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*                         Great Expectations* \\ *Eric Schall \\ April 15, 2007 \\ 2 Samuel 6*
Thanks for opportunity
Susi and I feel such deep roots in this church and community:
Graduated BGSU, met my wife here, got married on this platform with Pastor Allen and Pastor Everett, pastoral intern here, Luke the narrator for a few years (once with chicken pox!).
We have treasured the time we spent here, and know that we are carrying all of you in our hearts before God during this time of transition.
God is a God of wonderful surprises and we know that the best is still ahead!
I know that there is a lot of focus on strategies and philosophies…stuff that I love!
And a lot of what you hear from the pulpit during this time is focused on the overall church, but today I wanted to shift the focus.
I want to concentrate on our relationship with Jesus in hopefully what is a very relevant way.
Well I want to begin by drawing your attention to something:
Today is actually a significant day in our history.
It is a day marked by tragedy 95 years ago.
It was on this day that after all the accolades for being a great feat in engineering such that even “God could not sink this ship,” the titanic sank at 2:20 am.
It was regarded as the finest ship ever built not only for its regal interior, but also for its so-called water-proof compartments.
The Titanic received 5 iceberg warnings that night.
The sixth warning came in the wee hours of the morning read:  “Look out for icebergs.”
The operator wired back,  “Even God couldn’t sink this ship”  On this date early in the morning hours the R.M.S. Titanic sped into a massive iceburg that ripped long gashes in its unsinkable frame.
Within 2 hours the ship sank drowning 1595.
Only 745 survived most of those being women and children.
It sent the world reeling…this wasn’t supposed to happen.
This was the finest safest ship ever built.
The affluent were partying long into the night hours completely caught up in the excitement of this maiden voyage that they were a part of.
They were going to be part of history…they didn’t know how right they were.
Their lives were suddenly interrupted by tragedy.
What happens when *our* lives are suddenly interrupted?
What happens when the unexpected happens, and everything changes?
You know we all have little scripts that we expect our lives to continue along.
We will graduate High school, go to college, get a good job with benefits, find a great person to marry, have healthy children, see them grow up and be healthy well adjusted Christian people who will marry healthy well adjusted Christian people, etc.
We have these expectations and we connect them to God in our hearts
But what happens when life deviates from our scripts?
What happens when the plans and expectations we have of God concerning our life are suddenly radically different?
It is a horrible thing to have faith and trust in the Lord for something and then it doesn’t come to pass…it can be devastating
Have you ever placed your faith in the Lord, prayed and quoted all the right Scriptures, Done all the things you considered right and it still didn’t happen anyway?
“Why didn’t God come through like I thought He should?”
“Why does God seem silent and so distant when I need Him now the most?”
“Why didn’t God heal Grandma of that cancer when I prayed so hard?”
Why didn’t your child get that healing that you desperately prayed and believed for?
What happens when our reality is not changed by prayer?
The problem lies in the fact that we know God can trump our reality, but He sometimes doesn’t.
We know that God is good, we know that He loves us and out of that flows the logic of thinking that only good things will happen to us.
God is a God of mystery.
I say this with all affection but if you think you have figured Him out, you’re wrong.
He never moves like we think He should.
He is God and we are not.
Great Plans*
You ever throw a party or plan something special for someone and have it go horribly wrong?
Something like you throw a surprise congratulations party for a friend because of their promotion at work, and then you find out not only did they not get the promotion but they have been laid off…
Like I said, today is the day the Titanic went down.
Before that people were partying and having a good time.
But what happens when things go horribly wrong during a celebration.
In 2 Samuel 6 we see an instance of God ruining a party.
David had a great plan to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem and create a grand center of worship for the Lord.
It was going to be great!
He invited everyone, hired a band and it was going to be a great celebration.
His expectations: gratitude, blessings.
Instead, because of his actions the Lord’s anger was aroused and He struck down a man named Uzza as he touched the ark.
David became disillusioned and angry about Uzza’s death.
David’s experience:
*/2 Samuel 6:2-12 (NIV) He and all his men set out from Baalah (or Kiriath Jearim) of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark.
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 with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it.
David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.
When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled.
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.
Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.
David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?”
He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David.
Instead, he took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.
The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.
Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.”
So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing./*
Great Motives*
This was the beginning of David’s desire to want to do something great for the Lord.
Anyone who has been truly touched by the Lord finds themselves motivated by a sense of gratitude.
David wants to create not only a political capital for Israel but also a religious one.
As he was finally coming into the fulfillment of his kingship over all of Israel, he wanted to make sure that God was acknowledged and honored as the source of all blessing.
Great plan, Great motivation…with Great Expectations.
So David goes to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem.
There is great rejoicing (v5 “all their might”) 
In verse 6 they come to Nacon’s threshing floor.
A Threshing floor was always on the side of a hill so that the wind can separate the wheat from the chaff.
As they were going down the hill an ox stumbled and Uzzah reached out to steady the ark.
Now initially we look at this verse and think “That’s not fair, that’s not just.
Uzzah was just trying to help!”
In order to understand this passage better, we need to understand the background of the Ark of the Covenant.
*About the Ark:  *
The ark of God was essentially a wooden box made from the Acacia tree that was overlaid with pure gold.
On the top on the lid were two Cherubim and between their outstretched wings was the mercy seat.
It was constructed during the time of Moses, and within it were three things:  the 10 Commandments, Aaron’s priestly staff that had budded and produced almonds, and a jar containing the manna that God had provided for the His people in the wilderness.
If ever moved it is only to be upon the shoulders of the Levites.
The Ark was built with holes on bottom to slide poles through so that it could be carried this way.
Symbolic foreshadowing of the fact that God’s presence is to be carried upon his people which are the priesthood of the believers.
On his people, not on the things that His people build.
Not on buildings, not on carpets and pews, not on organizations, not on traditions…on His people.
*About Uzzah*:
Grew up around the ark
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