I’m not a hoarder, in fact the furthest thing from it. However, if you were to look at my garage right now, you might think . . . yep, she’s a hoarder? Well 4 months ago, when we moved from a 2700 sq ft house to a 1400 sq ft house our “space” and lifestyle changed significantly. I remember the painstaking task of collecting boxes, then trying to find the right size box for a specific thing and those larger items were so difficult to pack; they never fit quite right. Oh and then the dreaded label. Labels were designed to tell people where to put the box… and I currently have boxes in my garage that say “kitchen.” They clearly were mislabeled!
In 2 Samuel 6 there is a story about King David wanting to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem to be the center of Israel’s worship. The Ark of the Covenant, was to Israel, the presence of God. And for 20 or so years it had been “stored” at Abinadab’s house. Abinadab had 2 sons; Uzzah and Ahio.
No question, Abinadab and his sons had reverence for God and the Ark of the Covenant. But the story says that it had been in his house for 20 years – It’s possible that over time they became comfortable around it. In fact, I submit, they probably felt it was their responsibility to “take care” of it or “watch over” it. Somehow during that 20 year period, Uzzah lost his reverence and awe for God. He had systematically “put God in a box.” In this case, literally, a wooden box overlaid with gold 4’ X 2’ X 2’.
Uzzah’s heart or mind changed to assume that the created needed to assist his creator. We do that today in our attempt to protect God from the world. Can you imagine that thought, “I need to take care of the presence of God?” Not! God is God all by Himself and doesn’t need anyone to protect Him.
If you read further, it says when they were moving the Ark, the oxen stumbled and Uzzah, in his attempt to “take care” of the presence of God reached out to “steady” the Ark and touched it. God wouldn’t have any of that and Uzzah died immediately. Some say Uzzah was just reacting instinctively, but why didn’t Ahio react the same way? David thought God’s punishment to Uzzah was too harsh, but God gave specific instructions on how to move the Ark of the Covenant. Man tried to update God’s plan and it didn’t work – as those plans seldom do. However, because of the death of Uzzah, David had a new reverence of God and delayed moving the Ark for 3 more months.
Today, we don’t have an “Ark of the Covenant” that sits in our literal house, but the Word of God says that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, now lives in us. Most of us have either been raised around the things of God or know people that have a relationship with God, but eventually we try to put God in a box. Maybe not a literal box, but we reduce Him to our own terms so we can manage or “take care” of Him. Then we find ourselves “in a rut” striving to fit Him in and it was never what God intended for us.
The most important part of the “box” issue is that my stuff must not be that important, since I clearly don’t need it to live. The boxes live with me in my home… and I know where they are, but its contents aren’t needed. It’s funny when I do find something that’s been in the garage, I get excited about it and think, “How have I lived without this for the last 4 months!”
I just don’t want that to be my relationship with God.