Bring in the Ark

 

Uzzah dies discovering God's holiness

2 Samuel 6:1-15

David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in 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 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 all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, 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 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 to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

 

David had a great idea. He loved God. He wanted to please God. Saul, who was the first King of Israel right before David had abandoned God and the Ark of the Covenant that Moses made. Once Israel had come into the Promised Land and God struck some people dead for looking inside it, they housed it in Abinidab's house for almost 70 years and forgot about it.

Imagine that. Forgetting about the indwelling presence of God. Forgetting about the God who brought you up our of slavery. But Israel did. And so did Saul. Now David, the next King of Israel wants to bring the Ark from Abinidab's house after being stored there for almost 70 years. So, he has Abinidab's sons, Uzzah and Ahio, load it onto a cart and bring it towards Jerusalem. As they get close the oxen stumble, the Ark teeters, and Uzzah puts out his hand to steady it so the Ark doesn't fall off the cart. Then God strikes him dead. On the spot. Why?

God is holy and He expects to be treated with respect. He had already told them what to do if the Ark was moved--Levites were to carry it on poles and it was to be covered in animal skins and blue cloth. Why didn't they follow the instructions right in the law for them to read? Because they got lazy. God became familiar and unholy to them.

David is so scared of God he leaves the ark outside Jerusalem for three months until he sees what he did wrong and corrects it the next time. Then guess what? The Levites bring the Ark in properly, no one dies and God is worshipped.

Believers should remember and reverence the greatness of God at all times. Amazing how when we treat God as God and not as a play-thing how we are blessed (and stay alive!) and God is honored through us. Lets worship God for Who He is and bring Him glory through our lives this week.

Blesssings,

Jim