May 28

2 Samuel 6:6-7 (KJV) 6And 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. 7And 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.

David wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He had a new cart built and had the ark put on it with oxen pulling the cart. Everyone went before the ark playing musical instruments and singing. When they had come to Nachon's threshingfloor, the ark looked like it might tip over. One of the men alongside it, Uzzah, reached out to steady it. He fell down dead.

It seems very harsh to us today, and it did to David. The next time David moved the ark, he did so according to the Law. The priests were supposed to carry the ark with special poles. David learned that you cannot add to God's law and expect to be free of problems. God's instructions are for our good.

Everyone learned that the presence of God was not a little thing. If the ark had fallen and touched the earth, it would be less defiled than if man touched it! Man does not realize that his rebellious, disobedient nature is far more corrupting than dirt. We strive to keep our physical bodies clean, but the real filth is on the inside.

What lessons should we learn today from this tragic event? God's way is the best way, and it is for our good. If He gives us instruction, it is because He is protecting and keeping us. Don't presume to add to God's directions or take away from them. Do not do only what He tells you, but do it like He tells you.

The other lesson is to realize the holiness of God and the defiled condition of man. If we see that clearly, we will not stick our hands into God's business, defiling it with our carnal ways and ideas. We have a great deal of Ark touching in the world today. Man wants to do what he thinks is best for the church instead of waiting upon God and doing as God directs. Don't reach out your hand even when you think it is a good thing you are doing. Follow God's directions.

Consider: Following God's instructions is the best thing for me.

May 28

John 1:29,33-34 (NIV) 29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

33I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' 34I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."

Throughout the Jewish history, all the way back to Abel, a lamb had been slain as a sacrifice. The lamb never really took the sins from the people. Each sacrifice was a look forward in faith to the perfect Lamb that would. It was an expression of faith that one-day God would provide. That expression of faith made them right with God. It did not take away guilt, however. Each year the atonement sacrifice was made again.

John the Baptist was sent ahead of Jesus to prepare people's hearts for His ministry. The Holy Spirit had given a very specific sign to John. The One that he sees the Holy Spirit come down on like a dove is the One who will baptize people with the Holy Spirit. This One is the Son of God. John saw that happen when he baptized Jesus.

As Jesus walked by, John told his disciples, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." This was the Lamb that millions of lambs throughout history were just a shadow of. He is God's Lamb. He is the One God provided to be the perfect sacrifice for sin. He had to be a sinless man that could take on the sins of others and take the curse of death for that sin in their place. The time had come. The Messiah was present.

Meditation: Look! Fix your eyes on Jesus. He takes away the sins of the world, your sin and mine. What a beautiful Lamb God has provided! This is the Son of God! "There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."