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1 Chronicles 13:9,10 says “And when they came unto the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.”

Did God, in fact, kill Uzza for attempting to steady the Ark of the Covenant?  Why, yes, of course.  This is troubling to us because Uzza was doing what we attempt to do all the time.  We want to help God, what could be wrong with that?  Evidently to God, everything!

God is unchanging. He is absolute.  If I rub my hands together to warm them and then stick them into the fire to help warm the fire, then I am a fool; and would not be due sympathy for getting burnt!  When man believes that he is needed to prop up God, or even help God, then he is like the fool that warms the fire with his own hands.  

We often seem to assume that because God exhibits loving patience with man that He compromises His standards regarding man.  Calvary should clarify any confusion in this regard.  Jesus Christ was not crucified for only the most heinous sins; He was crucified for all sin.

Sin encompasses all of our life initiatives conceived outside of faith in God.  Too often we minimize verses like 1 Chronicles 13:9,10; and in doing so, we minimize our relationship with God.

Rick - i think this goes along with some of the things that i run into every week....people (including myself) continuing to be unable to just "let God handle it".  This is a great verse in showing that God will handle it, that He will take control of the situation....if only we will get out of the way and just lay it at His feet.

Rick -

This is a good verse to bring us back to reality a bit.  I think this plays into the ongoing struggle between man and God for full control.  

I think man gets drunk with free will, and we keep that in the back of our mind at all times.  We use it to say "See God, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want."  

This struggle for control is one sided - it's only in man's eye.  It's like we want to see how far the leash between us and God will go before we get choked back.  

Thanks for sharing that verse, Rick.

Michael, Steve,
As always, I enjoy your insights.  One other thought, when Uzza's life was taken, we have no reason not to assume that he went to Paradise to be with the Lord.

I would like to share a lesson I learned this week that was as absolute and abrupt as Uzza’s.  Many of you are aware that our family business, since acquisition (2003), has been embroiled in litigation regarding the honesty of representations made by the former owners.  Wednesday litigation concluded with a verdict expected within thirty days (your prayers are welcome).  

Andrea and I have prayed that the truth would be revealed within this trial.  While I will not go into any detail regarding the rest of the trial, I will share my personal Uzza experience.  

Going into this trial there were three areas, in my regard, of marginal representation.  Miraculously, all three festered and surfaced within the trial.  The first of these marginal representations occurred early in our evaluation process prior to purchasing the business.  When developing a business plan for a potential lender, I minimized the plant's advertised production level commiserate to the former owner’s reported Tax statement.  The Realtor had told me that they were not reporting all their income.  In other words, I became a liar by association.  This lie did not benefit us personally, it was for the benefit of the seller.  When this lie surfaced within the trial, it appeared that I was aware of an actual lower level of production than advertised… “ouch”.

The second incident stemmed from a claim on the represented quality of plant-equipment at acquisition.  When asked to provide a list of repairs, I incorporated the repair of a piece of equipment that (while worn out) had been struck by lightning and we filed for insurance relief.  This lie cast a shadow over the rest of my claims regarding equipment misrepresentations… “ouch”.

The third incident stemmed from a discovery by our attorney regarding the Chilling Cooler.  The discovery was that an advertised volume of animals could be hung within this room.  The picture above the advertised claim appeared to be all beef.  During the trial, however, the opposing attorney discovered in the back corner of the room a “gambrel” which is used to hang hog and lamb carcasses.  When this gambrel was pointed out to me, he called it a “gamble”.  Of course I took pleasure in instructing their attorney on the correct pronunciation, however, I was stubborn to admit that a beef would not hang on a gambrel.  This allowed my old nemeses, Pride, to enter the fray.  In this case, my error, in addition to pride, was rushing into judgment… “ouch”.

The simple lesson is this, if you ask God to reveal the “truth”, be certain that you are squarely standing upon it yourself.  “Eternal truth” is absolute and without compromise.

Thank you for sharing the lesson you learned.  I think it's important to share this type of experience because anyone who reads it will now have a frame of reference in their mind's library to pull from when a situation arises in their life at some future point.  

Over the last three or four years, I've enjoyed listening to stories about your business and live vicariously through it at times because I can live the adventure without the high stake of actual ownership.  Our past conversations help me gain an understanding of what's going on and bring forth an objective opinion, without having the subjectivity of actual ownership and without being involved in the day to day.  

Here's my observation of the last four years in summary -

If nothing else is gained from these experiences besides eternal truths then so be it, however:
1) You all have learned more about yourselves individually and collectively than you would have without this experience.
2) You all have seen the true colors of those around you through the ongoing support in real times, people aren't just supportive when times are good.
3) You've been able to build excitement and enthusiasm and create demand for quality meats in your community through your hard work and quality product offering (with little or no marketing budget that I'm aware of).
4) You've walked with God and God has walked with you all even when the desert sun was beating down and fatigue was at its worst and you were down to your last sip of water.
5) You've encouraged and brought forth a spiritual connection with others that may not have occured if you all hadn't experienced what you've experienced.  
6) You've brought others closer to God through your own spiritual leadership and each of you have become closer to God throughout this process.
7) You've been forced to be humble, so that you'll be humble in the future even when the voice of pride in your head starts talking.  
Cool You've created real value in others lives through your hard work because many you connect with don't have that example readily available on a consistent basis.
9) You've created a lasting impression of perseverance and a willingness to look adversity square in the eye and accept its challenge.
10) You've honored God throughout this process and given our Creator the glory and have not taken the credit for your ability to survive and thrive over the last four years.  Few of us out there would be able to follow this example.  
11) To Andrea - you're still here, still breathing, and impacting others every day.  This work is meaningful and I give you a ton of credit for your example of faith.

In summary, and its not too early to say this - you've created a legacy through the way you've lived through this experience.  It cannot be taken away from you, it's written in the mental history books of those who know you.  Own that.  Whatever comes from this decision, know that God is pleased with you and you will keep moving closer to Him.  

Thanks for all you do and your example of faith.

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If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. --C. S. Lewis