Christ said that knowing Him = knowing the father. But allow me to give you an example that my mind can not seem to harmonize with respect to the characteristics of God:   2nd Samuel 6:1-7    6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, 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]

Compared with this verse: Mark 5:24-29   25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

God judged with holy anger towards Uzzah for touching the vessel of which He dwelth. “the heart” of Uzzah, it seems, would not have had time to even consider the laws before his reflix came in and david burned with anger and later fear of God..So, as we know based on Scripture Christ is also the dwelling vessel for God. Yet Clearly, there seems to be differing characteristics/reactions but similiar situations. If they are not similiar than If Jesus was there with Uzzah, would he have also struck him down? Why would God (through Christ)not strike down this woman who would be defined “unclean” ? Did Christ love her more than Uzzah?   So I’m having trouble knowing God through knowing Christ in this situation. He is truly HOLY from beginning to end. but I can not imagine God of the old testament spending time with adulterers and prostitutes like Jesus did with such ease..can you help harmonize the two seemingly different and contradictory personalities?


I can certainly see how one might reasonably see the actions of God in 2 Samuel 6:1-7 as inconsistent with what Jesus did in Mark 5:24-29. I believe the context provides the explanation to the seemingly hard core reaction of God to the seemingly innocent actions of Uzzah versus what seems to be much more gracious acts of Jesus toward the bleeding woman.

First, let us consider the context of 2 Samuel 6:1-7. First of all, the Jews (not just Uzzah) were taking matters into their own hands and disobeying God with respect to how to move the ark of the covenant. God had made it clear that, in order to help the Jews to understand how holy he was, the Jews were not to touch the ark. In fact, they were only allowed to move the ark using poles pushed through the rings on the side of the ark. I am sure that God does not really care if we touch the materials the ark is made out of. It is the point he is trying to teach the Jews, which is that he is holy and he must be treated as holy by his people. When the Jews, like I said, “took matters into their own hands” by putting the ark on the cart, this was disobedience to his commands. Probably the Jews justified their disrespectful actions by telling themselves, surely God won’t mind as we are bringing the ark back to Jerusalem. The course of events proved that this human thinking was misplaced. In the Mosaic law, God is very jealous of his holiness. Even before Uzzah reached out his hand, the Jews had violated God’s holiness. It is not surprising that their presumptuousness in moving the ark in an unauthorized way led to disaster. If they had obeyed, the situation with the tipping cart would not have happened. In any case, the cart tipped and Uzzah, probably completely innocently, reached out to do what is only natural, which is to protect the ark. The problem for Uzzah, though, is that even though his sin was unintentional, it violated God’s holiness. When God struck Uzzah down, I am sure it created an example which the Jews never forgot. We should never choose expediency when there is a command of God at stake. To those who do not understand the Old Testament Law, it might seem unjust for God to strike Uzzah down for what can seem like an innocent thing. I believe it is not because God does not want us to “touch” him, but because of the presumptuousness of the acts of the Jews. I agree with your insight that Uzzah was not being willfully sinful. His sin was not a willful one, but it was a sin nevertheless. Uzzah just got caught up in the consequences of the actions of all the Jews who decided to move the ark. I do not believe Uzzah was any more sinful than the other Jews who moved the ark, but God chose to make an example of Uzzah so that they would remember to fear him and respect his holiness.

Then there is the very different context of Mark 5:24-29. In this case, the bleeding woman definitely did not break a command of God. When he took on flesh, Jesus accepted all the limitations of living in a physical body. He touched people, he kissed them and he hugged them. He did this, even to sinners. Of course, all of those Jesus touched were sinners! All those who touched Jesus were sinners, and it is not clear that this woman was any more sinful than the thousands of others who touched Jesus. It is absolutely consistent with the nature of Jesus, living in the flesh, to allow people to touch him. To touch Jesus was not to violate the holiness of God. Neither was it obedience. In fact, it was an act of faith and love. Jesus welcomed the faith of this woman and he showed compassion on her.

The context for the act of Uzzah in touching the ark and of the bleeding woman touching Jesus is fundamentally different. The former was the result of a willfully disobedient act (moving the ark on a cart, not using Levites and the poles), even if the immediate touching was not willfully disobedient. The latter is the faithful act of a suffering woman to touch Jesus, who loved to be touched by people. If we do not recognize this, then it can be confusing to interpret the vastly different responses Uzzah and the bleeding woman experienced.

John Oakes


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