And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. – 2Sam. 6:7 KJV
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King David had taken the decision to return the Ark of God to Jerusalem and so selected thirty thousand men to lead the people in accomplishing this task. Leaving from Baale in Judah, they left for the house of Abinadab in Gibeah. After setting the Ark of God on a new Ark, Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab drove the ark – 2Sam. 6:1-4.
Everything went well with all Israel praising the Almighty God using all kinds of musical instruments until they got to the threshing floor of Nachon where the unusual movement of oxen almost fell the Ark that was placed on it. Uzzah reached out with probably the best of intentions, to prevent the Ark from falling and this drew the ire of the Lord as he was struck dead by the Lord – 2Sam. 6:5-7. This naturally cut short the joy of everyone including king David and the entire project that had started on a joyous note ended in sadness and dispersal of everyone to their homes. It was definitely not what they expected.
King David probably thought he wanted to continue to do things that pleased the Lord. His signature tune was written all over the project with the musical instruments and the songs of praise by the people. One imagines he would have mobilised the people with the motivation that God will bless them if they get involved with such a project that was aimed at honouring Him. All the people, believing their king would have also been very excited and expectant but like a burst bubble, everything went bad in minutes with most of them full of regrets and their king also down with a very much dented image and ego.
Why will God decide to humiliate them in such a manner? Why will He end their joy with so much sadness? Why will all expectations be dashed just like that? Today’s Christian sometimes also has such testimonies, probably not ending in physical death but a result sufficient to deflate or burst the faith bubble. It is definitely not because the Lord cannot see the positive intentions of the Christian and may be appreciate it, but it is because in trying to honour God, He will prefer that his word is exalted higher than is name. Christians need to show caution in their attempt to please the Almighty God. He is a living God. He is all knowing and definitely not without an opinion. He is not a God that is so hungry for honour and praise that He will be happy to receive that honour at all costs. Honour from God’s perspective starts from strict adherence to his Words. There is nothing that the Christian can do to enhance the image of God that can be greater than adhering to His instructions.
You may be lucky not to have been physically struck down, but your current stress after all that activity that you claimed was to His honour may just be because you dishonoured him by not honouring his Word. Uzzah paid the ultimate sacrifice for David and his people to take this point very seriously. God will forever exalt His Words more than His name and every Christian need to always remember that. In order to avoid such pain and distress, resulting from acts that are intended to honour God, but which instead, bring negative rewards, it is better to do a double check on what God’s opinion is about that good thing that you are about to do to honour Him. His opinion matters greatly and that will be obtained when you operate in His Holy Spirit. His opinion gives you knowledge of what he wants, when He wants it and how He wants it.
King David eventually realised this and so had to go and seek for knowledge on how the Ark should be transported, if it has to, but that was after a painful death had been recorded and emotions and expectations had been seriously affected. Do not wait until lasting damages are done before you review those acts of yours that although are done with good intentions, do not conform to his Word. Ask Him for a better way to do those things that you are doing to His glory and the expected reward for honouring Him will definitely be delivered to you.
May God grant us all the knowledge to apply in the cause of our zealous commitment to his works on earth in Jesus name. Amen.