2 Samuel 6:1-11: “David and all of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD…”

David had just become king and one of his first orders of business was to restore God to His rightful place in the kingdom. His predecessor, King Saul, had neglected and ignored the worship of God. He was too concerned with his own kingdom to worry about God’s.

David organizes a national holiday complete with a parade to bring the Ark of the Covenant from Saul’s exile into the nation’s capital, Jerusalem. This is a big deal:  everybody who is anybody is there. The band is playing, the dancers are dancing, and the ticker tape is dropping! The text says that “David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the Lord…” (II Samuel 6:5).

Then, in an instant, everything changed. God rained on the worship parade. The oxen that were pulling the cart that the ark was sitting on stumbled. The Holy Ark began to slide toward the end of the cart. A man by the name of Uzzah grabbed for the ark to keep it from falling. The text says this, “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” (II Samuel 6:7). 

Let’s assume that Uzzah was a great guy. Nothing in the text would make us think otherwise. He was sincere, rightly motivated, loved his family, and cared deeply about God. Afterall, Uzzah had a place of prominence in the worship parade. But Uzzah was conducting his life and worship NOT according to the word of God. God’s word is very clear about “not touching the ark.”  

God has spoken and He has not stuttered. His word is clear. And the excuse of ignorance of it will not fly with God. Our worship of God can certainly be a joyful thing but it must always be a serious thing!

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