Uzzah Meets Disaster
1 David consulted with his military officers, including those who led groups of a thousand and those who led groups of a hundred. 2 David said to the whole Israelite assembly, “If you so desire and the Lord our God approves, let’s spread the word to our brothers who remain in all the regions of Israel, and to the priests and Levites in their cities, so they may join us. 3 Let’s move the ark of our God back here, for we did not seek his will throughout Saul’s reign.” 4 The whole assembly agreed to do this, for the proposal seemed right to all the people. 5 So David assembled all Israel from the Shihor River in Egypt to Lebo Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim. 6 David and all Israel went up to Baalah (that is, Kiriath Jearim) in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God the Lord, who sits enthroned between the cherubim – the ark that is called by his name.
7 They transported the ark on a new cart from the house of Abinadab; Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the cart, 8 while David and all Israel were energetically celebrating before God, singing and playing various stringed instruments, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets. 9 When they arrived at the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to take hold of the ark, because the oxen stumbled. 10 The Lord was so furious with Uzzah, he killed him, because he reached out his hand and touched the ark. He died right there before God.
11 David was angry because the Lord attacked Uzzah; so he called that place Perez Uzzah, which remains its name to this very day. 12 David was afraid of God that day and said, “How will I ever be able to bring the ark of God up here?” 13 So David did not move the ark to the City of David; he left it in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 14 The ark of God remained in Obed-Edom’s house for three months; the Lord blessed Obed-Edom’s family and everything that belonged to him.
C H Spurgeon
1 Chronicles 13:1-3. And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us: and let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.
It had lain neglected at Kirjathjearim, “in the fields of the wood,” as David writes in the 132nd Psalm.
1 Chronicles 13:4-5. And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people. So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim. And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it. And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart. And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.
A stately array of all the leaders of the tribes, with all sorts of music, to do honour to the ark of God.
1 Chronicles 13:9-10. And when they came unto the threshing-floor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
I suppose that Uzza, through the ark having been so long in his father’s house, had grown unduly familiar with it, and therefore touched it. Yet it was an express law that even the Levites should not lay a hand upon the ark. They carried it with staves; the priests alone might touch it for necessary purposes. It was for this profanation that Uzza “died before God.”
1 Chronicles 13:11-12. And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza; wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day. And. David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?
He was afraid lest he also might die.
1 Chronicles 13:13. So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
He must have been a brave, believing man, to be willing to receive the terrible ark into his house; but he probably knew that, so long as he behaved reverentially to it, he would have a blessing, and not a curse, through taking it under his charge.
1 Chronicles 13:14. And the ark of God remained with the family of Obededom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obededom, and all that he had.