Stand Still in God’s Word

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” Exodus 14:13

These words contain God’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do?

The Master’s word to him is, “Stand still.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions.

Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in His love and faithfulness.

Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.”

But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid you go from strength to strength, and so you shall, and neither death nor hell shall turn you from your course.  What, if for a while you are called to stand still, yet this is but to renew your strength for some greater advance in due time.

Precipitancy cries, “do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once – we do it so we think – instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything.

Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle.”

But Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immoveable as a rock it stands. “Stand still;” –keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”

Taken from Morning and Evening by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

The Story of Uzzah: Not Unfairness but Disobedience

Have you ever read a story in the Bible and felt like God acted ‘unfairly’? I have.  One such story is that of Uzzah recorded 1 Chronicles 13:1-14.

David together with the leaders of Israel decided to bring back to Jerusalem the Ark of the Covenant which represented the presence of God among Israelites.  For some time the ark had been kept by Abinadab outside of Jerusalem.

David with leaders of Israel carried the ark in a cart which was being driven by Uzzah.  On the way to Jerusalem, the oxen pulling the cart stumbled and the ark was about to fall. Uzzah stretched out his hand to protect it from hitting the ground. Immediately he touched the ark, God struck Uzzah dead.

Was this fair? I thought Uzzah was doing a very good job of protecting the ark? Why did God struck him dead? The answer: according to God’s instructions regarding the ark, Uzzah was not supposed to touch it. Besides, the ark was not supposed to be transferred on a cart but on shoulders of priests called Kohathites (Numbers 4:1-20). So, to put it simply: God acted justly not unfairly.

What we learn from the story is that we should take God’s Word seriously and always act accordingly. God is never pleased when we ignore His word and do things in our own way. No matter the reason or the motive, we can never justify disobedience to God’s Word with anything.

Uzzah was not supposed to touch the ark. He was not supposed to carry the ark. He disobeyed these instructions from God and no matter how hard he could justify his actions the truth of the matter was that Uzzah disobeyed God’s Word.

Similarly for us today, we have no reason to disobey God’s Word and justify our disbedience with phrases like “God is love” or “God is merciful” or “God is full of grace” or “things have changed” or “that was Paul” Never! Never! We either obey God’s Word or disobey it. No middle ground.

Yet unlike the case of Uzzah, we still have a chance of repenting if we realize that we have been living in disobedience to God’s Word. Scripture reminds us: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not us. If we confess our sins, he (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:8, 9).

May His grace enable us to walk in obedience to His Word always.