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A Death And The Ark

Dear Reader,

Recently there was a small group discussion in our church after watching a Bill
Johnson video from his Hosting The Presence series. We were talking about the
scripture in II Samuel 6: 1-11. This section speaks of the first attempt to move the ark
from the house of Abinadab into the City of David.

As you read the story you will soon learn things didn't go according to plan, if fact,
someone died in the process and the ark had to be housed once again, this time in the
home of Obed-edom.

When something goes wrong with our plans, we usually lay blame somewhere. It was
the weather, the dog, the alarm didn't go off and so on. Though we may have valid
reasons for the failure or mistake, what happened to Uzzah was a devastating
consequence to his error.

During our discussion, there was a strong reaction to this consequence by someone in
our group. In fact, many people struggle with understanding why Uzzah had to die for
touching the ark, for wasn't he only acting out of instinct to steady it?

This question lit a fire inside me, for I know Father God to be just, kind, merciful and
above all holy! So the first thing I did when I got home that night was to attempt to see
below the surface of this storywhat else was going on that was missed at first

Here are a few points to consider:

The ark had been in Abinadabs house for 20 years.

Brothers Uzzah and Ahio were Abinadabs descendants.
The word given to Moses was clear, the poles were to remain in the ark, (so that it
wouldnt be touched) (Gen. 25:14-15)
The ark was to be carried on the shoulders of the priests. (I Chron. 15:15)

By looking at these few facts, some claim that David was to blame because he didn't
follow the correct procedure for moving the ark; David was grieved and offended by
Uzzahs death. So some blame David and David is offended by God and others believe
Uzzah should have known better, after all, he had been around the ark for some time
something to ponder.

But this is where it gets interesting, for the Lord is speaking a message for today from II
Samuel 6. We understand the ark to be symbolic of His power and presence, and there
is a cry from many believers for more of His presencea cry for not just a visitation, but
a habitationwe want to be a dwelling place of the Lord.
So consider: the ark was in the dwelling place of Abinadab for 20 years, Abinadab
means father of nobility, to offer freely, father of generosity. While moving the ark, Ahio
went before it; Ahio means brotherly, relationship, friend of the Lord. Next in the arks
journey, they arrive at Nacon; meaning prepared and made readya threshing floor.
This is where the oxen, meaning strength and sacrifice stumble, and Uzzah, meaning
strength, bold, imprudent, reaches out and touches the ark, resulting in his death. Now
comes a course correction when the ark is placed in the house of Obed-edom, which
means to work, enslave, keep in bondage. Three months later David, meaning boil, to
love, friend, beloved, brings the ark into the City of David and then into the tent David
had made ready. Whew!

Ill try to condense what I believe Holy Spirit is saying to us.

The presence of the Lord is freely and generously given to those who desire and
develop an intimate relationship with Him. This relationship is formed and shaped at the
threshing floor, where doing things in our own way and strength is deaththis a
stumbling block for some. It is foolish and unwise to think that we can become casual
with and handle, enclose or touch His holy presence. His presence is not for us to hold
onto, but is for setting the captives free. (Isaiah 61:1) As we make our selves ready by
laying down our self will, He will move upon uswe will become the Lords habitation.

My best,