and we can trust him, in spite of our circumstances, we pray that your confidence in God will grow as you read RC's book the holiness of God and watch the teaching series so request them both. When you contact us today with your gift of any amount or number again is 800-435-4343 and her online address is Renewing Your Mind.org in our quorum Dale sought for today I want us to think about my quotation that made it in the book that sin is cosmic treason. I said that we have forgotten this and we take God's mercy and patience for granted, so did us a and he did it to such a point in his life that he became presumptuous and the warning is there for us what Prof. Cohen is saying is that these episodes in history are recorded for our instruction and for our admonition not to take God's mercy for granted. Not to presume upon his tender kindness, and to remember that all of us have sinned previously enough against the holiness of God as to warrant execution Jesus has to deal with that issue in the minds of his own disciples and will look at that in our next session and we hope you'll join us for that message. It's titled justice and grace writing on Renewing Your Mind


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