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Trivia Answer

May 25 TA

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. — 1 Chronicles 13:10

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2 thoughts on “Trivia Answer

  1. Do you have an explanation/apology for the loving God of the above quotation, who killed a man simply for protecting the Ark from damage?

    1. Good morning. Thank you for your question. It is very difficult for us to understand why a loving God would kill someone simply for protecting the Ark when the oxen stumbled. In one way, it would almost a natural reaction to reach out and stop something from falling. But to understand the answer, we must first go back to when God gave instructions for building the ark. According to Exodus 37, the ark was a chest made out of acacia wood, 2 1/2 cubits (about equal to 4 ft.) long, 1 1/2 cubits wide and 1 1/2 high. It was covered with gold within and without, and was ornamented with a molding of gold running all around it. At its four feet, rings were added, through which the gold- covered carrying-staves were put. (Exodus 37:1-9) In Exodus 25:22, God tells Moses, “There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. ” The ark was designed to be a symbol of the presence of God in the midst of His people.

      Over in the book of Numbers, we find God’s instructions concerning handling the ark. God had given Moses and Aaron specific instructions about the Tent of Meeting and the movement of the Ark of the Covenant. “After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, the Kohathites are to come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the Tent of Meeting” (Numbers 4:15). The Kohathites were from the tribe of Levi, who God appointed to be priests. No matter how innocently it was done, touching the ark was in direct violation of God’s law and was to result in death. This was a means of preserving the sense of God’s holiness and the fear of drawing near to Him without appropriate preparation.

      We find the story of King David attempting to move the ark in 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chronicles 13. When David decides he wants to move the ark, we find that he consulted with his captains and the assembly of Israel. In their eagerness to move the ark to Jerusalem, David’s officials made sure that the procession was as grandiose as possible. They got a new cart and the best of the oxen. The procession set out with much pomp and circumstance, complete with an impressive band. What David did not do was consult with the Levitical Priests. Had he done so, he would have learned that the proper way for the ark to be moved was for the pole to be inserted into the rings that were mounted at the feet of the ark. Only the priests had the honor of carrying the ark, but they were to lift it by the pole and then carry it. Even they were not to touch the ark, and the penalty for doing so was death – a very clear instruction given by God. Uzza had very good intentions, but he still violated the sacredness of the ark by touching an object that God had declared untouchable. Failing to follow God’s precise instructions would be seen as not honoring and obeying God’s words, and as such David and the people disobeyed God.

      David’s initial reaction to Uzza’s death was exactly what any of us would have felt – anger. The Bible doesn’t mention that David felt any guilt, but it would have also been a natural reaction to causing someone else death.

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