Wednesday, May 25, 2011

1 Chronicles 8-13 Glory Days Revisited

1 Chronicles 8-13

We get to relive the glory days of David.  Until Uzza tries to be helpful.

I actually like this condensed version of King David.  It's taken all the filler out (although some of the filler was very interesting).
Do you think it's better then the Book of Kings version?


  1. Do you think it's better then the Book of Kings version?

    I would compare it to a TV network airing a PG-13 movie. Edited for time and content, butchered beyond recognition. Why even bother?

    Probably pan-and-scan at that.

    The Chronicler engages in some exegesis here:

    -Saul's death is attributed to his calling on Samuel's spirit. (10:13)

    -Uzza was killed for touching the ark because only levites are allowed to touch it. (15:2, after it happened in 13:9)

    Also, notice the obsession with Levitical musicians and dancers (ie 15:16). It's thought the Chronicler might be part of their ranks.

  2. It seemed like Uzza took it for the team. Can you imagine how God would have reacted if the ark had fallen over? It would just be a decision of whether He'd wipe them all out or let them be conquered and ruled for a couple generations.

  3. @Abbie,

    -Saul's death is attributed to his calling on Samuel's spirit. (10:13)

    Is that all? Or were there more reasons? If you read this you would have seen there were more reasons, right?

  4. @Vt Teacher,

    Can you imagine how God would have reacted if the ark had fallen over?

    Either i have heard this before on this site, or ... i don't know. So this is what i would like to pass on to you to think about.

    1. Uzzah had the ark in his possession for a long time, and he did not learn how to respect it and handle it. The interesting thing is that this text even gives the impression that they didn't learn about the ark and what God had commanded. 1 Chronicles 15:13 For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
    And from the instance of this before in 2 Samuel 6:8 i pass this along from MHC.

    His punishment for this offence seems very great (7): The anger of the Lord was kindled against him (for in sacred things he is a jealous God) and he smote him there for his rashness, as the word is, and struck him dead upon the spot. There he sinned, and there he died, by the ark of God; even the mercy-seat would not save him. Why was God thus severe with him? 1. The touching of the ark was forbidden to the Levites expressly under pain of death--lest they die; and God, by this instance of severity, would show how he might justly have dealt with our first parents, when they had eaten that which was forbidden under the same penalty--lest you die. 2. God saw the presumption and irreverence of Uzzah's heart. Perhaps he affected to show, before this great assembly, how bold he could make with the ark, having been so long acquainted with it. Familiarity, even with that which is most awful, is apt to breed contempt. 3. David afterwards owned that Uzzah died for an error they were all guilty of, which was carrying the ark in a cart. Because it was not carried on the Levites' shoulders, the Lord made that breach upon us, I Chronicles 15:13. But Uzzah was singled out to be made an example, perhaps because he had been most forward in advising that way of conveyance; however he had fallen into another error, which was occasioned by that. Perhaps the ark was not covered, as it should have been, with the covering of badgers' skins (Numbers. 4:6), and that was a further provocation. 4. God would hereby strike an awe upon the thousands of Israel, would convince them that the ark was never the less venerable for its having been so long in mean circumstances, and thus he would teach them to rejoice with trembling, and always to treat holy things with reverence and holy fear. 5. God would hereby teach us that a good intention will not justify a bad action; it will not suffice to say of that which is ill done that it was well meant. He will let us know that he can and will secure his ark, and needs not any man's sin to help him to do it. 6. If it was so great a crime for one to lay hold on the ark of the covenant that had no right to do so, what is it for those to lay claim to the privileges of the covenant that come not up to the terms of it? To the wicked God says, What hast thou to do to take my covenant in thy mouth? Psalms. 50:16. Friend, how camest thou in hither? If the ark was so sacred, and not to be touched irreverently, what is the blood of the covenant? Hebrews.10:29.

  5. @Abbie,

    Uzza was killed for touching the ark because only levites are allowed to touch it. (15:2, after it happened in 13:9)

    I want to clarify something. Some people might get the wrong impression by what you wrote. The order for the Levites(Kohathites) to carry the ark and not touch it did not come in 15:2. It was given back in Moses day Numbers 4:15.

    David learned about it after the incident, and then let everyone else know.

