“Outbreak Against” ( 2 Samuel 6: 8, NIV ) by Carley Evans

David selects thirty-thousand “chosen men” to bring out of Baalah of Judah “the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark.” (2 Samuel 6:2)

Two brothers, Uzzah and Ahio are selected to guide the cart pulled by oxen. Ahio is walking in front of the cart; Uzzah is perhaps walking beside the oxen. As the cart crosses the threshing floor, the oxen perhaps stop to eat; but at any rate the oxen stumble so that Uzzah reaches up to steady the ark. Uzzah fails in two aspects — he fails to control the oxen; he irreverently touches “the ark of God” upon which “the Lord Almighty is enthroned” rather than steady the cart. God strikes him down in an outburst of wrath.

David is not only angry “because the Lord’s wrath breaks out against Uzzah;” but he is afraid. Therefore, David decides he can not safely have the ark of the Lord come with him to the city which bears his name. “Instead, he takes it aside to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.” (2 Samuel 6:10) Obed-Edom keeps the ark in his home for three months without incident — obviously he and his family respect the boundaries set by God — “and the Lord blesses him and his entire household.” (2 Samuel 6:11)

Now David is no longer afraid. He takes the ark of God to his city “with rejoicing.” (2 Samuel 6:12) He does take greater care, however, sacrificing both “a bull and a fattened calf” (2 Samuel 6:13) before it has gone “six steps.” This time, rather than “chosen men” accompanying the ark, the “entire house of Israel” travels with the ark “with shouts and the sound of trumpets.” (2 Samuel 6:15) God is for all, not for only a few.

Once in the city,”David, wearing a linen ephod, dances before the Lord with all his might.” (2 Samuel 6:14) Michal, daughter of Saul, sees David from her window, and “despises him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:16) After David places the ark of God in a pitched tent, sacrifices burnt and fellowship offerings, blesses the people — giving each person “a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins” (2 Samuel 6:19); Michal comes to him to criticize him for “distinguishing himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” (2 Samuel 6:20)

David says, “It was before the Lord. I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you speak of, I will be held in honor.” (2 Samuel 6:22)

For her hatred and criticism of David,”Michal daughter of Saul has no children to the day of her death.” (2 Samuel 6:23)

So, in this tale of the ark of God, we see both God’s swift wrath and His incredible blessings. We understand the importance of obedience, praise, sacrifice as well as love and respect for others in their worship of God. God is not unfair; He is demanding.

Be perfect, as Your Heavenly Father is perfect. (1 Peter 1:16)

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