“And when they came to Chidon’s threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand on to the ark; and he died there before God” (1 Chronicles 13.9-10 NKJV).
David, his commanders and almost all of Israel were celebrating the beginning of David’s kingship over the entire kingdom of Israel (previously, David ruled only Judah). King David sent out men to go find and invite all the people who weren’t with them celebrating in Jerusalem. Once everyone was in attendance, David commanded music to be sung and played on a variety of instruments because they were going to bring the Ark of the Covenant (God’s presence and glory) back to the Chosen People! However, on the way one man, Uzza, touched the Ark and died from the consequences. Although not much is known about Uzza, two things can be gleaned. First, Uzza did not have reverence for the Lord and His commandments. He directly disobeyed God’s rules on how to move the Ark of the Covenant as listed in Numbers 4.5-6 and Numbers 15. The priest built poles, so that the Ark could be transported without being touched by human hands. Second, Uzza’s name means strength and the word “hand” comes from the Hebrew word, Yad, which also means strength. Therefore, Uzza represents a person walking in his own authority using his own strength to steer the presence and glory of God. As Christian, we desire the fullness of God’s presence and glory in our lives, but this yearning must be anchored to our obedience to His commands and our submission to His authority. We can’t expect God’s fullness in our lives when we disobey His Word and walk in our own strength. If we want to taste all the good that God has for us, maybe we should start embracing the Protection of His laws and the Provision of His Sovereignty.
“That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty” (Ecclesiastes 12.13 NLT).