  6. That commentary reads like a long list of possibilities of why it might be okay for God to have killed Uzza. If it was to make an example of him, than that's not too different from my view that he took one for the team.

    If it's that they had grown too accustomed to it, than I would blame God for giving it to them. Why not make it teleport every five years so noone in one spot gets used to it? Make it like the Stanley Cup trophy where if you really earned it, you get to be near it for a while but, even so, it gets passed on to others (maybe not like the Cup, that thing isn't exactly treated respectfully). But it's not like he was putting his feet on it while using the ark as a coffee table.

    The rest of the commentary was mere speculation to try to justify what God did and I don't give it much weight. Maybe Uzza yelled "God dammit!" as the ark was tipping over so it was using the Lord's name in vain rather than touching the ark that he got zapped for.

  7. @Vt Teacher,

    Why not make it teleport every five years so noone in one spot gets used to it?

    Your probably one of the people that don't like the idea of having to be accountable for your own actions are you? I hear that's a problem these days.

    Unlike the Stanley Cup, Uzza was part of the tribe that was to handle the ark, the care of it was for him, he should have made it a higher priority to learn about it. So what do you think would happen if one of the teams sanded down the Stanley Cup and took the other team names off? Should they suffer any punishment? If so why? Is it written somewhere where you should not do that? (I did search) And if so why should they follow it? You say what God says should not be followed, why then should anyone follow what man says? Yes for Uzza the punishment was written down, God had instructed Moses, and is it you don't think Uzza should have went to learn about what he was hosting in his home? If he had of he would have read how to handle the ark and the penalty for mishandling it. So why is it wrong for God to execute the punishment?

    The rest of the commentary was mere speculation to try to justify what God did and I don't give it much weight.

    I feel even more so with your comment. :-D You come across that God should be a construct of your own design (if He exists), and have not spent much time to know Him at a personal level. With that i can understand your view. If you had read the scripture verses in my previous comment, and have been reading since Genesis, i would think you would by now had figured out if God said it He will do it. And the warning was there. (I get the feeling you don't feel at the end of this life there will be a penalty for violators either?)

    I guess we have gotten use to people saying one thing and doing another, so when time brings us across one that says something and then does it some get all bent out of shape. Another question is how do you teach people to be true to their word? See you touch the ark, you will die, so time goes by, someone touches the ark, well it's been a long time since I said that, and you were just to lazy to go read what I instructed on how to handle this, but someone in the future won't like me being true to my word so let me just smack you hand. Is that the idea, is that a way to teach people? I do question why is it that you can read the instruction and then someone violates it, and is punished accordingly and then comment that the punishment was wrong. And that it's someone else's responsibility to make sure you don't need to be.

  8. I never said that God shouldn't have killed Uzza. I said that he "took one for the team." You then posted a link where a person speculated about how they probably forgot the badger skins and this guy could peer into God's eyes to see that God was peering into Uzza's heart and not liking what he saw. Your guy is then able to know why God killed them (which was as an example).

    So don't turn this into whether I believe people should be held accountable or that I haven't been reading everything up to this point (this isn't the first time you've said this), and, for the record, I wasted plenty of time trying to "get to know Him personally."

  9. @VT Teacher

    You then posted a link where a person speculated...

    Where's that link i posted? Was it in this comment thread or a different one?

    God was peering into Uzza's heart

    The first part needs no comment because if you knew about God you would know that's what He does. (see 1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 44:21; Jeremiah 17:10;)

    So i ask if you wasted plenty of time trying to "get to know Him personally", how did you go about doing it. Because reading your comments, you come across as someone that has not had much exposure to the Christian faith or God. I ask this with all sincerity.

  10. @Edward,
    I think VT is referring to the cut and paste piece in your earlier post.

    And, I've been exposed to the Christian faith and God for most of my life. I believed in him and accepted what was in the Bible as true. I believed I knew him well. Only by reading the bible and looking for answers OUTSIDE the church did I come to KNOW God as piece of mythology. I challenge you to look outside YOUR beliefs and get to know God in another light. Have your read Dawkins or Hitchens? Have you seen or read Letting Go of God by Julia Sweeney? Try walking a mile in another man's shoes.

