Yesterday, I preached a sermon about the event in David’s life where a man named Uzzah reached out to steady the ark of the covenant, and he was struck dead by God. This account is found in 2 Samuel 6, 1 Chronicles 13 and 15. It serves as a great lesson in several areas, specifically in respecting God and His authority, but also in the area of leadership. I intend to write on this topic today through Friday, Lord willing.
If you haven’t studied these chapters, or if you haven’t studied them lately, I encourage you to take time to look over them and read what transpired.
2 Samuel 6:1-4
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.
1 Chronicles 13:1-7
David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with every leader. And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and from the LORD our God, let us send abroad to our brothers who remain in all the lands of Israel, as well as to the priests and Levites in the cities that have pasturelands, that they may be gathered to us. Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.” All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people. So David assembled all Israel from the Nile of Egypt to Lebo-hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim that belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD who sits enthroned above the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart, from the house of Abinadab, and Uzzah and Ahio were driving the cart.
Here are a few observations for today from the above texts:
The Ark of the Covenant symbolized the Holy Presence of God. God was teaching the nation of Israel the importance of reverence toward the Holy Presence of God. This golden box with golden cherubim on the lid (Mercy Seat) was to be put in the Holiest Place of the Temple behind a veil. No one could touch it, and only the High Priest once a year could go near it. And when he did, he brought blood to “atone” (cover) the sins of Israel. Sin keeps us from the Holy Presence of God ever since the Garden of Eden, and without a blood sacrifice for our sins, we cannot come close to God’s presence. He is holy, we are unholy.
David, having a heart for God, had a great desire to brink the ark of the covenant home to Jerusalem. In the 40 year reign of King Saul, nothing was done with the ark. Worship was not a priority for King Saul unless it served his own selfish purposes. David was completely different. He knew that the presence of God and the worship of God was central to the health of each Israelite and the nation as a whole.
David and the leadership overlooked one major detail – HOW to transport the ark. We will look tomorrow at God’s specific instructions in the Law of Moses about transporting the ark. God was clear and plain. What we will see later this week is that David and the priests did not look into the Law to see what God said. Those 400 year old instructions were right there in the book!
David and the leadership team all AGREED on the plan of action. As you can see in the above passages, David and his leaders all agreed on this course of action. But remember, please remember, that consensus does not equal truth! Just because they all agreed on what to do, doesn’t mean that it was the right way to do it. A lot of bad things have been done by consensus.
Take time to meditate on these passages today.