2 Samuel 6:6-12a
In our Old Testament passage, today, David decides to move the Ark of the Covenant—a national treasure—from Judah to Jerusalem. The Ark is understood as the sacred dwelling place of the Lord on earth; the God from whom all blessings flow. The Ark has been in the home of Abinadab for twenty years. During this time, Abinadab is blessed of the Lord. Therefore, as Israel’s enthroned leader, King David desires to have the presence of God near him. He wants the entire nation of Israel to be blessed.
History is important and it is essential to learn and remember the valuable lessons from it. In the past, God had already instructed the Israelites on how to properly move the Ark of his holy presence. Only the Levitical priests were to carry the Ark; they were to use two wooden poles inserted through rings on the four corners of the Ark. God declared that no one was to touch the Ark or they would die.
In our lesson, the Ark is obviously not being moved according to God’s commands. Instead, the Israelites place the Ark on a cart carried by oxen. When the Ark begins to tilt, Uzzah—who is walking next to the Ark—reaches to steady it.
2 Samuel 6:6 But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the Ark. 7 Then the anger of the Lord flared out against Uzzah and he killed him for doing this, so he died there beside the Ark. 8 David was angry at what the Lord had done, and named the spot “The Place of Wrath upon Uzzah.”
9 David was now afraid of the Lord and asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark home?” 10 So he decided against taking it into the City of David, but carried it instead to the home of Obed-edom, who had come from Gath. 11 It remained there for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
12 When David heard this, he brought the Ark to the City of David with a great celebration.
It is never wise to find oneself on the opposing side of God. David is actually mad at God for taking the life of a well-meaning man. After all, it appears Uzzah was simply trying to steady the Ark and keep it from falling. Our best efforts die before the holiness of God. If God declares his will about something, then we must respect it. If God sets a warning out for us, then we must honor it. No matter how good our intentions may be, God commands righteousness. Disobedience to divine law—sin—is costly, so we must never forget God’s Word is connected to the blessings. That is why we need Jesus; he is the sinless Savior we need in order to dwell in the holiness of God and receive his blessings. May we honor and respect our holy God and live according to his commands.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for reminding me today about your holy presence. Thank you for Jesus who helps me understand your holiness and how to live obedient to your Word. I welcome your blessings in Jesus’ name. Amen.