  11. Bruce is right and I did mean what you had quoted rather than linked to.

    I'll accept your brilliant way to reengage me after I say I'm done debating with a quick summary of my religious background. ;)

    I grew up Catholic going to church each Sunday, went to Catholic school for a few years (my Mom even mentioning how religious I was and that she went to pick me up and I was in the Church praying), giving up something for Lent, and thinking there was definitely a God. My parents divorced and my Dad became Episcopalian (my mother is still VERY Catholic) and I went to their masses for a while and had a close family member become a priest. In my teenage years, I think I would be described as agnostic. This wasn't renouncing God as much as focusing on bonds between people. By college, I was firmly atheist although I didn't admit it to everyone. One summer I built a labyrinth in a field for my mother that was an exact replica of the Chartre Cathedral's labyrinth with a priest. We were able to talk about religion for hours (he was very open minded and recommended that I read St. Augustine's Confessions which I did). I had a long-term relationship with a Pentecostal woman. After college, I volunteered for a charity that built and ran orphanages in Romania. They were staffed by nuns and when I stayed there for a week I had to explain my beliefs to them using my atrocious French (since that's the language the nuns had trained in and all we could speak in common). I even tried Church one last time a few years after college and found that I loved the community and just about everything except I couldn't bring myself to even be agnostic much less believe that there is a God.

    I hope that helps you understand my background and that I'll debate people (about everything, trust me) but am fine with other people having their own beliefs.

    Lastly, one of the reasons I'm reading the Bible is that I had a friend in college from Korea that loved the Bible. Meanwhile, I was reading Confucius and really liked it. Both of us were a bit shocked by the other person because we had grown up seeing how much our society is affected (and sometimes repressed) by people saying they are doing it because of the Bible (or, in his case, Confucianism). So I wanted to get a sense of the original text.

  12. @VT Teacher,

    Thanks for the info. I appreciate you taking the time to write that. I was looking to learn about any studies that you had done, material read.


    First i want to say, no i have not read any of Dawkins or Hitchens books. I have seen some talks by Dawkins and interviews. The only literature exposure i have of Dawkins was the book The Greatest Hoax on Earth? by Jonathan Sarfati. It was a rebuttal to Dawkins works.

    The view i got from Dawkins talks was, check your critical thinking at the door, we are going to fairy tale land. He is an interesting individual. Comes across as having allot of hatred.

    Try walking a mile in another man's shoes.

    I get the feeling the "another man's shoes" that you want me to walk in, is one that does not have Faith in God. Your advice wouldn't include walking in the shoes of a person that was an anti-theist and came to realize that there is a God, would it? The anti-theist pov, and the Christian pov are both faith based systems. I have chosen to study the Christian faith. Like Peter said to Jesus, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (John 6:68) So Bruce thanks, but no thanks. I will stick with studying the Holy Bible and this world as God being the Creator of all.

    If i was starting from the view that the Bible is wrong, then the people you mentioned would be the natural source for information. Because they profess what i want. That, being, religion is wrong, and that we are right.

    I am starting from the view that Holy Scripture is true, and the men that wrote it, that is the New Testament, believed it was true and went to their death professing it and living it out. Not some pleasant death in a nursing home, but were killed for what they believed. And this was not blowing themselves up or waging war and killing others.

    And in my short time studying the Bible, i have read of others over time that had Faith in God, and things happened that should not have.

    What would i lose or gain by not believing in God? All i have seen is that people get away from Scripture they have no moral compass. Which is funny i found this video while looking up Hitchens. I had a little laugh. In the places that atheism was the enforced faith, death and no respect of others was home. Now granted i don't know everything, so you may know of somewhere where that is not the case, please point it out.

  13. @Edward,
    Thanks for the response. I'm not asking you to 'tryout atheism' as it were. I'm asking you to read opposing viewpoints or hang out with atheists. If Dawkins and Hitchens are too harsh (and they can be), please try Julia Sweeney. Her story is very approachable, humorous and from the heart. Please give her a listen or a read.

    Like I said, I used to read Bible stories and believed them on face value. Yes, I am now reading it as a non-believer, and I'm fairly certain I will not 'see the light' and become a believer during the reading, but I am trying to keep in mind that many do accept the Bible as the word of an all powerful god.

    By educating ourselves, especially in history and science, we can learn how man thinks, how nature works. As our knowledge increases, gods and miracles become less important and less useful.

