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WHEN THINGS WENT BAD

September 18, 2021

2 Samuel 6 records the account of when that which was meant for good turned out bad, and here is what happened.

Moses had the Ark created according to God’s design, and after being placed in the tabernacle, it represented God’s presence with Israel (Exodus 25:10-22; 37:1-9; 40:16-21, 34-38). It traveled with them during their years in the wilderness, during the conquest of Canaan, their settling in the promise land, and into the time of Eli, the priest, when the Ark was set up in Shiloh (Joshua 18).

Unfortunately, Israel became rebellious and rejected God, who consequently rejected them. Therefore, when a battle with the Philistines occurred, and Israel took the Ark into the battle mistakenly thinking this would bring them victory, they were sorely defeated (1 Samuel 4:3-11).

The Philistines captured the Ark and took it to Ashdod, where God allowed a series of calamities to occur. When they placed the Ark in their temple with their idol god, the idol god Dagon was broken into pieces, and plagues struck the inhabitants of Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron while the officials were deciding what to do with the Ark (1 Samuel 5). After seven disastrous months, the Philistines sent the Ark back to Israel on a cart drawn by two milch kine.  

When the kine stopped in Bethshemesh, the people mishandled the Ark by looking in it, resulting in God slaying numerous men. Next, the Ark was taken to the house of Abinadab in KIrjaathjeaaarim, where it remained for twenty years (1Samuel 6-7:2). Finally, during King David’s reign, he decided to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 6:3 states, “And 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,” and this is when things went bad. 2 Samuel 6:6-7 states “And 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. And 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.”

Bringing the Ark to Jerusalem was the right and honorable thing to do but not following the specific instructions of God for transporting the Ark was a grave mistake. According to God’s direction, the Ark was to be covered and carried on the Kohathites’ shoulders using staves placed through rings attached to its’ corners (Exodus 25:13-14; Numbers 4:15). The mistake of not finding out how the Ark was to be transported rested on David. David thought God would be pleased with his actions, and Uzzah thought he was helping prevent the Ark from suffering damage. The sad thing is Uzzah died because he was misplaced by his leader.   

The greatest lesson for all to learn from this experience which happened to David and Israel on such a grand occasion is that tragedy can ensue when we don’t follow the instructions. Our lives and possibly others depend on our obedience. So, it behooves us to find in the Word what God had to say before we make a move and not wait until after things go wrong.   

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