The ark of the covenant was very important to Israel and to YHWH. David wanted to move it to Jerusalem but had some trouble along the way. One of his men was killed by YHWH for touching the ark during transport. The first reaction of most Christians is to say that YHWH was too harsh. Why would YHWH do that? The people were celebrating and honoring YHWH.
The answer is simple. Even though they were celebrating YHWH, they were disobeying Him and doing things their own way. What happened is exactly what He told His people would happen if they touch the ark. (Numbers 4:15). Further, YHWH told His people how to carry the ark, and it did not include a cart with oxen. They were already in disobedience before touching the ark (Exodus 25:14-15).
We should take this to heart. Obedience to what YHWH says matters. Just because we celebrate Him does not give us an excuse not to obey Him while we do. I imagine many churches are doing things today that displease YHWH and all the while telling themselves that they are doing it for Him. This is not acceptable. We don’t need to improve on YHWH’s design for carrying the ark or sharing the word of YHWH in sharing Yeshua with people. Let us simply trust in Him and His word. (Interesting article on this at this link… read more.)
Disobeying YHWH, even with good intentions, has consequences.
Peril in Moving the Ark
1Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim. 3They placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. 4So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark. 5Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals.
6But 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. 7And 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. 8David became angry because of the LORD’S outburst against Uzzah, and that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day. 9So David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?” 10And David was unwilling to move the ark of the LORD into the city of David with him; but David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11Thus the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
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