2 Samuel 6:3-7 (NKJV) "So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the LORD on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God."

Why did Uzzah have to die?

You know, it just doesn't seem fair. Why Uzzah was only trying to protect the Lord's sacred object from harm. How can God be so unjust? There is a reason that Uzzah was put to death by the Lord. There is also a very valuable lesson in it for us as well.

Many years before this event we notice from the history of the Jews.

Exodus 37:5 (NKJV) "And he put the poles into the rings at the sides of the ark, to bear the ark.

Numbers 4:6 (NKJV) "Then they shall put on it a covering of badger skins, and spread over that a cloth entirely of blue; and they shall insert its poles."

Numbers 4:15 (NKJV) "And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry."

God had given some strict instructions concerning the objects of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. Moses was instructed to carefully observe these rules, and Moses was to relay the rules to the people.

Here is the real reason Uzzah had to die.

Romans 15:4 (NKJV) "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."

1 Corinthians 10:11 (NKJV) "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."

All the stories of the Bible have a purpose. Some are hard to understand why they are there. If we study enough, we will get a better understanding of why they are given to us.

Paul talked about (in Ephesians 3:1-11) imparting his understanding of God's ways by his writings.

In this story, we see sloppiness in the service to God. This revealed a lack of concern for Gods Laws and took away from His honor and His glory. Though Uzzah was the one who died, It was David who was guilty of transgression. Poor Uzzah was a victim. His good, well intended, actions brought on sudden death. In a way, he was lucky. David had to suffer the pain of the loss, because he realized it was his fault.

The lesson for us to learn is that good intentions will not make up for failing to keep the Laws of God.

There are many people who feel that the intentions of the heart will be acceptable to God even if their actions do not deserve it.

It does not matter to them if they observe, follow or even know the Law. They believe that God knows the heart of man, and will pardon any faults a person might have.

What is the old cliche'?


Lets see what the Bible has to say about this.

Proverbs 16:2 (NKJV) "All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the spirits."

Many people have a hard time accepting the fact that they have faults. Most get very defensive when challenged on the job or some other place about their shortcomings. Only the truly humble will accept the fact and do something about it.

Proverbs 16:25 (NKJV) "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."

People will almost always look at things from a human perspective. Seldom will they view things from a spiritual perspective. What seems right from a human viewpoint is not what God teaches sometimes. Sometimes the rules and instructions from God make no sense at all, or they just don't seem fair.

Proverbs 21:2 (NKJV) "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts."

Some people will say:

I feel that God is too good to condemn anyone.

I feel that as long as my intentions are good, everything will be alright.

I can feel, I can think, I can do anything and still go to heaven.

It does not matter how you worship God, just so long as you are sincere.

As much as we would like it to be this way, The Bible teaches us that it is wrong.

Proverbs 21:3 (NKJV) "To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice."

1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV) "Then Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams."

Micah 6:6-8 (NKJV) "With what shall I come before the LORD, And bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

Hosea 6:6 (NKJV) "For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."

God would rather have our obedience than any form of vain worship.

Notice also that history repeats itself if the people do not learn their lessons from the past.

Jeremiah 7:21-26 (NKJV) "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat meat. For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

Where did Jeremiah get this information?

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NKJV) "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Deuteronomy 6:17 (NKJV) "You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you."

Deuteronomy 6:24 (NKJV) "And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day."

Moses spoke these words as they children of Israel were preparing to enter the promised land of Caanan.

So how can we be acceptable to Him?

John 4:23-24 (NKJV) "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Notice Jesus said:" Spirit and Truth.

Galatians 1:8 (NKJV) "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."

Colossians 3:17 (NKJV) "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

1 Peter 4:11 (NKJV) "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

David learned why Uzzah died. This part of the story is found in 1 Chronicles.

1 Chronicles 13:5-11 (NKJV) "So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor in Egypt to as far as the entrance of Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim. And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, to Kirjath Jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God the LORD, who dwells between the cherubim, where His name is proclaimed. So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart. Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets. 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 to the ark; and he died there before God. And David became angry because of the Lord's outbreak against Uzza; therefore that place is called Perez Uzza to this day.

Now jump over to 1 Chronicles 15 and see what David did.

1 Chronicles 15:1-2 (NKJV) "David built houses for himself in the City of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, "No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites, for the LORD has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever."

1 Chronicles 15:12-15 (NKJV) "He said to them, "You are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, that you may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it. For because you did not do it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order. So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel. And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD."

David finally got it right. Uzzah was the lucky one. David had to carry this burden with him the rest of his life.

We must learn that our sloppiness could cause the destruction of others. Our laziness could keep someone out of heaven. We must learn that ignorance of the law is no excuse. We are still subject to it.

Let us serve God the right way.

By Carey Scott

Return to the Sermon page

Return to the General Articles page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /