One of the most important mindsets we can cultivate as Christians is the ability to see the full picture. The world loves to highlight some little part of what the Bible teaches and shout, “Hey, this is wrong and ugly!” Sometimes it even looks like they’re right, but that’s because we aren’t seeing the whole picture. If I tell you that a man hit a little kid, that sounds cruel and wicked–unless you know the child was choking and the man was pounding her back to clear an airway. It is easy to misunderstand a little snippet of a larger scene, and it is especially easy to do that with the Bible, because it is a huge book that is full of stories and teachings which sometimes make no sense until we step back and look at the full picture.
Today I want to consider two things the Bible tells us which look unpleasant by themselves but which make much more sense, and even combine into something beautiful, when we view them together.
The first piece is the strange story of Uzzah and the ark of the covenant. When King David was bringing the ark back to Jerusalem, II Samuel 6 records,