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Summary: Reconciling the seemingly angry Old Testament God with the loving New Testament God

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Angry or Loving?

God Behaving Badly Series

WHAG (June 7th, 2015)

Scripture- 2 Sam 6

Opening Questions-

1. Think of negative thoughts or opinions you have about God

2. In our bible reading- Old Testament passages do you avoid because they paint a picture of God that doesn’t seem to match with Jesus or your view of HIM?

3. For a couple of years, I read the bible in chronological order- meaning I’d spend a good 8 months or so reading only the Old Testament.

4. If you read a lot of Old Testament you can come to the opinion that God is very crabby, volatile, and ready to lash out at any little thing. You live in fear instead of faith, until you really study the context of when God does show judgment and wrath.

5. One of the worlds most renowned atheists, Professor Richard Dawkins said in his book “The God Delusion” (QUOTE)

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. (end quote)

And really, this isn’t just his view- it’s the view of the unsaved world about God

6. We are going to answer these questions and the accusations of Professor Dawkins this morning by exploring one of the instances in scripture where God seemingly acted in irrational anger with a violent result

2 Sam 6:1-10

David again brought together out of Israel chosen men, thirty thousand in all. 2 He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah a to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, b the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark. 3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4 with the ark of God on it, c and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs d and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.

6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7 The Lord's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.

8 Then David was angry because the Lord's wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. e

9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, "How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?"

Prayer

Big idea- How do we reconcile the God that loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son with a God who strikes a person dead for doing what appears to be a good deed.

I. Why was God angry, Why did He do such a sudden and seemingly irrational and angry act?

A. First- they lost the ark in the first place

1. Battle with Philistines. (1 Sam 4)

2. First battle- got their butts kicked.

3. Decide to go to the Tabernacle and get the Ark

4. Thinking God will never let us lose if He is with us

5. Israel not honoring God (as long as we have the Ark, we are good)

6. Treating Him like a pagan God

7. Ark like a good luck charm

8. Showed their utter lack of respect for God

9. “We need you for battle, but after that we are sticking you back in the tent”

Crusades bearing God’s Holy Cross

B. The ark represented the Presence of God

Mercy seat was throne

Shekinah Glory fell on that exact spot

They were treating this presence with contempt

C. Represented the Royalty of God

1. What was ark covered in? Gold symbolizing both of the invaluable worth of God, and His royalty

2. That’s what the problem was with this whole incident

3. Royalty in David’s day, and through much of world history, were never placed in or on a cart- that was beneath them (grave insult).

4. Only prisoners, the dead, and anyone else not deemed worthy of honor road in a wheeled cart.

5. Modern equivalent- Queen of England being picked up in my van, having you crawl over the back seat to sit in the luggage area.

6. Youth still understand this when they call “Shotgun!” because they know the front seat is the honored seat.

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