Text: 2 Samuel 6:1-5 – Israel decides to move the ark of the covenant, but ignore God’s instructions for how to carry it. Uzzah reaches out to steady it as it begins to fall, and a God strikes him down.
Background and Context
- Answering the question: “why the exile?”
- Establishment of David & YHWH, placing his name in Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 12:5, 10).
The Ark was Israel’s holiest and most significant religious symbol.
- It was a wood box coated with gold. The mercy seat and cherubim rested on top of it (Exodus 25, Numbers 4:5, 15).
- It was God’s throne. It was earthly location where a God physically manifested himself and met with his people (Exodus 25:22).
- It was the only item to be placed in the Most Holy Place.
- It contained the holiest relics of Israel’s history.
- Once a year, on the day of the atonement, it was sprinkled with blood to make atonement for Israel’s sin.
Israel had misunderstood the holiness of God and the ark’s significance in the past.
- The ark was viewed as a good-luck charm (1 Samuel 4).
- The ark and God’s presence had been treated with a flippant and careless attitude (1 Samuel 6:20).
David’s first attempt to transfer the ark ended in judgment, because of disobedience and a faulty perspective of both God’s holiness and the ark’s significance.
- Feelings and emotions alone should not be the basis for actions and decisions. Zeal not rooted in God’s prescribed will can be dangerous.
- Disobedience to God’s specific instructions, even in the seemingly “small” things, can lead to destruction. There is a cumulative effect to sin and it will catch up.
- Maintaining a right perspective God’s holiness is crucial.
- Anger with God over the natural consequences of our sin is wrong and misdirected.
- Reforming ourselves is the right response to our sin (2 Samuel 6:13).
What are the “little” areas of disobedience that I need to address?
How often do I really seek God’s will through prayer, studying his word, and seeking the counsel of other godly people?
In what ways have I lost perspective of who God is? How will I go about restoring a right view of God and his holiness?
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Photo credit: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzzah