Summary: I never want to lose the awe or wonder of standing in the presence of the Lord...
What Does the Glory Mean to You
2 Sam 6:2-7
2And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.
3And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.
4And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.
5And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.
6And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
7And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
10For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
We have here Uzzah struck dead for touching the ark, when it was upon its journey towards the city of David, a sad providence, which damped their festivity, stopped the progress of the ark, and for the present, dispersed this great assembly, which had come together to attend it, and sent them home in a fright.
Uzzah’s offence seems very small. He and his brother Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, in whose house the ark had long been lodged, having been used to attend it, undertook to drive the cart in which the ark was carried.
This being perhaps the last service they were likely to do it; for others would be employed about it when it came to the city of David. Ahio went before, to clear the way, and to lead the oxen. Uzzah followed close to the side of the cart.
By some accident or other the ark was in danger of being overthrown. Uzzah thereupon laid hold of it, to save it from falling, we have reason to think with a very good intention, to preserve the reputation of the ark.
Yet this was his crime. Uzzah was a Levite, but priests only might touch the ark.
The law was express concerning the Kohathites, that, though they were to carry the ark by the staves, yet they must not touch any holy thing, lest they die.
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. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.
Uzzah’s long familiarity with the ark, and the constant attendance he had given to it, might occasion his presumption, but would not excuse it.
His punishment for this offence seems very great (v. 7): The anger of the Lord was kindled against him (for in sacred things he is a jealous God) and he smote him there for his rashness and struck him dead upon the spot.
There he sinned, and there he died, by the ark of God; even the mercy-seat would not save him.
Why was God thus severe with him?
1. The touching of the ark was forbidden to the Levites expressly under pain of death-lest they die.
2. God saw the presumption and irreverence of Uzzah’s heart. Familiarity, even with that which is most holy, is apt to breed contempt.
3. David afterwards owned that Uzzah died for an error they were all guilty of, which was carrying the ark in a cart.
4. God would hereby strike an awe upon the thousands of Israel, would convince them that the ark was never the less venerable for its having been so long in mean circumstances, and thus he would teach them to rejoice with trembling, and always to treat holy things with reverence and holy fear.
5. God would hereby teach us that a good intention will not justify a bad action; it will not suffice to say of that which is ill done that it was well meant.
6. If it was so great a crime for one to lay hold on the ark of the covenant that had no right to do so, what is it for those to lay claim to the privileges of the covenant that come not up to the terms of it?