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2 Samuel 6

June 27, 2023

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

“They set the ark of God on a new cart and transported it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the cart...”

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2 Samuel 6

“They set the ark of God on a new cart and transported it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the cart and brought it with the ark of God from Abinadab’s house on the hill. Ahio walked in front of the ark. David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all kinds of fir wood instruments, lyres, harps, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals. When they came to Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out to the ark of God and took hold of it, because the oxen had stumbled. Then the Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and God struck him dead on the spot for his irreverence, and he died there next to the ark of God.” 2 Samuel 6:3-7 (HCSB)

Several years ago, on a rainy New York City evening, three friends of mine were having dinner at an upscale restaurant when a shabby man outside began struggling with the restaurant door. The shabby-looking man became frustrated to the point where he yelled for someone to open the door; the rain was pouring down on him. Sensing the man was crazy, my friends yelled, “Don’t let him in!” Against their protest, the hostess opened the door, and in walked the actor Al Pacino! My friends wanted a photo with the actor but dared not ask after how rudely they had treated him. They would not have acted so foolishly had they known the man they were disrespecting.

The Lord’s people tend to forget what sort of God they face. We forget that there is the power to Judge in His holiness. No, we should not be scared of Him, but being sacred toward Him wouldn’t hurt! Contrary to the belief of some Christians, the Lord is not our tame, warm & fuzzy friend in the sky. The application of today’s passage is clear: You dare not disrespect a God who is both real and holy!

As a young believer, I was somewhat offended when I first read this story. (Back then, my opinion of God was distorted by my ignorance of His Word.) After all, Uzzah was only trying to help. Was he really supposed to allow the oxen to bounce the ark right off the cart? Why didn’t the Lord cut him some slack? Why so severe in His judgment, so seemingly arbitrary? Should we be angry? Or should we fear?

Back in the book of Numbers (4:4-6, 15, 17-20; and 7:9), the rules were clear: No touch, no look, no cart. The priests were to cover the holy furniture, not touch or look upon the sacred items “lest they die.” Then the ark was to be carried on the backs of the Levite priests of the Kohathite clan. In that whole process, God is being gracious to Israel. He is forcing them to be personally involved with Him. It is easy to put the ark on a cart and have some beasts of burden haul it with almost no effort on the part of the priests. But it is another thing for them to shoulder the responsibility personally!

Similarly, we should take personal responsibility for our faith. More than a salvation moment, God wants an ongoing personal relationship with us. Don’t “Google” the Bible, looking for guidance. And don’t let some religious leader shoulder your responsibility. Get to know the Guide personally by meeting Him daily in His Word. Perhaps, then you will live a life that honors Him as He prescribes in His Word.

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