1Chronicles 13:1 ¶ And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.
1Chronicles 13:2 And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
1Chronicles 13:3 And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.
1Chronicles 13:4 And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
1Chronicles 13:5 So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim.
Once the kingdom was unified under his rule and he was established in Jerusalem, David expressed his desire to all his military captains and leaders that they call for all the people of Israel, the priests and the Levites to come and participate in transporting the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem if the LORD so willed. It is noted that the ark had basically been ignored during Saul’s rule.
Everyone agreed with David. So he gathered all the people from Shihor of Egypt in the south to the entering of Hemath in the north to transport the ark from Kirjathjearim where it had remained since being returned by the Philistines. (See 1Samuel 6-7 for the background story.)
1Chronicles 13:6 And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.
1Chronicles 13:7 And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.
1Chronicles 13:8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.
David and all Israel gathered at Kirjathjearim in Judah to accompany the ark to Jerusalem. They put the ark of “God the LORD” on a new cart after taking it out of the house of Abinadab. Uzza and Ahio were designated to drive the cart. David and all the people played their instruments—harps, lyres, tambourines, cymbals and trumpets—and sang as they began the journey to Jerusalem.
1Chronicles 13:9 ¶ And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
1Chronicles 13:10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
When they reached the threshingfloor of Chidon, the oxen stumbled. Uzza instinctively reached out to steady the ark. His action provoked the LORD’s anger and He killed him.
This is a prime example showing that our good intentions aren’t always pleasing to the LORD. He is more concerned that our actions reflect obedience to His word.
1Chronicles 13:11 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day.
1Chronicles 13:12 And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?
1Chronicles 13:13 So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
1Chronicles 13:14 And the ark of God remained with the family of Obededom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obededom, and all that he had.
David was displeased with the LORD’s action against Uzza, and named the place to commemorate his death. David was afraid of God and wondered how he could safely get the ark to Jerusalem. Until he could be sure of how to transport the ark, they decided to leave it with the family of Obededom. It remained with that family for three months, and the family experienced great blessing during that time.
Principle: Living in the presence of the LORD always results in blessing!
Though David was probably ignorant, the priests should have known how to go about moving the ark in accordance with the specific instructions the LORD had given Moses.
Exodus 25:14–15 “And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.”
Numbers 4:15 “And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”
Deuteronomy 10:8 “At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.”
I am reminded that the ark represented the presence of God among the people. God had already proven through many miracles that He was all- powerful over creation and all other “gods.” Uzzah probably meant well, but his actions indicated that he had neglected his study of the law of Moses. Even though he was a Levite, he had not taken his responsibility to care for the ark seriously enough to make sure that he was caring for it in accordance with God’s will. The LORD demands that we yield to Him as THE authority in our lives if we expect to enjoy His blessing, protection and provision.
Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Luke 11:28 “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”
Insights from Guzik:
“It is hard to receive it in our consumer-oriented culture, but worship isn't all about what pleases us. It's all about what pleases God.”
“We are often tempted to judge a worship experience by how it makes us feel. But when we realize that worship is about pleasing God, we are driven to His word so we can know how He wants to be worshipped.”