“David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the LORD, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the LORD’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.”2 Samuel 6:5-7 NLT
One may read this story about the return of the Ark back to Israel and thing why would God strike down a man who was returning this symbol ofGods présence back to his people? If you have read the ordinances that God requested when it comes to transporting the Ark you would see that firstly it was never meant to be drawn by oxen on a cart. Oxen were used quite common as idols and to be pulled by this symbol would have been against Gods command. Second, God had given them exact directions on how to carry the Ark, using the olds carried on the shoulders of the Levites. So with these two things happening, we see the cart and oxen stumbling, Uzzah reaching up to stop it and perishing. I don’t have all the answers, I wonder if God in his anger wanted to prove a point to king a David that if he was to follow God he needed to follow his directions. We see ”tis to have worked as the next time David moved the ark he did so properly.
We tend to think of God as ready to squash us like bugs when we screw up, and I am sure after reading this story you might be thinking that. God was dealing with a stubborn people who continually didn’t listen. How does that differ from us today? Many who should be following God have walked a way and are living sinful lives, so why doesn’t God just end them? Jesus’s death and resurrection bridged a gap and created a way for us to have a relationship with God. God didn’t create us to destroy us at his whim, he created us to have relationship. I don’t believe he had any joy in killing Uzzah, but to show his sovereignty and power he did what needed to be done. Today he offers salvation to the people of this world, the ark is nowhere to be found because its importance is no longer needed.
Jesus , the Holy Spirit, the presence of God that ‘lived’ in the ark, lives in us. Those who have experience this turn their backs on him and walk away could receive the same fate a Uzzah, but thankfully for us God is merciful and wants none to perish. He wants to see them return to the relationship they once knew, giving them another opportunity to repent and come home. God has not gone soft on sin, but he has provided a way to freedom from it, and wants to see all humanity experiments this freedom.
Jesus, thank you for your freedom from sin. Help me to tel there’s about your great love for us, how the father really does loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. Let us see others how you see them, reaching out to them like you would have us. They matter to you so they matter to me, it’s time for action. Amen