Monday, August 6
Today's reading: 2 Samuel 6:1-15
Once David becomes king over all of Israel, he arranges for the ark of the covenant to be brought to Jerusalem. Rather than having Levites carry the ark through rods on their shoulders, which was God's specified way to transport this holy object, David arranges for the ark to be transported in a wooden cart pulled by oxen. At some point in the transport journey, the oxen stumble, and Uzzah reaches out and touches the ark to steady it. This touching is a direct violation of God's instruction to the Israelites, and as a result, God strikes Uzzah down. David's initial response to this tragedy is anger, which then turns to fear and a halting of the ark being brought to Jerusalem until several months later.
This account is one that seems harsh because Uzzah's motives appear to be good--he was trying to protect the ark from falling. However, as I spent time contemplating what happened here and then dug deeper reading a commentary, this account made more sense to me. David and the Levites weren't following God's directives about the handling and moving of the ark in the first place. They weren't giving God and His holy ark the reverence and respect that were due. So the consequence was the unfortunate and unnecessary death of Uzzah as well as a delaying of the ark coming to Jerusalem.
How do you show reverence and respect to God? Give an example. When or in what type of situations are we most likely to take shortcuts or do something our way when God has instructed us otherwise? Tami
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