Summary: Come clean with reverence for God. Draw near with holy fear of God.
We are going to read about the Ark of God in 2 Sam 6. It has been a long time since we read about it in 1 Sam 7.
• It was after the period of Judges, before Israel demanded for a King.
• 1 Sam 7:1 “So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. [from the land of the Philistines]. They took it to Abinadab's [Levite] house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD.”
• It has been there since, and now that David has settled down in his palace, he decided to bring the Ark to Jerusalem.
• The Ark was important because it represented God’s presence with His people throughout their journey into the Promised Land.
Read 2 Samuel 6:1-7
The idea was good and noble, but David did not pay attention to the specific instructions that God had given with regard to the handling of the Ark.
• This is important because the Ark depicts the presence of God, and a HOLY God.
• There is nothing mysterious about the Ark. It is a chest made of acacia wood.
See God’s instructions to Moses regarding the Ark - Exo 25:10-22
10 "Have them make a chest of acacia wood--two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you.
17 "Make an atonement cover of pure gold--two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you. 22There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.
That’s where God meets Moses. It is upon the Ark that we see His tangible PRESENCE and He is HOLY.
• Remember when Moses first saw the burning bush in the wilderness, and he wanted to go near, God spoke from within the bush and told him to take off his sandals, “for the place where he is standing is holy ground”. (Exo 3:5)
• The presence of God makes it holy. The Ark therefore is sacred.
• In 2 Sam 6:2 the author says David “and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to bring up from there 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.”
Only the Levites are allowed to carry the Ark, and more specifically, only the Kohathites clan within the Levite tribe are assigned to do it (Num 4).
• Notice in Exo 25:14-15 “Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it. 15The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed.” It was made to be carried! That’s the safest way to transport it!
• God said in Num 4:15 “…when the camp is ready to move, the Kohathites are to come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die.”
• The Levites were specifically taught to “distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean…” (Lev 10:10)
2 Sam 6:7 “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.”
• The focus here is NOT about God’s judgement or lack of mercy. It was the presence of SIN before a HOLY God. It was “an irreverent act”!
• It was a lack of honour. It was the lack of respect for what is holy. It’s his sin that caused it.