July 12, 2021
Brian D. Inman
Clergy - Smoky Mountain District
2 Samuel 6:6-12a
6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7 The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.
8 Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.[a]
9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.
12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing.
What it means
This is one of those passages of scripture that cause me to struggle a little bit…perhaps because I can see myself reacting exactly the same way that Uzzah did when he reached out his hand to keep the ark of God from falling. A primary rule of the ark was always “Look, but don’t touch...that’s what the wooden poles are for.” Uzzah just reacted out of instinct, and it came at a steep price: God struck him down immediately. Even David was bothered by what happened. The passage tells us that David became angry. He then took the ark to Obed-edom’s house for him to keep up with. Obed-edom must have followed the rules and didn’t touch the ark, and things went well for him and his household. When word got back to David that God had blessed the household of Obed-edom, he went back, reclaimed the ark and took it back home “with rejoicing”.
What it means to me
There may be some of you that feel (as I do) that perhaps God was a little harsh in God’s judgement of Uzzah. Yet, I think we can find a couple takeaways from this passage of scripture: First of all: follow the rules. Pay attention to the details. And always, always do what God commands us to do. You see, He gets to make the rules, not us. Our job is to obey His rules. When we do things will go well! Obed-edom did, and look what happened to him in verse 11: “The Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.” All of a sudden, the ark looked pretty good to David once again!
Second: God’s plan is perfect. God knows what God is doing, even if we fail to see that purpose in the moment. Everything in the universe has a very specific purpose, and God has arranged everything exactly how it needs to be. So, let’s trust God – even if it doesn’t make sense to us. God is always good, is always in control, and always has our best interests at heart.
Gracious God, we thank you that your plan is indeed perfect. We don’t always understand it, but we can trust in the fact that you love us far more than we deserve, and that you always take care of your children. Help us to trust you more, and love you more each and every day.
We ask this in the precious and holy name of Jesus,