Follow the Instructions

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 Samuel 6-8; Luke 15:1-10

 

Once again David assembled the select warriors of Israel, thirty thousand strong. David and all the troops who were with him set out for Baalah, which is Kiriath-jearim of Judah, to bring God’s chest up from there—the chest that is called by the name of the Lord of heavenly forces, who sits enthroned on the winged creatures. They loaded God’s chest on a new cart and carried it from Abinadab’s house, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were driving the new cart. 4 Uzzah was beside God’s chest while Ahio was walking in front of it. Meanwhile, David and the entire house of Israel celebrated in the Lord’s presence with all their strength, with songs, zithers, harps, tambourines, rattles, and cymbals.

So David went and brought God’s chest up from Obed-edom’s house to David’s City with celebration. 13 Whenever those bearing the chest advanced six steps, David sacrificed an ox and a fatling calf. 14 David, dressed in a linen priestly vest, danced with all his strength before the Lord. 15 This is how David and the entire house of Israel brought up the Lord’s chest with shouts and trumpet blasts (2 Samuel 6:6-10, Common English Bible).

So David went and brought God’s chest up from Obed-edom’s house to David’s City with celebration. 13 Whenever those bearing the chest advanced six steps, David sacrificed an ox and a fatling calf. 14 David, dressed in a linen priestly vest, danced with all his strength before the Lord. 15 This is how David and the entire house of Israel brought up the Lord’s chest with shouts and trumpet blasts.

16 As the Lord’s chest entered David’s City, Saul’s daughter Michal was watching from a window. She saw King David jumping and dancing before the Lord, and she lost all respect for him.

It was to be a huge political coup. The Ark of the Covenant had been in the possession of the Philistines since the battle in which both of Eli’s sons were killed and after which Eli himself died (1 Samuel 4). Shortly after due to conditions blamed on the Ark, the Philistines put the Ark on a cart pulled by a couple of cows which headed straight to Israel (1 Samuel 5-6). For a short period of time the Ark was in Beth Shemesh, then a little later found a more permanent home in Kiriath-Jearim. It remained there until David came to power. Now David wanted to bring the Ark to Jerusalem.

 

It was important for David to bring the Ark to Jerusalem because it would give his government legitimacy. For the Israelites, the Ark of the Covenant represented the real presence of God. Where the Ark was, God was. So David wanted, perhaps it would be better to say needed, the Ark to be in Jerusalem.

David and his army traveled to Kiriath-Jearim, placed the Ark on a cart and started back for Jerusalem. When the cart’s wheels went through a rut in the road, one of David’s men, Uzzah, reached his hand out, touching the Ark. The lesson says that rose God’s anger against Uzzah and he was stricken dead on the spot. Of course, that upset David, who of us wouldn’t be upset. He left the Ark in the possession of Obed-Edom. When Obed-Edom was blessed by having the Ark, David decided to try again. This time the Ark was carried by some of David’s men, using poles designed specifically for the purpose. This time they were successful and David danced and praised the Lord as his men brought the Ark into Jerusalem.

So, why, when Uzzah was trying to do something good, did God strike him down? It wasn’t so much about Uzzah (try telling that to Uzzah, Keith) it was about the handling of the Ark. Back in Exodus, when God gave instructions to the Israelites how to transport the Ark. It was to be carried by hand using poles designed for the purpose. Nowhere did God ever say it was permissible to carry the Ark in a cart. It was a lack of attentiveness to the details and Uzzah paid the price. When it comes to serving God, you’ve got to follow the instructions.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

 

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