Let’s read that fascinating and instructive account. 2 Samuel 6:6-11 says, “And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day. And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me? So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite. And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.”

In 1 Samuel 4, we find the Israelites in a war with the Philistines. The Israelites were losing the war. They erroneously thought that if they took the Ark into battle with them, they would be victorious. They were wrong! We read in 1 Samuel 4:10-11, “And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.” The Ark was now in the custody of the Philistines, but everywhere they went with it, they were cursed with different curses. Now let’s read 1 Samuel 6:1-3, “And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place. And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.” The Philistines determined to send the Ark back to Israel along with a trespass offering, trying to be relieved of the judgment of God that accompanied the Ark.

In 1 Samuel 6:7-9, we see the Philistines loaded the Ark on a new cart, along with the offerings and sent it to Bethshemesh. We then read in verse 15, “And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD.” Some of the men of Bethshemesh dared to look into the Ark, and the Lord killed them. In fear, they contacted the men of Kirjathjearim to come get the Ark. They did. They took it to the home of Abinadab and there it sat for 20 years. (1 Samuel 7:1-2) This is such a brief outline of the events and I encourage you to read these chapters to get a clearer understanding of all the events that led up to the Ark being in Abinadab’s house.

Now, let’s move ahead to 2 Samuel 6. King David determined to retrieve the Ark and bring it to Jerusalem. They also put the Ark upon a new cart to bring it to its home. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab drove the cart. When they got to Nachon’s threshing floor, the cart tilted and the Ark began to slide off the cart. Uzzah reached out his hand to stop it from falling and he was killed instantly. Wow! Just for trying to stop the Ark from falling to the ground, he was killed.

In Exodus 25, the Lord gave very specific and detailed instructions to the Israelites concerning the building and transporting the Ark of the Covenant. Verse 14 says, “And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.” The Ark was not to be put upon a cart. It was made with four rings. Staves were made to go through the rings and four priests were to carry the Ark. (Read Deuteronomy 10:8). The Lord’s instructions were exact and were not to be trifled with. So it is with God’s truths. The Lord determines what is right and what is wrong. He determines the proper order for His Church. He gives directions for the functioning of His Church in the world. That is not to be trifled with. Even as the Ark was holy, so are the Lord’s instructions in His Word. His Word is holy and all its truths are equally holy. The Lord’s judgment was swift upon Uzzah. It is only His mercy that keeps Him from acting in swift judgement when we take His Word lightly and determine to do things our way! May we be ever so careful to study God’s Word, learn its truths, and obey its precepts. Anything else is disobedience. When we decide to do things our way, we are disregard His Word and His truths. David got angry when the Lord took Uzzah’s life. Sometimes we get angry when we disobey the Lord and have to suffer His chastening hand. Let’s not live like that. Let us strive to learn and obey ALL of God’s Word. (252.8)