After David moved into Jerusalem, he wanted to return the Ark of the Covenant to Israel. It had been staying in the house of a priest named Abinadab, seven miles west of Jerusalem. His sons, Uzzah and Ahio, were put in charge of transporting it from his house to Jerusalem, on an ox-drawn wagon.
Two miles into the journey, the oxen stumbled, causing the wagon to shift. Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark, touching it. He was killed instantly.
In the book of Leviticus, God dictated that only priests who had offered sacrifices could approach the Ark. That it could only be lifted with acacia poles, and not touched by human hands. Abinadab was a priest and should have known these dictates, yet he ignores them. And loses a son.
To our minds, the instant death of Uzzah seems so unfair. But Lucado writes “The question is not why did God kill Uzzah but rather why does he let us live?” How may of God’s laws have I knowingly broken?
Everyone went home. The Ark was put in the home of Obed-Edom temporarily.
Three months later, David returned and resumed the journey with the Ark to Jerusalem. This time, David used priests instead of ox. They used special poles to carry the Ark on their shoulders.
After David successfully got the Ark to Jerusalem, he danced with joy. The Ark represented God to David, and he was thrilled. Lucado writes that “God’s present is his presence.” I have to remember this – I have to be grateful for God’s presence in my life, not for all the “benefits” I try to claim are a result of God’s presence in my life.