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February 16, 2017



2 Samuel 6:6-7


But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.





David wanted to bring the ark into his capital because it symbolized the Lord’s presence.

As we have seen, David did not believe superstitiously that the ark for its own sake

would bring blessing wherever it went. He viewed Yahweh as the real source of blessing.

However, he wanted the people to see that it was important that Israel’s God, and what

represented Him, should be at the center of national life. Unfortunately he did not move

the ark according to the specifications of the Mosaic Law but according to customary

practice, as the Philistines had done. Priests were to carry it on poles, not on a cart. Furthermore no one was to touch it, or they would die. This incident is a striking illustration of the spiritual

truth that God’s work must be done in God’s way to secure God’s blessing. David was apparently angry because he expected God to bless his efforts. God taught him that obedience is more important than good intentions and religious ritual. David learned a lesson about God’s holiness too.


He who had experienced wonderful protection over the years from the Lord his God, and had known unusual intimacy with him, had to come to terms with the fact that he had overstepped the mark, and presumed upon the relationship, by failing to observe the regulations laid down to

safeguard respect for God’s holiness. Though Jesus taught us to call God our Father, he also taught us to pray ‘hallowed be thy name,’ implying the need to pay careful attention lest privilege becomes presumption.


The death of Uzzah was a lesson similar to the deaths of Nadab and Abihu, Achan, and Ananias and Saphira. All these people failed to take God seriously at the beginning of a new phase of His kingdom program. What we do is important, but how we do it is also important. Coming close to doing God’s will is not enough even though we have the best of motives; David wanted to honor God. We need to practice radical obedience; we need wholehearted commitment to God’s will as His disciples.


Memory Verse: Isaiah 52:11

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