“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” (Hebrews 12:28 NKJV).
David’s exuberance and excitement to bring the ark of God into the city of David was brought to an abrupt sad end when God struck Uzzah dead for putting his hands on the ark to prevent it from falling when the oxen carrying the ark stumbled.
As a result of the sad incidence, David became angry, sad, fearful and confused. Therefore, he sought God to know what went wrong and why God killed Uzzah.
It is also wisdom for us today to find out why God struck Uzzah who was one of the key players or drivers in the move to bring God into the city of David and who apparently acted out of a good intention to keep the ark of God safe in its place.
After the death of Uzzah, David discovered that the move to bring the ark of God to his city was not carried out in a proper order and according to God’s specific instructions given to Moses.
David admitted and confessed his sin of presumption before the priests and the Levites in 1 Chronicles 15:
13 “For because you did not do it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.”
14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.
15 And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD. (NKJV).
But, did that imply that Uzzah was just a scapegoat and was arbitrarily struck dead by God for the errors of David and all Israel? Certainly not!
Abraham testified to God’s righteousness, saying, “Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25 NKJV).
God did not strike Uzzah for driving the cart that carried the ark of God, for he was not the only driver. Ahio was also driving the cart with Uzzah.
Also, Uzzah was not struck dead because it was unlawful for him to come near to the ark of God. Both Uzzah and Ahio were sons of Abinadab, who was a Levite and in whose house the ark of God had remained for a long time since the Philistine returned it (1 Sam. 7:1-2, 2 Sam. 6:3).
Both Uzzah and Ahio, the drivers of the cart, were Levites (God’s ministers) and it was their God-assigned responsibility to carry the ark of God from one place to another.
However, it was unlawful for them to either look into the ark or touch it. The Levites were only permitted by God to carry the ark on their shoulders by the poles put into the rings on the sides of the ark (Exo. 25:14).
God, through Moses, had sternly warned and commanded the Levites never to look into or touch the ark of God under any circumstances.
God had sternly warned them, saying, “And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die…” (Num. 4:15 NKJV).
The consequence of such a disobedience, recklessness, and assumption is death and that was what Uzzah suffered!
God is not a sentimental being; He is a God of principles, precepts and orders. Before God, good intentions or motives don’t justify contemptuousness, presumptuousness, recklessness, or wrong conduct in God’s service.
God would not exonerate you or gloss over your contempt or disrespect for Him and His principles notwithstanding your good motives or intentions.
Although Uzzah broke God’s commandment out of a good motive, yet God did not overlook his error. This is a lesson for us!
You don’t have any just reason or motive to disobey God’s Word!
Like Uzzah, many believers and servants of God today ministering at God’s holy altar and leading in God’s service are becoming increasingly reckless and disorderedly, contemptuous and presumptuous in the way they handle the things of God while using their liberty in Christ as a cloak for vice or as an opportunity for the flesh (Gal. 5:13, 1 Pet. 2:16).
This is why many ministers of God today are already dead spiritually, though still physically active in ministry.
After fire from the presence of God had devoured Nadab and Abihu (the priests) for offering profane fire before God which He had not commanded, Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.'” So Aaron held his peace.” (Lev. 10:3 NKJV).
It is so sad that by the way many ministers of God conduct themselves today; God is no longer regarded as holy or glorified before all the people.
Beloved, while serving God you must guard against contemptuousness and presumptuousness in your service or in handling the things of God. Your liberty in Christ must not be considered or taken as a cloak or licence for wantonness or lasciviousness. Your service to God must always be with reverence or godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire.
The Scripture admonishes:
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Gal. 5:13 NKJV).
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:28-29 NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for being contemptuous or presumptuous in my service in Your Kingdom. Teach and help me Lord to serve You acceptably with reverence and godly fear, in Jesus’ name. Amen.