Ox-Cart Christianity

I Chronicles 13:1-12

In 1950, when the Associated Press asked sports writers to choose the greatest athlete of the first half-century, Jim Thorpe won by a landslide. He received 1 1/2 times as many votes as Babe Ruth, 3 times as many as Jack Dempsey; 6 times more than Ty Cobb, and 10 times more than Bobby Jones.

The great grandson of Chief Black Wave, Jim Thorpe was one of the most gifted athletes the world has ever known. He excelled in boxing, swimming, shooting, golfed in the 70's, and bowled above 200. In college he wrestled, played basketball, lacrosse, football and track.

Dwight D Eisenhower, who played against him while at Army, said, "He was the greatest football man I've ever seen!" As one man wrote, "The shock of combat filled him with joy. When the play was rough and the opposition strong, he was in his element." He was the theoretical super player in the flesh.

In the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm, he won the two most grueling events in track and field --- the decathlon (10 events) and the pentathlon (5 events). King Gustov V of Sweden told him, "You are the greatest athlete in the world."

The next year it was discovered that he had played semi-pro baseball for $15 a week, thus making him a "professional" and ineligible for the Olympics. He had to return his medals and his records were erased. He went on to play professional baseball and professional football and was at one time the president of what would become the NFL.

While playing for the New York Giants baseball team, Thorpe came to bat with men in scoring position. Glancing down to his third base coach, he was given the sign to bunt. As the ball came across the plate, Jim swung freely and watched the ball sail over the outfield fence for a home run. As he returned to the dugout, he was greeted warmly by his teammates, but the manager lit into him for not following the coach's sign and slapped him with a substantial fine!

Have you ever had an experience like this? An experience when you thought you were being helpful, when you were doing a favor, to be met only with resentment and anger? It's a shock! It causes you to: withdraw, become embittered, question the reason behind the response and become apprehensive in future dealings. This is exactly what happened in 1 Chron. 13:2-12 when Uzza was killed on the spot for reaching out to keep the ark from falling of the cart. What does that mean to us tonight?

I. The Return of the Ark

II. The Rejoicing Turned to Sorrow

III. The Reason for the Tragedy.

IV. The Response to the Tragedy. 1Ch. 15:12-15