    As for men sacrificing their lives for what they believe in, this is a standard story telling device. Think Obie Wan Kenobi.
    Real men do sacrifice themselves for their beliefs. But that doesn't make their belief valid.

    As for believing in a god and having a moral compass? Myself and my Atheist friends are friendly, caring, giving people. If you hung out with us, you'd never know we were godless heathens. The majority of humanity is that way, regardless of their god. Society forms our moral compass.
    I'll leave it to others here to point out the MANY, MANY instances of men of God committing heinous acts.

    It's a nice day in Chicago, I'm going to godlessly enjoy it!

  14. @Edward: By "exposure to the Christian Faith & God", you meant what have I studied? If only I had to look it up in a textbook if I wanted to be exposed to these things. (I have taken a History of Religion course but most of what I've learned was at Mass and through life)

    It seems as if you are wondering what my background is because I question how this person could see the results of God peering into Uzza's heart (and you're defense is that God can do that but ignoring how this guy can then see what God is seeing which is even more unbelievable).

    This is an ancient text so we must speculate but that should be in a way that looks at the range of possibilities. Instead, you are sure of the inflection in how people are talking (when the Bible doesn't elaborate), not just that God is correct in His actions (which I am happy to allow as a presumption of yours), but you seem to know His reasoning when it's not explained which sounds like blasphemy if I believed in Him.

    Your comment earlier that you knew what day the world wouldn't end was a perfect example of why it's a waste of time to debate you. You say that you're siding with Jesus but then use his sayings that NO ONE knows when the world will end as proof that you know when the world won't end. You said that you were joking but this reasoning falls in line with much of your other comments.

    You can question my religious past and then change it to academic past when that doesn't fit your presumptions (an atheist volunteering to help orphans and comfortable to work along with nuns probably wasn't what you were hoping for to perpetuate your "no respect for others" theory) but it doesn't change the issue here which is that you are making things up (or citing people who are making them up) and then acting like it's the only possibility. Instead of "God works in mysterious ways," you seem to be saying that God works in very obvious ways that anyone willing to fill in the gaps of the Bible can clearly see and if you can't see that it must be that there's something wrong with you.

    I should have stayed quiet the first time and will try harder not to get drawn in to this again.

  15. @Bruce,

    If you hung out with us, you'd never know we were godless heathens.

    Sorry your wrong there. I work with two, i can tell. I wouldn't trust them with my life. And no that's not how they all are. Don't get me wrong, their nice people. They know i'm a Christian, and i can sense they don't care much for me. Do i go thumping them with the Bible? No, yet when they start a topic on a specific subject i don't back down and challenge them. I guess that's why they don't like me? I don't know maybe it's something else?

    I'll leave it to others here to point out the MANY, MANY instances of men of God committing heinous acts.

    First how do you know they are men of God? HUM! Because they say so? I would join you or others in pointing out how people claim to be "men of God" or woman for that matter, and do wicked things. The Bible is very clear on how to distinguish between a follower of God and those who aren't. Just because they say so and may have a large following doesn't make it true.

  16. @VT Teacher

    it's a waste of time to debate you

    This is not a debate. I noticed you posted that earlier. I really don't think this is the forum for a debate. It's to easy to not respond back. And way to easy to get the wrong message.

    I think i'm not communicating correctly on the end of the world. So Jesus says no man knows the day or hour, Harold Camping predicts the day and hour. I say well that's not it. Why? Simple, if Harold Camping is correct, then Jesus lied. So who do i side with? Jesus. And now somehow i can't say when it won't end? It's not like i'm picking some random date. I'm taking the date someone else has predicted, and am very certain because of Jesus teaching that that date won't be it.

    Your comment about church and missionary stuff is common. I heard an account, last week, of two guys going to the middle east to be Christian missionaries and became Muslim while they were there. Pastor kids are also ones that deny the Christian faith as well. However maybe we think they should be better, when we shouldn't. Oh well. And no i don't believe in the all or nothing system. That is if your a Christian then you do good, if not, then you are pure evil.

    the issue here which is that you are making things up (or citing people who are making them up) and then acting like it's the only possibility.

    No it's not the only possibility. It's my view based on what i have read and understand at the moment. And yes there are others that hold, (or held, some of them are dead now) the same view. The "acting" you perceive is your own construction. It could be because you are viewing this as a debate.