2 Samuel 6:1-11

Read 2 Samuel 6:1-11
The ark of the covenant was built by the Jewish people after their exit from slavery in Egypt, and contrary to pop movie culture, it was not full of demonic beings bent on sucking the life out of all those who gazed upon it. It had items of intrinsic value to the Jewish people, items that were symbolic of the promises of God and their cultural past, such as Aaron’s budded rod and the stone tablets that contained the ten commandments. The ark was a wooden box, overlaid with gold, and on the lid to the box were cherubs with their wings spread high above them. It was the place where God would meet with people (Exodus 25:10-22). On the sides of the box were rings in which poles could be poked through to be carried by the Levites as the ark was not to be touched, and the punishment for touching the ark was certain death.
 
At this point in the story, the ark had already been captured by Israel’s enemies, most likely before David was born. They did not keep it long, because God caused tumors to grow on the enemies until they returned it to Israel. However, Israel’s leaders never brought it all the way back to the tabernacle where it belonged until David became king. King David, with good intentions, decides to go get the ark and bring it back to its rightful place. As God’s chosen man, King David should have known how to transport the ark, but he decides that he knows better than God (the root of sin), and rather than poles, he instructs the men to use oxen and a cart. Along the way the cart begins to tip on the rocky roads and Uzzah, one of the Levites (who should have known better), reaches up to steady the cart, puts his hands on the ark, and drops dead beside the cart.
 
Two things we learn from this story. First, intentions don’t mean a whole lot. David had good intentions to bring the ark back to the tabernacle, and Uzzah had good intentions in not wanting the ark to fall. It didn’t matter, God had a specific way for the ark to be carried and they ignored God. The second lesson is like it. God knows what’s best. Even though the cart was faster, supposed to be more stable and certainly easier than manpower, God had a certain way of handling the ark to prevent this scenario, and spare lives.
 
When we chose to sin, we do the exact same thing. We know what God wants, yet we choose to do what we want to do. It’s a battle that we will always be fighting until we leave this life and move to the next. But keep fighting those battles, knowing that if we are found in Christ, the whole war against sin is already won.
David Flug | Community Life Pastor

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