Uzzah died because he reached out to steady the Ark of the Covenant as it was being transported. (If you didn’t catch last week’s blog, please look it up.)
We read in 2 Samuel 6:1-7 and 1 Chronicles 13:9-12 that the Ark was being transported on a cart with poles on it. And it was being pulled by oxen.
When the oxen stumbled, Uzzah reached out and touched the Ark, and God killed him.
Though you may think this is harsh, there are actually a few pieces to this story that we often overlook.
If we read Exodus 25:12-14 and Numbers 7:9, we see that God gave Moses and Aaron extremely specific instructions on how to transport the Ark.
Those instructions were being ignored.
Instead of being carried on top of men’s shoulders, the people had built a cart to transport the ark. This would be so much easier! Let the oxen pull it, so we don’t have to carry this big golden box. (It weighed 615 lbs.)
Do you think God smiled and thought, What a great idea! I’m so glad they came up with that. A cart! Wheels! What novel ideas. If only I’d thought of it.
Why do we often think we need to improve what God tells us?
Another piece to this puzzle is that Scripture tells us the oxen slipped. The Ark didn’t fall. Neither did the cart. The OXEN slipped. The Ark was still in tact. Still balanced.
Instead of grabbing the Ark of God’s presence, Uzzah should have grabbed the poles attached to it. (Actually he should have been carrying it on his shoulders with several other men instead of walking beside it while the oxen did the work.)
The really frightening piece to this story is that Uzzah, for a moment, felt it was his responsibility to save the integrity of God. He was acting as though majestic, perfect, all-wise and almighty God somehow needed his assistance.
Uzzah mistakenly presumed that if he didn’t intervene and help God out, Jehovah would be in trouble.
I wish Uzzah had read Job 11:17: “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” (NIV)
I wish he had memorized Psalm 145:3: “He is too great for anyone to understand” (NLT).
Moses made a similar mistake when he thought God needed his intervention to STRIKE the rock instead of simply SPEAKING to it as God had commanded him. Because of this offense, Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land (see Numbers 20:7-12).
Sheer obedience is ESSENTIAL in a growing, thriving relationship with God.
Sure, He’s full of love.
And yes, He’s definitely merciful.
But He is also holy and just, and He demands our obedience.
The way we prove our love to God isn’t by singing praise songs
or memorizing Bible verses
or having a perfect church attendance
or praying six times a day.
The way we prove our love to God is simply by
“If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15 NLT).
Ask God to remind you of any spiritual details you may have let slide.