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Uzzah's Punishment for Touching the Ark

Uzzah's Punishment for Touching the Ark

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


2 Sam.vi. 5-9. And iv hen they came to Nachon's threshings
floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took
hold of it ; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of he
Lordias kindled against Uzzah ; and God smote hvrn the a
for his error : and there he died, by the ark oj God. And
David was displeased because the Lord had made a breach,
upon Uzzah: and he called the name oftheplacePer'z^
uzzah to this day. And David ivas afraid of tie Lord
that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come
to me
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


2 Sam.vi. 5-9. And iv hen they came to Nachon's threshings
floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took
hold of it ; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of he
Lordias kindled against Uzzah ; and God smote hvrn the a
for his error : and there he died, by the ark oj God. And
David was displeased because the Lord had made a breach,
upon Uzzah: and he called the name oftheplacePer'z^
uzzah to this day. And David ivas afraid of tie Lord
that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come
to me

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 17, 2014
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UZZAH'S PUISHMET FOR TOUCHIG THE ARK BY REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. 2 Sam.vi. 5-9. And iv hen they came to achon's threshings floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it ; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of he Lordias kindled against Uzzah ; and God smote hvrn the a for his error : and there he died, by the ark oj God. And David was displeased because the Lord had made a breach, upon Uzzah: and he called the name oftheplacePer'z^ uzzah to this day. And David ivas afraid of tie Lord that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to meP THE 588 0. SAMUEL, VI. 6— g. [208. THE noblest use of power is to exert it for God. So David thought: for no sooner had he attained the quiet possession of the throne of Israel, than he determined to bring up the ark of God from Kirjath-  jearim, where it had remained in obscurity perhaps for seventy years, and to place it in Jerusalem, where it might receive the honour due unto it. But, as persons striving in the Grecian games " were not crowned except they strove lawfully," and con- formed to the rules prescribed for them, so neither can thei/ be accepted who exert their influence for God, except they use it agreeably to the dictates of His revealed will. Accordingly in this very act David met with a repulse: the person whom he employed to bring up the ark was struck dead upon the spot; and the whole measure was dis- concerted: yea the very frame of David's mind also was changed, from joyous exultation, to vexa- tion, sorrow, and despondency.
 
Let us contemplate, I. The punishment inflicted on Uzzah^ Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, having long had the charge of the ark in their father's house, undertook to drive the cart whereon it was to be conveyed to Jerusalem. Ahio went before to pre- pare the way, and Uzzah drove the oxen: but, when they were arrived at the threshing-floor of achon, the oxen by some means shook the ark ; and Uzzah apprehensive it would fall, put forth his hand to keep it steady : and for this offence he was struck dead upon the spot. ow at first sight it appears as if this punish- ment was exceedingly disproportionate to the of- fence : but we shall be of a very difterent opinion, if we consider, 1. The offence committed — • [This was of a complicated nature : it was the offence, not of Uzzah only, but of David, and of the whole nation. As it related to Uzzah, it was highly criminal : for God, in the orders he had given respecting the removal of the ark from place to place, had directed that the priests only should touch the ark, or any 208.] uzzah's punishment. 689 any thing belonging to it ; and that the Levites should carry it: and so strict was this order, that it was enforced by the penalty of death : " The sons of Kohath shall bear it (by its long staves ;) but they shall not ioiich any holy thing, lest they die*." ow Uzzah was not a priest ; and therefore he should on no account have presumed to touch the ark. It may well be supposed, that this violation of God's command was the fruit of an habitual irreverence, which a long familiarity with the ark
 
had nourished in his mind : and therefore God took this occasion of punishing his presumption. But David, also, and all the nation were to blame : for the very accident that occasioned Uzzah to put forth his hand, arose from their criminal neglect. God had given plain directions about his ark ; and had ordered that it should be carried on the shoulders of the Levites. The other articles belonging to the tabernacle were large and cumbersome j and for the conveyance of them God had given waggons and oxen ; but *' to the sons of Kohath he had given none; because the service belonging • to them was, to bear the ark upon their shoulders''." Why then was this forgotten ? Why did David and all the priests and people presume to substitute another way, different from that which God had prescribed? The Philistines, it is true, had sent home the ark in this way ; but they knew nothing of the direc- tions given in the law, nor had they any of the sons of Aaron with them to employ in that service. Were these ignorant hea- thens a fit pattern for David to follow, in direct opposition to the commands of God ? If David did not know what God had commanded in relation to the ark, should he not have examined ; or should he not have inquired of the Lord, as he had so recently and so successfully done in reference to his conflicts with the Phi- listines ? This neglect then was highly criminalj and justly merited the rebuke it met with.] 2. The reason of noticing it with such severity — [Besides the enormity of the offence, there was additional reason for punishing it with severity, arising out of the very nature of that dispensation. God had shewn himself so gracious and condescending towards that nation, that there was great danger lest they should entertain erroneous notions of his cha- racter, and overlook entirely his majesty and greatness. Indeed even his condescension itself would be undervalued, unless they should be made sensible of his justice, his holiness, and his power. Hence on many occasions He had taken care to blend some displays of his power with the manifestations of his love. When he came down upon Mount Sinai to give them his law, he accompanied the revelation with awful demonstrations of his creatness. When he had sent fire from heaven to consume the

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