Category Archives: 2Samuel

Peril of serving God my way

David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.

And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. (2Sam.6:1-7)

Following the crowd or obeying God

It was the unchangeable law of God that the Ark of God’s Presence must be carried by the Levites on their shoulders (1Chr.15:15) until it was installed in the Jerusalem Temple. Before (Solomon’s) Temple was dedicated the Ark rested in the Tent or the Tabernacle wherever it was set up. But the transport of it was the sole responsibility of the consecrated (set apart) servants of God, the Levites.

When the Philistines conquered Israel, they carried away the Ark thinking it was Israel’s idol, like the ones they were worshipping. They thought having their ‘god’ in custody would give them power over their enemy. Israelites too had slipped spiritually to the level of equating the ‘box’ to the Almighty God. They were drifting away following the pagan nations around. They asked God for a king to rule them because they wanted to be like the other nations. They were forgetting the command that they should not follow the ways of the other peoples. Now they saw how the Philistines carried the Ark around in style, mounted on a cart, instead of being carried by people. They tried the same when they wanted to bring it back. Neither David nor the Levites cared to follow the instructions God had handed down to them as Law.They thought it OK to serve God their way.

Good intentions or God’s intentions

The Ark and the people were doing fine until the oxen stumbled and the cart shook. Uzzah reached out and held the box that it shouldn’t fall. But God was angry at that and smote him. Why?

First of all, God of the Bible, unlike many other gods, doesn’t require humans to protect Him, His possession, or His prestige. He can take care of Himself. Secondly, if someone wants to serve Him or His purposes, it has to be done His way. Good intentions are not sufficient but a total obedience. He is specific about the end as well as the means to the end.